I believe it’s fair to say that golf season is in full swing here in the South. I played on Sunday and tried to knock some rust off. I played OK, made some good shots, made more bad shots, but identified quite a few areas where I need to improve. That’s what it’s all about.
Now, with #menswear as popular as ever, there are so many great brands becoming relevant in the overall scheme. Even in the golf apparel segment. One of the brands making huge strides is Linksoul. Linksoul was started by John Ashworth (yep, of the golf brand Ashworth) after quite a few stops around golf related apparel companies. He learned quite a bit over the years, and his sharp eye and experience has his Linksoul brand is quickly popping up all over the place.
Linksoul is a California golf company, so it has a seriously cool vibe. I have had the pleasure of playing golf in California quite a few times, from the Bay Area all the way down to San Diego. It’s a different type of vibe on the West Coast. You walk. There isn’t any humidity. The courses are a different shade of green. The greens are fast. The 19th hole is more about enjoyment rather than recovery. I love it. Linksoul captures that vibe perfectly.
I had the pleasure of meeting John Ashworth through a mutual friend. Awesome guy. He really cares about what’s going on. I’ll let him speak:
What is the history of Linksoul? Goes way back to when I was an 8 year old kid and my mom gave me the choice of Sunday School or caddie for my dad on Sunday mornings. That decision sealed my fate. It’s been a crazy ride and every experience along the path has been part of the process of defining the art and culture of Linksoul. But when I read the sequel to Golf in the Kingdom called the Kingdom of Shivas Irons there was a line in the book that read “golf is what links the soul to the flesh’ and that was when I put the name together. And then of course it has many meanings – ‘Links’ is where golf began in Scotland, it is the sandy dunes that links the land to the sea. ‘Soul’ is the spiritual nature of a human being. But a description that nails the spirit of the name is when four complete strangers show up at any golf course on the planet and happen to get paired together for the day on the golf course there is a good chance after battling the course, the elements and their own demons together out in nature that they will become lifelong friends. Not many chances for that happening in this world, and that is precious and worth promoting and worth fighting to keep the virtues of golf intact.
In the back of my mind even back in the early 90’s I had been thinking of Linksoul as an alternative expression to what I was doing at the time. I even used it in some graphic art in some print pieces for the Ashworth brand at the time. And then when I was doing Fidra for Quiksilver I had actually trademarked the name but it was Links Soul and used it on some t-shirts and print things. When I left Fidra I requested from Bob McKnight, the Chairman of Quiksilver if I could please have my Linksoul trademark back because I felt so attach to the spirit of the name and some day I felt I would want to use it to start a company. In 2008 I was asked to come back to ‘consult’ for Ashworth Inc. and about one year later Adidas/Taylormade bought the brand. They asked me to stay on which I did but you know it’s not going to last when they said ‘here’s your office but you really don’t have to come to work’, and about a year later I was given my walking papers. That’s when I decided to start Linksoul for real, I suppose it was 2011.
What made you decide to start Linksoul? Several reasons really. #1. I felt it was deja vu for me when I walked into any golf shop at the time, every golf shop was 100% polyester and I hate 100% polyester knit shirts and I know a lot of my friends do too. So I felt there was this huge gaping hole in the market once again. #2. I enjoy collaborating and working with people I love and trust to make beautiful comfortable clothing in the look and feel that we create. I have a core group of family and friends that I have worked with over the years and they were ready to go for it again. They are talented people and that gave me the confidence to crank it up again. #3. I enjoy promoting all the virtues of golf and try to create an awareness that is cool to golfers and non-golfers alike, so they appreciate the game as a recreation and a healthy pastime.
What is your favorite course? It’s a tie – Goat Hill Park in Oceanside California and the Old Course in St. Andrews Scotland
How would you convince someone to take up golf? By taking them to Scotland and Ireland and they’ll be hooked forever or getting them to spend a few days with Peter Beames at Goat Hill Park
Who is your pick for The Masters? Geoff Ogilvy or Ryan Moore
Have you ever thrown a 3-iron (or any other club) into the lake? Nope, not to say I never chucked a club before though, just never in a lake. I had a temper when I was a punk teenager, I remember sticking one up in a tree once.
What’s on your Spotify playlist? I use Pandora…super eclectic mix…everything
John is pretty pumped about golf season starting soon. To celebrate, we are doing a giveaway for a Linksoul golf shirt of your choice, one of their ‘Make Par Not War’ hats, and a Linksoul t-shirt of your choice:
Leave a comment to enter…for additional entries:
- +1 (2 Total) ‘Like’ Linksoul on Facebook
- +1 (3 Total) ‘Like’ Red Clay Soul on Facebook
- +1 (4 Total) ‘Follow’ Linksoul on Twitter
- +1 (5 Total) ’Follow’ Red Clay Soul on Twitter
- +1 (6 Total) Tweet the following about the giveaway: I’m making par, not war by entering the @linksouldier X @redclaysoul Golf Giveaway. Hop on board and enter here: http://bit.ly/19vmnqs
Get your entries in by Sunday night at midnight ET; I’ll announce a winner around lunchtime on Monday, March 23rd.
Special thanks to John and his team at Linksoul for providing the goods for the giveaway.