For those of you younger than 40, you might not know that back in the day, Callaway was the big-time game changer. They were the guys that gave us Big Bertha, the over-sized driver that shook the industry. If you had the pleasure of trying one of these after hitting a standard driver, you were really in for a treat in terms of forgiveness and distance. Their work with irons also created some of the most forgiving irons of the era, and the rest is history.
For whatever reason, I have never really been a Callaway guy, but because I am a social media nut, I have recently found myself paying more attention than ever to the brand. Primarily my increased awareness is due to the fact that Callaway is very active and effective on Twitter. For example, take a peak and you will see many of the top Callaway brass like Chad Coleman and Harry Arnett tweeting regularly in a very conversational manner (something most big companies do very poorly).
While the lion share of Callaway media revolves around their equipment, it appears as though Callaway is making a concerted effort to shine a brighter light on the apparel side of the business.
Like most big golf companies, the Callaway apparel is fairly traditional, although there are hints of trendy touches like contrasting collars and plackets. Historically, big companies rarely draw too far outside the lines when it comes to fashion; a decision that is probably wise since about 90% of golfers prefer traditional colors and styling, with purchasing decisions based primarily on the fit and price.
For our review we personally looked at two polos and two pairs of shorts. First off, we noticed the shirts run a touch big, nearly a whole size in our opinion. Specifically, Matt (pictured below) was much better suited to wear the medium polos than I was (he typically wears a large while I am a medium).
When you think of Callaway apparel, the names Ernie Els and Phil Mickleson bubble to the top. Both men, while never being accused of being fashion trendsetters, always look sharp and well put together. This is basically where I think the Callaway sweet spot is. Put another way, traditional golf attire with hints of hip.
The two polos we saw were the Simon Polo and Victor Polo. Again, both ran a size big but we were particularly impressed with the Viktor as we dug the offset color on the collar, placket and arm as well as the button down collar. This is a performance blend so it makes for a great choice in warmer temperatures.
The Simon Polo, while also 100% polyester, had a thicker look and feel than most. In fact it looks almost cottonish. Typically, I am not a huge fan of shirts that have contrasting colors on either side, but Callaway pulls it off aided by details like the chest pocket.
We also checked out the Torrell Tech Shorts and the Mikel Tech Shorts. Both had very similar cuts which I would describe as country club conservative with knee-length hems and wide legs. I did particularly like the Torrell houndstooth as a pattern that can add a touch of style when paired with a solid polo. The Mikel come in a solid grey which is obviously a bonus as you can pretty much wear them with any shirt on the planet.
Overall, we thought the Callaway line did a nice job of providing reasonably priced apparel that has the designer look. Interestingly, the Callaway website does not carry much of the apparel but from what I understand, they will be relaunching a whole new apparel e-commerce site later this year. Not to worry, you can find them in big box stores and lots of retail websites. Most of the polos run in the mid $30s and the shorts about $60. Pretty good bang for the buck in our opinion.
You can visit the Callaway website here.
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