Travis Mathew Clothing – Review
(By: GolfSpy Matt) With golfers facing an ever increasing amount of choices when it comes to clothing, who will help them to make good decisions with their apparel dollars? Me.
In all seriousness, there have never been more choices for golf clothes, and it seems like the number is growing daily. On one hand, this is great: more choices means that it’s easier to find a clothing line that suits your style and your body. On the other hand, we can’t always find the brands we want in stores near us to find out how they fit, what the quality is like, etc., and most of us don’t have the money to buy one of everything until we find something that we like.
In my apparel reviews, I will try to provide you, fellow spies, with some objective information about the cut, quality, and movement of the clothes along with some subjective thoughts about the style. I’ll also give you my two cents on the bang for your buck that each brand offers.
The cut of most golf clothes is a major pet peeve for me; they seem to be made for people who think exercise is four-letter word. In most brands, I end up buying mediums (I’m 6’1” and 200 pounds), and they’re still baggy. That said I do not fit the skinny Euro cut of certain “high fashion” brands. Travis Mathew walks the line between the two flawlessly. I sent the gentlemen at Travis Mathew my measurements, told them I preferred fitted to baggy, and they sent me a large polo and sweater and an extra-large jacket. All the pieces fit comfortably without the excess fabric that I hate, particularly around the midsection. Not much else to say here; to me, the fit of these clothes is spot on.
Just as Travis Mathew found that “just right” fit between skinny and obese, they have also struck a great balance between youthful style and a classic, traditional look. Take, for example, the Highline polo: on the surface it’s a traditional navy polo, but a closer look reveals a hot pink lining around the collar, buttons, and side vents. To me, this is the type of detail that takes it from being “just another golf shirt” to “a golf shirt I want to own and wear.” It has style, but it’s not a screaming-out-loud, jumping-up-and-down, “LOOK AT ME!” style, which, in my opinion, is not stylish at all. Similarly, the Make It Rain jacket is a basic lightweight rain jacket, but it has interesting details like the bands around the collar and the two zippered chest pockets. Finally, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention my favorite thing about any of the clothes that I received. On the inside of the button fly of the Private Member pants is the message “Inspiration Lies Within.” When was the last time a pair of pants made you laugh out loud?
Style and fit are great, but they’re not worth much if the clothes don’t perform on the golf course. Thankfully, these do. I’ve put each of these pieces through at least two range sessions, and they’re all excellent. There’s no annoying binding anywhere, nor is there excess fabric flapping around during your swing. Also, the Make It Rain jacket got a couple of unintentional tests the last couple of weeks, and it has kept me perfectly dry. Water beads off the jacket as if it were a freshly waxed car.
In my judgment, Travis Mathew apparel earns a perfect score for value. Would most people think that these clothes are expensive? Yes, I think they would. That said, Travis Mathew’s prices are not out of line with the prices of other golf apparel manufacturers. At full price, a new golf shirt runs somewhere from $60-$80 whether it’s Travis Mathew, Nike, Adidas, or any number of other companies. So, with price being relatively equal, I think it’s a very clear that Travis Mathew presents an excellent value since, in my opinion, the style and cut are superior to other companies.
While in the past I have limited the Peanut Gallery to roughly 20% of the overall score, I have bumped it up to 40% for apparel reviews. The reason for this is that my opinion on the style of clothes is not greater (well…not much greater) than anyone else’s. Also, I think that making the final score more democratic helps to keep the apparel reviews more in line with MGS’s focus on objective ratings.
Generally, comments on the Travis Mathew clothes were very positive. The Make It Rain jacket and V-Guile Sweater, in particular, received lots of compliments. Comments generally focused on the high quality of the apparel. One trend that I noticed was that the younger people tended to like the clothes more than the older people which I believe is a function of both the fit and the style. Some of the younger guys I work with already own Travis Mathew apparel or have been eyeballing the gear we have in the shop. There were no negative comments about the clothes themselves, though some had lukewarm feelings. The only true negative comments related to price, which was not surprising to me.
Overall, the Peanut Gallery rated the clothes anywhere from like to love, but with some concerns about cost and value.
I would like to think that those of you who have read my past reviews know that I am no one’s fan boy. In the spirit of MyGolfSpy, I call it like I see it: good, bad, or ugly. With that said, I truly don’t have a single bad thing to say about Travis Mathew clothing. For me, it hits all the marks: athletic cut, ease of movement, and a classic-but-youthful style. The highest compliments I can give it are that one, the Travis Mathew clothes I own have yet to see my closet (they go straight from being worn to the laundry and back to being worn), and two, I have spent my own money to buy more of it.
The only thing that kept this from being the first ever 100/100 is the Peanut Gallery, and, since nothing is ever going to please everyone, no apparel line can ever expect to be a perfect 100. If you want golf apparel that can easily take you from the course to the clubhouse to a night out, look no further than Travis Mathew.
Final note: I just want to say thank you to Chris, Leif, and Brandon at Travis Mathew for their tremendous customer service and their enthusiasm for helping with this review. While there is not a customer service section in my review format, I do like to mention when a company goes above and beyond because I think we would all prefer to support companies like that.
In the interest of being thorough, the items reviewed here and seen in the photographs are: