The pandemic has changed how almost all of us dress on a daily basis.
Even if you're working an essential job or in a profession that gets you dressed up and out of the house each workday, odds are you're getting as comfortable as possible the second you get home. And if you're among the office-dwelling population that is now working from home, you're probably wearing a fashion mullet: business up top (for Zoom calls) and party on the bottom (for comfort).
For me, the pandemic has also sped up my evolving views on golf fashion.
I've spent a decade working from home, and I've always been a gym clothes kind-of guy, but in the last year or two, I've been wondering if some of that influence could find its way into what I wear on the golf course. Khakis, heavy shoes and a fancy belt are fun sometimes, but more often than not, I want to be comfortable in a presentable pair of shorts that are functional and a shirt that's fashionable while keeping me dry.
That's why Linksoul is a brand with which I can identify. The John Ashworth-created brand has a casual West Coast ethos that guides pretty much everything they make. Their clothes are designed to be handy on the course, on the beach (presuming you're near one, but if not, that's OK) or wherever you'll be later for good times. They're made from multi-functional materials, including cotton figuring heavily in everything.
The company sent me some pieces from their summer line to try, including two pairs of shorts and a polo shirt.
The Boardwalker shorts are their flagship piece. I can't imagine anything they produce sells as well as these. They're a gateway piece, too. Once you experience the comfort, performance and versatility of the Boardwalkers, there's a good chance your views on golf fashion will change. The Boardwalkers are great out the packaging, and they balance the casual look Linksoul is known for with the requisite belt loops and pocketing that most people expect in golf shorts. It's the best of both worlds, and the shorts play well anywhere shorts are acceptable.
Boardwalkers have four-way stretch with the polyester, piling in cotton into the blend for comfort. The pockets are ample in the front and just the right depth in the back. Some folks don't like a flap on their glove pocket, but I didn't notice after the first few times I wore them. A small slit front pocket is another place to put a coin or a tee or something like that, but I really don't use it. The 10-inch inseam means they're the proper length for a golf short (at least in my opinion), settling just above the knees.
The Boardwalkers are available in six standard colors, a foundational piece for pretty much any situation. There are also special colors and prints available through the year, including a model with recycled polyester in the blend. The quality of material and construction means they're going to be shorts you eventually wear out, but it'll take you years and lots of rounds to do it. They typically sell for $76 per pair, but if you catch them at the right time of the year, you can get them for less.
The Drifter shorts are a different type of casual, looking like a board short with the crossed drawstring closure and going for comfort with a 100 percent cotton build. These are really lounge shorts, and they're not necessarily built for all-day golf performance. They're great shorts for an emergency evening nine, walking around with a drink in one hand and a few clubs in another. They're an inch shorter than the Boardwalkers, and they have deep pockets for a casual stroll. They run on the S/M/L spectrum instead of waist sizes, and they run a little smaller than the Boardwalkers. They're also $76 and available in three colors.
Linksoul polos aren't tech-forward pieces. For the most part, they're completely made of cotton, and they're designed to be comfy casual. On hot, humid days on the course, all cotton is a tough sell. But in cooler temperatures, the polos look great and do well through a round. However, if you're looking for some polos for warmer weather, their Dry-Tech polos flip the script with 78 percent polyester, bringing in cotton for the rest of the blend for more comfort while delivering the kind of performance that makes them a great wear during warmer days.
Even if you're not as all-in as I am on a more casual style on the course, Linksoul is still a brand you should consider owning. With their Boardwalker shorts (and pants) among the best in the business and plenty of versatile colors available, that's a great starting point. However, if you're like me and don't like to feel stuffy when you play golf, you could find yourself soon with a closet full of Linksoul clothes and a new view of how golf should look and feel.