Full disclosure: there’s really no winter in South Carolina and Southern California to speak of. And thus Southern Tide, based in Greenville, S.C. and Linksoul, headquartered in Oceanside, Calif. don’t churn out heavy outerwear for battling the elements.
Rather, both apparel brands focus on their target market: golfers who play year-round in regions with temps in the high 40s to low 60s. Sure, both make some warm vests and cozy sweaters, but neither would claim to own that market niche.
Here’s a roundup of new offerings from Southern Tide and Linksoul heading into 2021.
Vests and Hoodies
Both of these styles of outer garments are extremely hot right now, especially golf hoodies (and in case you missed it, the controversy around whether they’re appropriate attire was quickly put to rest). Whereas vests are timeless and versatile, and never out of place on the golf course.
We test drove Linksoul’s Perforated Half-Zip Boardwalker Hoodie for a couple of rounds in 55-degree weather with light to medium winds. It held up brilliantly, blocking the breeze while offering plenty of flexibility.
For those familiar with the brand’s four-way stretch cotton Boardwalker pants and shorts, the Boardwalker Hoodie will feel familiar. It’s available in four colors, navy, tarmac, blue slate and black, and at the time of this writing was on sale for $70.
Most golf fashionistas would argue that Peter Millar owns the golf vest category – and essentially, they’re right. Southern Tide is making a strong push to rival its North Carolina neighbor, at least in terms of variety. Our favorite pick for 2021 is the Performance Vest, made from 92% polyester and 8% stretch and retailing for $145.
The Performance Vest is so streamlined, it feels like an extension of whatever you’re wearing under it. Pair it with a long sleeve compression shirt for an integrated outer shell that can hold its own on 45 to 55 degrees days. The Southern Tide Skipjack logo is embroidered on the back neck, adding a sporty touch to a vest that’s sure to generate more than a few looks.
For a more traditional look with a looser fit, golfers will also dig Southern Tide’s Cas Abo Vest, just released in late January. The 100% nylon water resistant offering features interior fleece lining for warmth, rubber braded pull-on pockets and a two-way center front zipper. Available in true navy and blue cover, the Cas Abo Vest retails for $125.
Pullovers and Pants
Sometimes you just need a light, wind-breaking protective shell as final layer worn over short-sleeve polo (on a warmer day) or atop golf sweater on cooler days. Southern Tide’s Intercoastal Quarter Zip fits the bill, and we used it on-course on a 50-degrees day with 20 mph wind gusts.
We sampled it in Heather Gunmetal, but it’s also offered in a more classic coastal dark navy. The Intercoastal Quarter Zip is moisture-wicking, provides UPF protection and is made with four-way stretch materials that don’t inhibit you swing. Suggested retail: $165.
If the “Intercoastal” line sounds familiar, it’s likely because this maritime moniker is the branding element of one of Southern Tide’s most popular items, the iconic Intercoastal Pant. These casual, two-way stretch pants (retail: $125) are made from nylon and stretch with a stylish Skipjack placement on the front coin pocket. The color palette is strong and simple: navy, khaki, stone, grey and polarized grey.
In the Southeast, Southwest and California, the tried-and-true golf polo is still a staple of golf winter-wear. A compression shirt underneath and a vest of pullover on top and you’re good to go in temps down the low 40s.
This short-sleeve work horse has always been a staple offering from Southern Tide, and in 2021, the company’s holding true to its preppy roots while also dabbling in some good ole fashioned fun. Case in point of the latter being the Gin & Tonic and Tile Printed Driver Performance Polo Shirts (retail: &89.50).
Southern Tide loyalists will appreciate the Driver Heather Stripe Performance Polos (retail: $89.50), a four-way stretch, open-sleeve polo in a traditional fit. It’s offered in both broad stripe and micro strip edition, with three color patterns in each.