With the demographic shift finally taking shape in the golf industry, pro shop merchandising has started to evolve along with it in an effort attract more Millennials and Gen Y’s on course. This new generation of golfers won’t be following too closely in their parent’s footsteps. Traditional has been replaced by transitional as white-collar is being replaced by no-collar where they demand one look; one that transitions from the job site to the golf course and on to happy hour. Their purchasing decisions are heavily influenced by staying on-trend. More than ever these dually important demographics want what they see in specialty retail shops where when it comes to headwear new shapes, trims, textures and fabrics are front-and-center.
Headwear trends for spring 2020 continue to center around influences from the outdoor adventure sports/lifestyle markets, most notably the surf culture where the classic dad hat has all but taken over the shelf space in that market. This style is no stranger amongst the ranks of pro shop merchandise managers as they will recognize it as the classic cotton twill hat. The finishing touches are where some of the latest trends give an otherwise mundane hat style new life.
Although it’s unstructured crown and curved visor remain unchanged, heavy washes are now being applied to give the hat a worn look. The simple Velcro closure is still popular, but now you are starting to see the resurgence of the cloth strap which makes for a more gender-neutral hat option. Leather straps with metal clasps are gaining popularity even though there are usually up-charges associated with this closure type. At one point in time flat embroidery and woven labels were the dad hats staple appliqué and in a lot of the merchandise mixes, still are. Recently, patches are becoming increasingly common in the form of self-fabric with different types of stitching and leather/faux leather options.
Another popular look is the classic trucker style. A hat with humble beginnings, it’s traced back to the working-class where the hats were worn by truck drivers, farmers and ranchers alike. You could say it was and possibly still is the working man’s hat. The mesh back panels, and plastic snap closure are the telltale signs of the trucker hat. It checks the boxes for both breathable and cool and its endless versatility gives cool an entirely different meaning. A trucker hat is once again gender-neutral lets any wearer make a statement on and off the course. Whether it’s a highly detailed embroidered patch, patterned fabric, classic trucker rope or a bold logo, this hat style can be customized to suit any taste.
Who ever said golf can’t be fashionable?