Over the past few years, I've been on the hunt for the best golf shirts. I know many golfers default to the big name brands, but there are also plenty of independent companies making better products. After multiple visits to the PGA Show and tons of testing on the course, I've got a nice list for you.
In my opinion, all of these brands offer a great combination of design features along with superior fabrics. I play most of my golf on Long Island. We often have brutally humid conditions in the summer - so every company listed has passed the performance test. I'll link to their websites, along with the in-depth reviews I've written if you want to learn more about them.
Linksoul is my go-to apparel brand because I can wear their clothes on and off the golf course. My closet is filled with pretty much everything they sell, but on the golf course, I particularly like their Anza Drytech Polo. It's made of super-soft performance cotton that can be worn in pretty much any conditions. Additionally, the design can easily be worn in a casual or work setting. They've got plenty of other polo options to choose from as well.
When I first tried Rhoback's signature performance polo last year, I was extremely impressed by its design, comfort, and the quality of the fabric. Their mix of polyester and spandex is perfect for a hot summer day, and it almost feels like you're not wearing anything. I'll often find myself reaching for their Fairway Boy polo when the temperature is rising. This small brand based out of Virginia is growing rapidly, and they've done a great job expanding their line with new designs.
Jordan Sack first got the idea for the Tillinger Etiquette Polo several years ago when he was working at a summer internship in New York City. On Fridays, he was able to wear business casual attire but didn’t feel that his golf polos were appropriate. While golf shirts would have been more comfortable because of their fabrics – the logos, bright colors, and ill-fit were not suitable for the office. So a seed was planted. Why not try and make a polo that incorporates the performance fabrics used in golf clothing?
Years later, after many trials and tribulations, Jordan perfected his design. The Tillinger Etiquette Polo is a versatile polo that you can wear pretty much anywhere, but also includes the performance fabrics golfers want while they play. It's easily one of my favorite golf shirts, but also looks great in casual situations. Pretty impressive for a 27-year old who did it all by himself!
Redvanly co-founders Andrew and David got the idea for their clothing brand after they graduated. They both were college athletes that were still active and wanted to create polos that fit the needs of their own demographic. Over the years, they did a ton of research and testing to find the best fabrics to improve upon what major apparel brands were doing.
They now have a thriving business, and I loved a couple of their golf shirts that I tried out. They offer a wide variety of designs (including the first-ever pull-on golf shorts) along with several premium fabric options that can stand up to just about any conditions.
Based out of Minnesota, Swannies is a group of guys making golf shirts for the younger, more casual demographic. In just a few short years, they've built an impressive network of golf shops selling their product, and their brand is taking off. All of their clothes are reasonably priced, but they don't skimp on the materials. Also, they've got a great variety of designs that are tapping into the latest trends. If you don't want the same old golf polo, give them a look!
Based out of Austin, Criquet is one of the most successful independent clothing brands out there. A few years ago, co-founders Hobson and Billy wanted to make the perfect polo that was reminiscent of some of the classic designs that had disappeared. Their original product, The Players Shirt, exploded and got them name recognition pretty quickly. I love their polo because it walks the line between preppy, casual, and formal without crossing over too deeply into either look. It's now available in several different fabrics, including a performance blend.
A few years ago at the PGA Show, I walked into tasc Performance's booth and felt their shirts. They were remarkably soft and lightweight, so I asked what they were made of. They told me it was bamboo, which I was unaware could be used to create a golf shirt. It turns out that their family business was rooted in the apparel world for years. When tasc first learned about bamboo, they were intrigued by its performance features but found it challenging to work with. After years of development, they were able to perfect a unique blend that was softer than cotton without needing to add chemicals for performance features.
I became a little obsessed with their line and got a bunch of their golf polos, as well as athletic apparel. It's incredibly soft, lightweight, stretchy, and holds up perfectly on those hot summer days where sweating becomes an issue.