Taking a walk on the fashion wild side

Bernie McGuire
Bernie McGuire

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Few things rankle the establishment quite as much as golf fashion trends. However, of late we seem to be making some forward movement and Aaron McAllorum caught up with The Caddy Guy to find out more.

In the recent past, a few articles have popped up in IGM concerning golf trends; fashion trends to be precise.

There was the Rickie Fowler and the Hawaiian golf shirt/the joggers/the Arnie Palmer high-top shoes and the Tony Finau hoodie episodes.

Golf clubs and golf brands are changing. Nike has opted to focus on the consumables, like clothing, slim fitting trousers and shoes over the hardware of clubs and balls. Adidas too – desperate to ditch Taylormade let it go for a relative song – continue to push sportswear as high street fashion as they always have done.

The days of crusty crested golf jumpers and loose fitting trousers are, in this author’s opinion drawing to a close, thankfully. There is however a never say die cohort. Balcarrick GC in Dublin maintain the status quo, declaring, that the donning of the crested jumper to be an age old tradition that packs a punch to opposition teams, presuming they aren’t wearing jumpers too. Powerscourt also opt for the geansai on match day but still offer the usual modern branded gear in their shop. Corballis Links on the other hand, have overhauled their club gear and wear Footjoy soft shell half-zip tops.

Stepping out and into the fashion fold of late is The Caddy Guy (TCG), or as he is also known, James Sheehy.

James’ first tangible experience on a golf course was following Sergio on the 15th and 16th at the Old Ballybunion during the Irish Open – James took up caddying shortly after, and the love of the game grew. A modest golfer with ambitions to go low, like so many of us.

James stumbled out of college to be a teacher in 2009, however, like many of his generation, was a victim of a precarious economy and opted to emigrate to Los Angeles where he had family and could find work while getting a sun tan.

On his return, and still without a realistic option to make full use of his H-dip, the Ballybunion native’s concept for The Caddy Guy was realised in 2016 after reading a golf magazine article on how to prepare for Irish golf.

Who better to design golf apparel for typical Irish conditions than a man that has spent years hauling gear around the wild links of south west
Kerry for unprepared tourists..

“Having lived and experienced the SoCal vibe, and being a product of the post Celtic Tiger era, I wanted to create an original take on Ireland. I want to show a modern Ireland that is proud of its heritage, but is ever evolving. I’ve always lived on a south west coast, and this is evident in our style.”

“Both require good looks, and durability! I’ve taken the relaxed beach vibes and used the nature that surrounds us in Ireland to help with the style, as it is so inspirational. Having been reared in such a pristine environment, I’m very conscious about protecting it too, so our apparel focuses on sustainably sourced natural materials, with bamboo being our flagship material. Being green isn’t just about being Irish”

In little over two years, TCG has gone from a clothing concept to a living, breathing and wearable fabric, quite literally. In a first by an Irish golf clothing company, TCG use bamboo fibres that are woven to a yarn. This material is 100% natural and provides UV protection qualities as well as being hypoallergenic.

A limited edition range has been introduced online and it is hoped TCG can grow from there. At the moment, TCG is partnered up with fantastic facilities like Ceann Sibeal, Killarney Golf and Fishing, Galway Bay Resort, and Powerscourt Golf Club, with further stockists coming on stream.

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