Why Grammy Award Winning Rapper Macklemore Makes Golf Apparel

Her golf popularity In recent years and during the spread of the epidemicWith new golfers and the added proliferation of unconventional ways to play like TopGolf, helping to start shedding the sport’s strong reputation.

Grammy-winning rapper Macklemore, best known for his hit song “Thrift Shop,” recently fell in love with golf, but discovered the clothes marketed to players didn’t appeal to him.

Macklemore told CNBC reporter Dominic Chu in CNBC Small Business Playbook Virtual Summit Wednesday. “Finally, I cleared a five-iron iron from a stash in the aisle, and I was fascinated. Like, what’s that feeling? I need that again.”

Macklemore, whose real name is Ben Hagerty, said he went to a sporting goods store shortly thereafter, but realized that “the choices in terms of golf fashion were very minimal, which is generous.”

“Golf clothing has one archetype of a white man in mind,” he said. “Golf is much bigger than that.”

Golf has struggled to shake off this perception, even as Tiger Woods rose to become one of the greatest players in the history of the sport.

But there is hope that the influx of new players will help change this archetype. An estimated 3.2 million people played on a golf course for the first time in 2021, up 33% from 2019 and exceeding the number of people who flocked to the game after Woods’ early successes in 1999 and 2000, according to the National Golf Foundation. More rounds were played last year than ever before in history, according to the NGF.

While some of that momentum has slowed — runs in 2022 are down about 6% compared to last year — the influx of new, younger players has helped revitalize the game, McClemore said.

“There’s a whole generation of guys who’ve been golfing in the last one to three years who don’t want to look like they’re selling real estate, and I think that’s cool,” he said.

A fan of golf fashion in the ’70s and ’80s even before he became a golfer, a desire to fill the need of golfers like him led Macklemore to create the Bogey Boys clothing brand.

The brand, which includes items like Cheetah knit sweaters, striped jackets, and colorful polo shirts, is designed to appeal to both golfers and fans of high fashion, Macklemore said, and is something many typical brands do in the golf apparel space. Do not look.

“I think for a lot of other brands, it’s just about people playing golf, otherwise you wouldn’t be wearing these clothes,” he said. “Something I think has happened with the pandemic and the skyrocketing in golf is that you see a piece of golf fashion in the streetwear space — you go to [fashion website] Hypebeast and watching articles about golf, that’s a very new thing.”

Macklemore isn’t the first golf enthusiast to try to change the look of the sport. In 2011, Justin Timberlake was named Creative Director of Callaway golf, working on the “visual representation” of the club and the clothing maker. Bill Murray, best known for his role in “Caddyshack,” started the William Murray Golf Company in 2016. NBA star Steve Curry started creating golf apparel using under the shield in 2019, which led to the launch of his golf line under the Curry Brand subsidiary.

This rise in new players as well as new products has been a boon to golf apparel, which is typically led by companies such as Adidas, nikeand Callaway and Akushnet– Own a Footjoy. More than $150 million worth of golf apparel was sold in April, and 21 of the last 22 months have seen sales increase month on month, according to golf product industry tracker Golf Datatech.

But even if golf’s growth waned, Macklemore said the focus on fashion as opposed to other golf-focused apparel would still benefit the Boogie Boys.

“Any sport that swings and wanes, that’s okay,” he said. “The clothes will still be top notch, the quality will be great, people will feel good and they will look great in the clothes.”

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