Any time a sponsored professional wins on tour — or even is in close contention on the final day — the companies that sponsor him rejoice. In the case of apparel, the firm’s clothes will be on camera and in the public eye, sometimes for hours, making the investment worthwhile. This past week, it was Toronto-based Dunning Sportswear’s turn. Zach Johnson’s record-breaking win at the Crowne Plaza Invitational was accomplished in Dunning golf clothes, a clean-looking, preppy, sixties-style look executed in high-performance technical fabrics. The simple, crisp white shirt and gray trousers were definitely a winning combination.
Johnson is a Dunning staff player, which means he is paid to wear the brand (as are PGA tour players John Rollins and Kyle Stanley). Dunning also pays non-golfers like Ironman champion Craig Alexander to wear its endurance-sport clothes. Dunning’s endurance heritage traces to the founder, Ralph Dunning, a road rider and Ironman competitor himself. Dunning started out in the 1990s making technical clothing for triathletes and cyclists and based his entry into the golf industry in 2001 on performance fabrics. (The company also makes a nice Oxford-cloth-style, button-down dress shirt with the same moisture-wicking, breathable performance fabric that goes into its sports clothes — which, we have always maintained, is a terrific idea.)
Johnson’s final-round outfit was in a Dunning pique solid polo, stretch performance trousers, and leather belt with distressed pewter buckle embossed with the Dunning shield logo. The former Masters champion shot back-to-back rounds of 64 while setting the tournament scoring record with a 21-under 259.
Ditto for Donald
Luke Donald also scored one for the classic preppy look with his win at the Madrid Masters wearing Polo Golf by Ralph Lauren. Donald, who typically wears the racier RLX Ralph Lauren brand, made his charge wearing a maroon and blue-striped golf polo with contrast collar along with white trousers and leather belt. So all in all it was a good Memorial Day weekend for traditional golf clothes (not counting the white leather belts).