May 16, 2017
By Greg Monteforte, Style Insider, PGATOUR.COM
- Bubba Watson has carved his own corner in golf fashion with his array of gloves, balls and shoes. (Photos by Getty Images)
Bubba Watson is one of the most creative and colorful players on the PGA TOUR. Our Style Insider caught up with the nine-time TOUR winner to talk about the new shoes he debuted at THE PLAYERS Championship and his vibrant gloves from G/FORE.
Style Insider: You have the opportunity to pick and choose the footwear and gloves that you want to wear. Why did you choose G/FORE and how did you get connected with the brand?
Bubba Watson: I really liked the quality. They sold G/FORE’s products in the clubhouse at Estancia in Scottsdale, so I was familiar with them. When I was looking for gloves and shoes to wear, I called them right away. I knew that they had the best quality leather and I loved the colors.
Moss [Mossimo Giannulli, founder of G/FORE] is obviously a fashion guy. He knows how to grow a brand, make a brand successful, and he knows how to make the quality products that I was looking for. It was an easy fit for me. Moss is a cool guy to hang out with. When we first met, we talked about all the different things he was doing and wanted to do.
SI: Speaking of Moss, he's a creative guy and you're a creative player. How do the two of you collaborate on new designs?
BW: First of all, let's go ahead and put it out there. Moss is the creative genius in clothing and styling. He comes up with the ideas because he has the vision. He's the one that makes the design, so that's all him. Obviously, if I made a shoe, it wouldn't come out as well. After he does his part, my creative part is just telling him the colors and materials that I like, such as alligator prints, snake prints or whatever. That's the stuff I get excited about.
SI: You and Moss also share a passion for designer high tops. How did that shared passion produce the Crusader high top that you've been wearing on the course?
BW: He told me the idea and I said, "Well, yeah, I love it, man! It would be amazing." I showed him my collection of designer high tops and he started laughing and said, "That's what I'm talking about!"
We went from there. He put his idea on paper, showed it to me, and then put it in a real product. It was one of those things where our meeting happened at the perfect time. He was thinking about doing high-tops anyway so it worked out well. With his idea and my love of high-tops, it was a no-brainer from both sides.
SI: Why wear high-tops on the course? Are they purely a fashion choice, or do you receive performance benefits from them?
BW: First of all they're lightweight. I've had low tops from some other companies that are a lot heavier than these. The support all the way around your foot is great. I can still move in them. I can still perform, but the stability you get from wearing these is unmatched. It's great stuff.
SI: You have never shied away from adding pops of color to your outfits. G/FORE just released the new Collection Gallivanters, which are available in 12 different colors. How do you plan to work this new range of shoes into your on-course looks?
BW: Every [apparel] company has red shirts, blue shirts, yellow shirts and green shirts, so I’ll mix in the shoes to match my shirts. I’ll also match up my shoes to my glove. It’s really cool to have all those colors to choose from. I like to get creative and make it all work.
SI: Another new shoe from G/FORE is the Disruptor. This is a more casual and athletic trainer-style shoe. Talk a little bit about the Disruptor and why you have decided to put it in play.
BW: I saw the Disruptors for the first time at the PGA Merchandise Show in January and I said, "Oh, my gosh! I need these. When am I going to get mine?" Well, they arrived a few weeks ago and I’ve been wearing them around the house and when I’ve been playing at home.
It’s funny. You talk about them being casual and you’re right. I've worn them to play golf and then worn them into restaurants and then to pick up the kids. I've worn them and people don't even know they're golf shoes. It’s pretty amazing that you can go from the course straight to a business dinner or the store to pick up groceries, and nobody even knows you're wearing golf shoes. The fit and the design that Moss has created is pretty cool, too. They're so comfortable and lightweight.
SI: Traction is very important for TOUR players, especially for someone like yourself who has a very high club head speed. The outsoles on G/FORE’s shoes have a unique cleat design. How does the design give you the traction you need to stay connected to the ground?
BW: You know, it's funny. I joke with Moss about this all the time. I’m in the trees a lot so I pick up leaves, grass, and sticks because the cleats are so good. He did a great job with the design and the materials. He knows what I’m looking for and what works for me, and he built a great product that keeps me grounded. I can still move around and I don't slip in them. But again, the way the shoes are designed, you don’t see the spikes. You can't even tell they're there. You have to lift up your shoes to see them. Moss is also a golfer and a fashion designer. He understands the needs that golfers have for stability, flexibility, and function.
SI: Your relationship with G/FORE actually started with the brand’s collection of colored gloves. In fact, the first time you wore G/FORE’s gloves you won at Riviera. The fashion benefits are obvious, but how does the performance of the gloves help you to play your best?
BW: You have to have the right quality. I'm not saying other brands don't have quality products, but G/FORE uses premium leather and Velcro, which makes their gloves last longer. Everything about their gloves is top of the line—from the fit and the feel to the range of motion of your hand and fingers. Under pressure and when I'm sweating, the sweat doesn’t come through the glove as much. That’s the performance side that professionals look for.
SI: You do a great job of working color into your game and into your outfits. What tips do you have for weekend golfers and amateurs who are looking to work a little bit of color into their games?
BW: It’s all about confidence. When you look good, you feel good and you play well. I love colors so when I see bright colors, I just feel more confident. Does it help me on the course? Anytime I have confidence, I play better. That's the key.
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