By TIM BAINES
On a special weekend, a company that put three stripes on the map will be front and centre.
With Father’s Day on June 17 – and, yes, count me among those who was introduced to golf by my father – it’s also U.S. Open weekend. Three of the world’s best golfers will be hoping they play as well as they look – Dustin Johnson, Sergio Garcia and Jon Rahm will be rolling out adidas’ U.S. Open collection.
adidas Golf’s Ultimate365 Polo that launched in January of this year will be on full display at the 118th U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills. It’s the brand’s most consistent fitting polo that was engineered to provide golfers with the perfect amount of breatheability, stretch, drape and weight. Added features that will come into play under the New York sun will be moisture management and UPF 50+ protection.
Here’s the thing – and this ties into Father’s Day – adidas has got plenty of very cool shirts, pants and shoes you can pick up as a perfect gift for Dad, whether he’s tall or short, big or small, bold or conservative.
“Consistency of fit is huge for us,” said Casey David Lennon, Brand Activation Manager, adidas Golf Canada. “When you look across our whole product range – whether it be climacool, climachill or Ultimate365 – you’re going to get that consistency of fit. We have something for everybody.”
As for shoes, Lennon said: “You’ve got that trunk slammer that’s keeping his handicap, he’s competing against his friends, he’s playing in club championships, he’s going to be throwing on the sport performance (shoe). You’ve got Johnny and Bobby, best friends who are just getting into golf. They can wear adicross. They’re built beyond 18 holes. You can go on course, off course. adipure is more of your classic styling that’s maybe for somebody who’s more subtle and subdued and doesn’t want to be in your face. The fact we have something for everyone goes a long way.”
Back to the U.S. Open and the golfers that represent adidas.
Johnson, the world No. 1 and 2016 U.S. Open champ, will be wearing the Ultimate365 Polo along with the climachill iconic Polo, the latter built to provide all-around ventilation for maximum cooling. The full lineup for DJ will be: Ultimate365 Rugby Stripe Polo (white/grey), climachill Iconic Polo (carbon/grey), Ultimate365 Rugby Stripe Polo (trace purple/grey) and climachill Iconic Polo (white/grey).
Rahm, the world’s third-ranked player, will look to the Ultimate365 Polo and adidas 3-Stripes Polo: Ultimate365 Heather Blocked Polo (hi-res red/white heather), adidas 3-Stripes Polo (grey three), Ultimate365 Heather Blocked Polo (trace purple/white heather) and adidas 3-Stripes Polo (hi-res red).
Garcia, with the longest streak of majors played (78) among active players, will be relying on the Ultimate365 Polo for all four rounds: Ultimate365 Heather Polo (trace purple), Ultimate365 Engineered 3-Stripe Polo (white/grey), Ultimate365 Heather Polo (hi-res red) and Ultimate365 Engineered 3-Stripe Polo (trace purple).
What adidas did so successfully with its Ultimate365 pants, it is now doing with its shirts.
“When the Ultimate365 bottoms hit the market, there was terrific consumer reaction,” said Lennon. “You’d get guys going into pro shops or Golf Towns, buying one pair, wearing them and coming back and buying whatever colours were available. It was pretty exciting to see. Within two years, we secured the No. 1 bottoms in golf – in Canada and in the U.S. We didn’t want to stop there. We were like, ‘We have to take advantage of this.’ We came out with the Ultimate365 Polo and really tried to create some equity in that Ultimate name. We had the clout with the bottoms so we needed that kind of outstanding feedback from the consumers with the tops, too.
“We wanted to provide everything we did with the bottoms. We got tons of feedback not only from our core consumers, but from our Tour players. They were like, ‘We need something that’s stretchable, breathable, drapeable. Sun protection is huge, it’s got SPF 50 Plus. The balanced weight and the consistent fit across these Ultimate Polos ticked all the boxes off.
“That old Freddie Couples pulling up the sleeve, you don’t really see that anymore because that shirt drapes so nice now, the golfer doesn’t have to think about it. Golfers can just go out, play their game and not think about what they have to wear and look very professional on the course.”
The U.S. Open is an appropriate stage for the ensemble.
Said Lennon: “I look at the U.S. Open as probably the toughest test in golf. I would say Augusta is one of the more fun ones to watch – they can post those scores – the same with The Players Championship, but you get to the U.S. Open and that rough is up to your shins … if you don’t hit a fairway, I look at it as the ultimate test. That’s why I say, the ultimate uniform is for the ultimate test of golf.”
Getting back to the terrific selection of shoes offered by adidas – and something to pay attention to if you’re buying a gift for Pops – Lennon said: “I can beat the drum 100 times, but we have something for everybody.
“If he’s into his mechanics, into his game, into his clubs and apparel, the Tour360 2.0 is that kind of golfer’s shoe. When you look at footwear for adidas golf, the Tour 360 is one of our franchises. It’s 12 years now. It’s amazing that it’s continued to elevate and evolutionize into what it’s been. This is DJ’s No. 1 shoe.
“If you’re looking for that top price-point shoe that’s spikeless, my new favourite is the adipure SP. It’s got classic styling, it’s pretty subtle. The big callout from the shoe from a tech standpoint is it’s got Boost in it. It’s a game changer for me walking wise. I love to walk golf courses, as many shoes as I have open to me, this shoe is awesome.
“Then you could go into your more sporty shoe, the Tour360 Knit. If you’ve got that trendy golfer who knows what’s going on in the shoe game, Knit is right up there and we brought it to the golf industry.”