Most men meet golf by way of their fathers. It's just how it goes. Professionals like Tiger Woods and Rory Mcilroy credit their dads and grandfathers with introducing them to the sport. Legend has it Mcilroy hit a 40-yard drive when he was just two. And although I can't really imagine any three-year-olds I've ever met doing this, Tiger shot a 48 on the front nine at age three.
Although non-professional's first times likely weren't as successful, they follow a similar script: dad or grandpa took them to the greens, first just to watch, then to be of assistance and then as competition. Just ask designer Todd Snyder.
"When I was little, I caddied for my dad and my grandpa," Snyder says. "My father and grandfather taught me how to golf when I was a kid in Huxley, Iowa. I grew up across the street from a course and in the summer I would sneak on after hours to practice and play a few holes."
Sure, he was help, but he has fond memories from those trips. It makes sense, then, that he'd return to them when it came time to make his own golf collection. But he couldn't do it alone; it wouldn't be authentic. So, just as he's done with other storied brands from his youth (Randolph, L.L. Bean, J. Press, Timex, etc.), he coordinated a collaborative collection.
"I never had golf shoes until I was big enough to wear my dad’s, and he wore FootJoy," he says. "So I associate them with family time and comfort. I still remember how comfortable my dad’s shoes were."
FootJoy, albeit a brand unbeknownst to those outside the golf world (even though they've been around since 1857), was the obvious choice. And this isn't the first time the two parties have worked together. The first time, Snyder designed a shoe called The Packard, plus a bunch clothes that nod to blue tees, where you tee if you're playing the longest possible route on a course.
This time around, the results are more personal, albeit more traditional. There are herringbone pants and logo polos, argyle cardigans and patterned socks — and all of it is meant to match both shoes, the collection's standouts (and clearest threads to Snyder's first time going golfing). They're his own version of Footjoy's Traditions Shield Tip shoe, a style that marries the sensibility of a wingtip with the performance of a traditional golf spike. Snyder added a heel tab, removed a side logo and used new materials — like patent leather.