Polo Ralph Lauren 2011 U.S. Open commemorative shirt
Ralph Lauren
By Woody Hochswender
Thursday, May 05, 2011

Tickets for the 2011 U.S. Open at the Congressional Country Club next month are already hard to get, especially for Saturday and Sunday (sold out in most categories). But for fans who want a piece of the 111th edition of the historic tournament, Polo Ralph Lauren has produced a series of commemorative golf shirts. The shirts will sell for $125 and come in 100 percent athletic cotton mesh with ribbed collars and sleeves and various commemorative embroideries. Polo Ralph Lauren is the official apparel sponsor of the U.S. Open this year. Under a partnership with the USGA, Polo Ralph Lauren will outfit all committee members and staff, as well as more than 5,000 volunteers at the tournament.

Apparel on the upswing
Golf apparel business in general is improving, according to Golf Datatech, an independent research firm that provides monthly snapshots of retail sales at both on- and off-course locations. Datatech's figures for January and February this year show a 16% increase in apparel and outerwear sales at on-course retailers and a 7.5% rise at off-course stores, for a total combined dollar sales increase of 13%. That is better than a blip.

"This is great news for the industry, great news for golf retailers," said Tom Stine, the founder of Golf Datatech, in a company statement. Of course, the good news is somewhat mitigated by the fact that prices were higher (meaning unit sales did not increase that much). Also the year-to-year comparison, to January-February 2010, was weak.

Hands-on fashion

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