The New Rules of Golf Style – PXG Apparel elevates the golf game with their fashion-forward 2020 collection
If your image of golf fashion is a faded picture of Rodney Dangerfield in the classic film, CaddyShack, think again. PXG, the enfant terrible of the golf establishment, is bringing a different flavor to the marketplace. Helmed by President Renee Parsons, PXG Apparel takes every opportunity to continue to disrupt the sport, just like its equipment has done for the last few years. We had a chance to chat with Renee via phone from her home in Scottsdale, AZ, and hear what the brand has in store for its next 2020 Spring/Summer collection.
PXG Apparel certainly looks like nothing on the market today. Was that by design? Yes, absolutely. In a sea of sameness, we wanted to distinguish ourselves from other brands, just like our equipment has since 2014. We have a very distinct look, one that we know appeals to a new generation of golf enthusiasts. It gives you the ability to go from the golf course to wherever you might want to go next; lunch, a casual business meeting, or a night on the town. The last thing we wanted to do is to make people say “there goes the guy with the boring golf outfit.” What we want to present is a modern take on what you wear on and off the golf course. If you look around, the apparel that you see around the course has fundamentally not changed for the last fifty years; we didn’t want to add to this. Our brand’s ethos and creative direction have been the same since we’ve started: Create bold and modern apparel for the golfers of today. We are not everyone’s cup of tea, and we are fine with this. PXG is meant to have an element of disruption. We accomplished that with our clubs (as an avid golfer, I have to agree, those are great sticks!), and we are just starting. We are not made for the masses (at least, not yet) but those who are demanding excellence. Our fashion point of view is much the same; our gear is made with the best materials available in the industry, and is designed to provoke a reaction. I am thrilled that, so far, it has been overwhelmingly positive.
Are you sticking strictly to blacks and whites in this new collection? I think that we are staying true to our brand’s direction, so yes, a lot of black and white and greys, but we are also introducing some elements of color to some of what you will see in the collection. I think that, as a brand, we have to continue to evolve, and while I am pretty sure you’ll never see all the colors of the rainbow in PXG, we will aim to surprise you once in a while!
You are a woman executive in a world where many men are at the top. What are your views on where women stand in golf? I am aware of the unique position I am privileged to be in, however, I must say that more and more women are not only involved in golf as participants, but as executives as well. As an example, at our club Scottsdale National, we have a woman general manager, which is quite rare to see; but when people come to our club and realize how spectacular it is, and how much of a well-oiled machine it is, they quickly realize the impact a woman can have on the industry. More and more women play the game with passion and purpose. Some of them use the game as an effective tool for business. We know that the golf course is where many business deals are being discussed and made; women don’t want to be left out of this equation. There is something quite compelling about a woman stepping up to the tee and playing with the boys. I love the game and take every opportunity to play. (Parsons confesses to approximately an 18-20 handicap—I have a feeling that it is a lot less…) I am blessed to be able to do so regularly. Women want to be able to elevate the conversation, and I jump at the chance to do just that.
Philanthropy is very special to both you and your husband Bob (Bob Parsons is the CEO of PXG, as well as the co-founder, alongside Renee, of The Bob and Renee Parsons Foundation). How important is it for you to have the opportunity to give back? It’s crucial. I think that as global leaders we have a responsibility to care for those around us who may not have been as blessed as we are. The foundation provides hope and life-changing assistance to underserved communities, not only to help individuals get back on their feet but to help them reach out for opportunities that will transform their lives. As a member of Women Moving Millions, I also support causes crucial to women and children while promoting education.
What is your advice for the next generation of women in business?
Go for it. The only limits are those you impose on yourself.
Words by Yves Le Sieur