The beer of the month club may have started this trend but the cat is surely out of the bag now. With companies competing for the same customers, more and more are turning to some type of subscription model to boost sales and create loyalty. The idea is simple for these companies: lock in purchases in exchange for discounts and exclusive offerings. For customers the hook is not only the savings but ease of having products delivered to your door on a regular basis…like Christmas but every month.
Remember Hello Kitty, the unstoppable feline that took over the world a few years ago? Well, there is a new cat on the block and its name is Loudmouth Golf. See, I write about a ton of apparel companies but by far the most unique is Loudmouth Golf – not only because their clothes are made from eye-popping patterns but also because they have set their sights far beyond the golf course.
A little history here. Loudmouth Golf was the third company to send us gear to review and probably the single biggest reason why we decided this whole blog thing might be a good idea. So not only am I indebted to Loudmouth for their unreasonable “leap of faith”, but I have also gotten to know a number of folks on staff. Basically, I am a card-carrying member of the Loudmouth Nation (jeez it pains me to write “nation”). Anyhow, you get my point – I dig the company, regularly wear their gear and am convinced they are absolutely crushing it.
My epiphany came when I realized that the Loudmouth Golf is not just about pants, short, hats or umbrellas. Loudmouth is literally about any item you might buy… just like Hello Kitty. Yea, that Hello Kitty, the one that took over households that had 4-11 year old girls. Blankets, t-shirts, mouse pads, pillows, shoes, bikes… you name it, Hello Kitty made it.
Well, Loudmouth is clearly taking a page from the Kitty book and the product line extension into sunglasses is just one more piece of evidence. While they currently only offer three models (in two colors), Fairway to Heaven Shagadelic, Stroke of Luck and Swingblade, the line is sure to grow.
I am gonna tell you right now that I am a sunglass snob. Long ago, I decided that there were two things I was willing to spend a lot of money on… shoes and sunglasses. The way I see it, if your feet and eyes are happy, the rest of your body can manage. Hence, most of the sunglasses I buy are over $240. Part of my rationale is that I figure if I buy expensive sunglasses I will be less likely to lose them. The opposite philosophy is “I lose my sunglasses all of the time so I get cheapo ones”.
So, I guess you could say Loudmouth sunglasses split the difference. Clocking in at a cool $99, they won’t break the bank but they also are not quite up to the level of your high end Costa Del Mar or Maui Jim.
When I first heard that I was being sent a pair of the new Loudmouth sunglasses, I was obviously prepared for the most gaudy and flashy eye-wear imaginable. Remember, this is not my first Loudmouth rodeo. I own about 7 pairs of Loudmouth shorts and pants and none are ever confused for any other brand.
Much to my surprise then was the subtle use of the trademarked Loudmouth pattern. Only on the lower sides and inner arms is there any hint that these are anything but your regular brown sunglasses. Well, the lens is a bit brighter than most (a reflective red), but all things considered, pretty tame stuff.
Alright, you are a Loudmouth fan and you want to wave your Loudmouth flag, do these cut muster? I think they mostly do. Really, not many people want to wear crazy sunglasses but a hint of flare… that’s ok. Just enough Shagadelic to let everyone know whose team you play for without going all clownglasses on us.
Per my earlier admission to being a sunglasses snob, the Loudmouth glasses are definitely not as good as my $240 Costa Del Mar which I wear all of the time (and have had for over 3 years). For example, the plastic arms feel a bit “plasticky” when you fold them in and out, but then again they are made from plastic.
On the other hand, they are darn comfortable. I have worn them for full rounds of golf and did not have any issues with them digging into my head or nose. They are also quite sturdy and can be tossed around without too much concern. As an example, I pretty much have neglected putting them in any kind of case for the past month or so and have had zero issues.
In the end, however, what you pay for in sunglasses is the lens. Without any training, nearly anyone can tell the difference between a $20 pair of sunglasses and a $200 pair simply by walking outside into the sunlight. With a quality lens, colors are sharp and everything looks crystal clear. Cheap lenses just make stuff look darker. The lenses used in the Loudmouth glasses are “pretty good”. Not fantastic, but definitely on par with glasses in the $100 range.
Personally, I have worn these on the course, driving, and at the beach and the lenses are good enough that I have not immediately ditched them for my regular pair. The rose color gives enough shade to cut the bright light but also adds enough contrast so you don’t feel like you are just in a dark room. Additionally, the lenses are made from a polycarbonate so they resists scratches. In my case, no scratches so far (and I have yet to put them in a case).
So maybe I am not the target audience but I know at least one person who is… my 14 year old son who thinks they are all that. The kid never wears sunglasses but he picks them up all of the time. Heck he played golf in them last weekend and it was overcast the entire time.
What can I say, the boy knows what he likes and Loudmouth Golf is always his go-to golf shorts. Hello Loudmouth.
You can see all of the sunglasses on the Loudmouth Golf Website.
Loudmouth Golf, never one to shy away from a challenge, has just announced that they are entering the brave world of golf apps. What do Loudmouth and golf apps have in common? That is exactly the question I posed to Loudmouth top brass, Larry Jackson and Woody. Interestingly, the answer is primarily rooted the fact that both of these men live in Northern California where start-up technology is a fabric of the economy. Having lived in the Bay Area during the Dotcom craze, I can totally understand how it is nearly impossible to not at least swim in the shallow end.
Yup, I’m listening..you said you are making some kind of dating app..
Both Larry and Woody admitted that they have been noodling the idea of getting into the mobile world for a while now but it was not until they were approached about a scoring app “turned on its head” that they were able to settle on a platform. As expected, the Loudmouth app is nothing like any other I have seen Nearly every other app I have used has been designed to mimic the scorecard. Conversely, the Loudmouth app has zero to do with a scorecard primarily because it was designed by folks who don’t even play golf. So with no mental boundaries, they conceived of a framework that is more intuitive and user friendly than others on the market. Big icons and numbers have replaced small key pads and digital numbers. Now you can simply click the fairway if you strike it down the middle or click the sand trap when you land on the beach.
On a personal note, if you are like my fellow blogger Matt, and have never kept your stats, you are making a big mistake. There is no better way to improve your scoring than understanding your game. Without an actual transcript of the important scoring metrics, your mind tends to block out or over exagerate certain aspects of your game. It is only by seeing hard numbers that you are able to pin point areas of true weakness which allows you to put the proper focus on your practice time.
In terms of functionality, the app is preloaded with courses, keeps score and tracks stats. All of which are available online and to share amongst friends. The big draw, and tie-in is that you get to compete against other Loudmouth fans across the globe and earn points which can be used for discounts or other promotions. The app is free and will be released on April 3rd, 2013 and will run exclusively on the iPhone. Currently, it does not include GPS technology but Larry has expressed interest in adding that functionality in the future.
In a world of “shades of grey”, it is refreshing to see Loudmouth splash some color.
About a year ago I got my first pair of Loudmouth shorts and to be honest I was not exactly thrilled about the whole idea. Sure, I had seen John Daly saunter up and down the fairways in every crazy pattern imaginable but not for one second did I have any desire to follow in those footprints.
As it turned out, I was doomed to learn another lesson in “be careful what you wish for”. Not in a million years did I think Loudmouth would actually send gear to our fledgling blog. Perhaps this gesture should have been my first clue that style was not the only thing unique about LoudMouth Golf.
Since it was mid-December when I received the Disco Ball shorts, I had to wait nearly a month for a freak warm day before I actually got the chance to take them out for a real test drive. I even convinced Wade, my blogger in crime, to join me in our grand experiment (Matt was conveniently unavailable that day)
Now I won’t lie and tell you that Wade is a full-fledged Loudmouth convert, but I suspect he secretly still wears his “Torry Lines” shorts when no one is around. The fact is wearing Loudmouth brings a whole new level of interaction that most golfers never get to experience. When you walk into the clubhouse donning “Captain Thunderbolt, DogWood or Shagadelic Black” you will not be permitted to quietly pay your greens fees and head to the first tee. Nope, you get to field a whole bunch of questions about where you got those shorts and if the carnival knows you have gone AWOL.
And it won’t end there. Nope, you get to you hear people shout from across the fairway: “cool shorts”, “does your wife know you stole her drapes?” and (true story) “can I buy those from you?”
But here is the the secret ingredient that allows you to deflect all of the lame jokes . . .envy. I firmly believe that what is really being said is “I wish I had the guts to wear those”. Plus the fact is that Loudmouth pants and shirts are really well made and fit twice as well as the junk your buddies buy off the sale rack at Dick’s Sporting Goods.
Now 12 months later I am here to say that Loudmouth wins. They win for sticking with it when they were being called a joke. They win for making golf more fun. They win for creating conversation and adding levity to a game that is too often overly serious. They win because they understand how to connect and interact with their customers. They win because they have built a legion of fans who are instantly recognized from afar.
While I am a long way from keeping up with Loudmouth CEO Larry Jackson who wears LoudMouth 7 days a week 365 days a year, I am proud to be a card carrying member of the LoudMouth movement. And guess what, I am hardly alone as LoudMouth is being worn by hackers, pros, celebrities and even the US Olympic beach volley ball team. Yup, like it or not, LoudMouth is winning.
Three Guys Golf Top Products of 2012
In 2012 we reviewed over 100 items so narrowing it down to just 12 was painful at best. The task was extra hard because frankly, we only review products we like. Therefore, the below items are truly the best of the best. Our requirements were simple: these would be the very last items we would give up. While price was not an overriding issue we did consider it in terms of value. The list is in alphabetical order:
I am a huge belt buckle fan and I like all the buckles I have but this was an easy choice for me. Even though it is fairly big (okay honking big), I wear it all of the time. 59 Belts really made a mark in 2012 as players like Beau Hossler were spotted wearing them on Sundays. Besides the buckle, the strap itself is awesome as it just feels more substantial than others. Full Review Here.
This was a really tough choice between a few gloves we reviewed but ultimately it came down to value. The fact that Asher sells for way less than most premium gloves ended tipping the scale in their favor. Despite the very reasonable price, we found the Asher glove to hold up extremely well, even in summer heat. Specifically, the cool tech versions were our favorite. The other factor of course was the outlandish style. Full Review Here.
Any golfer who can no longer carry his bag, but still prefers not to ride, understands the value of a good push cart. Since Wade and I walk about 80% of our rounds we know a good cart when we see/push one. The ClicGear 3.0 is a simply a work horse that has been engineered to take up a tiny footprint in your car. By the time this cart dies it will have paid for itself 100 fold. Full Review Here.
Ask anyone who has Kentwool socks in their drawer and they will tell you that they are the only sock that gets pulled out of the dirty hamper to be worn a second time. Seriously, I hate when all of my Kentwool socks are dirty and I don’t care if they match or not, it is Kentwool or bust. True story, my mother-in-law actually touched my feet to see if the 19th Hole Edition socks were as soft as they looked . . . seriously! Whether you choose the tour profile socks, dress socks, or funky 19th Hole Edition, Kentwool socks rule. Honestly at $20 a pair they are a steal! Full Review Here.
Yea, I know it is not for everyone, but I have fallen in love with LoudMouth this year. For me, I just have more fun when I am wearing LoudMouth. Sure you get comments like “nice clown pants”, but you will never be short on conversation. Moreover, both of our women bloggers love the ladies side of the catalog and have even purchased additional patterns. My advice: Man up and get some LoudMouth! Full Review Here.
Mizuno Impermalite Rain Gear:
Fortunately, we do not play in the rain too often, but the addition of the Mizuno Impermalite rain gear has made foul weather golf bearable. Water-proof is an understatement with Mizuno. Every detail is top notch and it is built to last. Any serious golfer needs rain gear and the Mizuno will never leave you wanting – or wet. Full Review Here.
Nike Performance Carry Bag:
Think of everything you would ever want in a golf bag (minus the beer tap from Al Czervik’s stick hauler), put a swoosh on it and you’ll have yourself the Performance Carry from Nike. A 14 slot top, carry straps that are removable, and kick stands that tuck away while on a cart. Nike looked at every possible feature they could put into a bag and striped one right down the middle of the fairway with the Performance Carry. Full Review Here.
When we were faced with choosing an apparel company from the 20 or so we have reviewed, it was nearly impossible since every one of them makes cool stuff that we dig. We chose QED for some of the same reasons we like LoudMouth. QED is also pushing the design envelope with styles built not only for the course but also for the evening. This hip new brand is also very affordable and has just released a full line including trousers, shorts, sweaters and dress shirts. Full Review Here.
Every now and you run across a product that you wonder how you ever got along without it. The Rukk Net by Rukket can easily be described as so. Solid construction, the easiest set up and take down you’ll ever experience and with a handy ball return feature – you just can’t go wrong. In season or off-season the Rukk Net is an amazing at home training product that you’ll quickly ask yourself “How did I get by so long without one?”, and think about all of the time and money you will save at the range. Full Review Here.
The Swing Shirt
I am usually gun shy about recommending a training aid, but given the fact that Wade (who is by far the best player of the bloggers) is such a fan pushed us to add it to the list. The Swing Shirt is easy to use, inexpensive, and most importantly effective (and fairly easy to disguise when you wear it on the range). The basic idea is that it helps you stay connected during a full swing. We have also found that it is great for grooving your chipping motion. Again, Wade chips very very well so I figure if he digs it, who am I to argue. Full Review Here.
The primary reason why we chose the Scor Wedges is because they are appropriate for a wide skill level. Personally I carry 5 of these and have really improved my short game with their addition. The other big selling point is that they can be ordered in 20 different lofts from 41 degrees to 61. Finally, the V-Sole make them playable in a variety of conditions whether tight lies or fluffy rough. Full Review Here.
2012 was a great year for Three Guys Golf. We want to thank all of the companies that allowed us to review their products and all of the readers who spent part of their day reading our blog. Please help us spread the word – Share this post!
I can always tell when students return for the fall semester in Chapel Hill because our sleepy little town swells with an additional 20,000 eager students. While most of these kids are leaving an idle summer behind, incoming Freshman Samantha Marks’s summer was highlighted by playing in the 2012 Women’s US Open at Blackwolf Run.
If you would have told me a year ago that I would get the opportunity to speak with an LPGA player, I would have been dubious at best. Well, the stars finally aligned and I was able to spend a bit of time talking with Meaghan Francella, a member of the LPGA Tour since 2006 and a former Tarheel at the University of North Carolina. By my calculations, there is a pretty good chance I nearly ran into her in the mid 2000’s since the UNC golf course is my home practice course . . . mind you, I said ‘practice course’ as I rarely play there since the rates are a bit steep for this poorboy blogger. Anyway, Meaghan was twice the New York State Junior champion back in the day, was the 2003 ACC individual champion at UNC, and was a 1st team All-American in 2004. Badass? Check.
Much like the PGA, the women’s tour is deep with talent. Interestingly, Meaghan voiced the same frustrations I have heard from some PGA Pros in that the networks only want to focus on just a few players, even though there are compelling stories beyond the top 10. So unfortunately, plenty of great players bask in relative obscurity despite playing in major golf tournaments and making a darn good living doing something most of us can only do once a week (and poorly I might add). That is of course until you win, and Meaghan has won twice on tour – the first time just 18 months after turning pro, in a four hole playoff against Annika Sorenstam no less. When I think about my own game and knowing how I struggle to finish a good round without giving it away on the 18th green, I sometimes wonder how anyone actually manages to win a golf tournament with anything better than a bogey, but I guess that is why Meaghan is on tour and I am not.
To back up a bit, the reason I was able to speak with Meaghan is because she is affiliated/sponsored by LoudMouth Golf, whose products we have reviewed (both on the men’s and women’s side). If you are curious, Meaghan’s favorite LoudMouth patterns are the “Money” and “Carolina Blue Argyle”. Not much of a surprise with either choice I think.
Ironically, the week we spoke was days after a bit of an LPGA controversy in which Morgan Pressel was assessed a penalty for slow play in a match (which clearly had an effect on her eventual loss of the match). Curiously, there were only 4 players on the entire course when the penalty was assessed. Still, the LPGA and PGA fight the slow play battle in both reality and perception. While the men just seem to waste time for no good reason, the women play slow in part because nearly every player utilizes their caddy to help line up putts. I asked Meaghan about this issue and why women tend to rely on their caddies. Her answer surprised me at first but then became obvious – “we are perfectionists” she stated. Duh. However, she did elaborate to say that she is very much in favor of eliminating caddies from the green reading equation. Now if we could just get the men to waggle a bit less and stop fretting over every gentle breeze.
In terms of the LPGA tour, I was interested in how much time she spent with the other players as it is hard to know how much time players spend with each other off of the course. I guess the fact that she was going to play an afternoon round with Morgan Pressel gives you some sense that, yes indeed, they do hang out.
Finally, I asked Meaghan which LPGA star is a serious “bad-ass”. Possibly a dumb question, but I have always believed that Tiger in his heyday unnerved players whether they admitted it or not. Therefore, I wondered if Yani Tseng or anyone else commands that same fear down in the trenches. While the fan in me wanted to hear legends of awe, the pragmatist in me was prepared for her response: respect for her fellow competitors, but total confidence in her ability to win in any given week. (editor’s note: Yani is still a bad-ass).
So that’s it, the closest I have gotten to being inside the ropes – I am now an official Meaghan Francella fan who will be keeping an eye on the leaderboard as she tees it up this year.
Ladies Loudmouth Golf: For the past few years, a good friend of ours has shown up at the annual Member Guest golf tournament in some rather eye catching golf pants. He plays with the same partner each year, and they never disappoint with their matching ensembles. With each passing year, they get better and better. This sharp twosome has been such a hit, they have actually started a new trend at this annual event. More and more partners are showing up in ensembles, each one trying to outdo another. None however, can compare with the originals, and their key ingredient every year: Loudmouth. Each year, we eagerly await the first round of the tournament so we can see their grand entrance and which pattern they will have this year. I have always been envious.
Imagine our delight when we found out Loudmouth Golf now has a ladies’ division. Now, this is not your mama’s golf wear. It is bright, colorful and screams for attention. No more khaki shorts and blue button down shirts. Not at all! Ladies Loudmouth golf is fresh and exciting. So while not all of us can break 90, at least we can all look good trying to. Right out of the box, we were sold on the look of Loudmouth but we were equally impressed with the quality and attention to detail.
The first thing that caught our attention was the “hook and eye” at the top of the zipper of the skort. All you ladies can understand what a necessary nuisance this small hook is. You need it to keep your zipper up and create a smooth, buttonless line. But, the standard seems to be, loop a few strands of thread around it, and by the time it is washed twice, you’re hoping it will just hang on until you can remember to sew it back on. Not the case with Loudmouth. This small hook has been sewn on in three places. This little sucker is NOT coming loose. Next, we noticed the waistband on the inside of both the skort and shorts. Both are reinforced for a nice, clean look and feel. The sturdiness of the waistband also contributes to the ease of a simple wash and wear without the hassle of the iron.
The shirts are made equally as well. First, there are four buttons at the collar, where more times than not, there are only three. In our opinion, this is a huge bonus. We have found that shirts with the traditional three buttons do not move with you as easily which for women who are chestier really makes a difference. In other words, we love the four buttons! Next, the collars and sleeves have a small line of contrasting color at the edge. This is a small detail that makes the shirts stand out. Finally, most women’s shirts have vents on each side at the hipline. The vents promote freedom of movement and a sharp, finished look for an untucked shirt.
Now, let’s talk logo. While Loudmouth’s flashy patterns are sure to turn heads, the Loudmouth logo is just the right low key, yet distinct, embroidered finishing touch. The logo appears on the shirts, skorts and shorts in the traditional places. For an added bonus, Loudmouth appears across the shoulder blades of one of the shirts in bold outline, and we really like this.
Finally, let’s talk fit. When ordering our Loudmouth ladies, we went strictly by the inch measurements. I am typically an 8 and according to the inches, my order was a 6. Sue was a 2 according to the inches, but is typically a 4, and she got the skort and it was slightly snug, but wearable. I got the shorts, but typically wear skorts because they always seem to be cooler. The Loudmouth shorts were the first shorts in a very long time that I have worn and not gotten hot in, and it was in the 80’s. I am not a fabric expert and don’t know why, all I can tell you is that I wore something I am not accustomed to, and to my surprise, was extremely pleased. My shorts fit perfectly and they were cool! The added bonus was, it is one of the few size sixes I have in my closet and I love that. Therefore, we recommend that you order your typical US size. The shirts ran slightly small. They are a good fitted shirt, but if you are more comfortable with a slightly less fitted style, order a larger size. I ordered a medium, but might have been a little happier with a large and Sue got a small and it fit her to a tee, no pun intended.
We wore our Loudmouth on a beautiful day with the sun on our faces and the breeze blowing in our hair. We actually got a few compliments about our look from other players who had no idea that we were testing the clothing. Bonus! We were comfortable and stylish, the way it should be. And, by the way, both Sues agree, we played LOUD!
You can see see all of the styles on the Loudmouth website.
LoudMouth Golf Review: I must admit that I was more than a bit nervous about reviewing LoudMouth Golf attire. Sure, John Daly pulls it off, but what are my chances? So on the fateful day when the box of LoudMouth arrived, my first thought was “oh boy, the fellas are gonna really give me hell about these”. (Remember, I live in North Carolina).
Then upon closer inspection, I realized there were a ton of small details not typically found in most off the rack golf attire. For example, the inside of the shorts is lined with logoed material, the zipper is heavy-duty and the stitching on the back pocket is raised.
Ironically, all the the shirts we received were solid colors, but again, small details set them apart from your average shirt. Specifically, the monstrous embroidered logo on the back and silver collar snaps give each shirt a distinctive look. In terms of fit, here again, I was taken by surprise. I guess I halfway expected a gimmicky shirt with gimmicky quality – this could not be further from the truth. Simply put, the cut of the shirt is absolutely perfect. At each size, the fit was just right with arms not too long and shoulders not too broad. Equally well-fitting are the shorts which are just about the most comfortable I have ever put on. One final note on sizing – I suspect old John Daly may have been the test-sizer for LoudMouth Golf since the hats were too big for me but according to melon-heads Wade and Matt, they are the best fitting lids they have ever worn.
So with two tests complete, the final test was going to be what the fellas thought. Yes, you will get comments, but honestly once you get over the fear of standing out, LoudMouth Golf is an absolute blast to wear. And you know what, it is way better looking and tailored than any of the blue and khaki outfits your buddies got from Dick’s Sporting Goods. Moreover, you just feel more fun when you are wearing LoudMouth Golf and, (cross my fingers/hope to die), I honestly think they look really sharp. Like anything left of center, LoudMouth is not for everyone, but there are at least three more LoudMouth fans now. I guess the only downside I can see is that you can’t exactly wear the same pair twice in a row like you do all of your other Khaki shorts.You don’t honestly think anyone with a pony tail is going to tuck in his shirt, right?
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