There is something about looking good and feeling good while making a golf purchase. For those who are big supporters of charity, looking good on the golf course, and a fan of Ernie Els, the “Ernie Els Collection” apparel is now being sold, with some of the proceeds going to the Els for Autism Foundation. Provided to THP for the purpose of this review included the green Candy Stripe, white Candy Stripe, and the red Copperleaf polos.
THE ERNIE ELS COLLECTION
The collection was launched in his home country, South Africa, and went into stores in early January 2013. Every single store presented with the product was immediately impressed and bought in, and the product sell-through has proven to be some of the best we have seen in any brand this year. There are now 50 stores in South Africa carrying the Ernie Els collection.
As an exceptionally proud South African, it was important for Ernie Els to have a South African-made collection that characterized his personal taste in quality and style. In a beautiful and diverse African country, with many challenges and opportunities alike, it has always been important for Ernie to be creating opportunity and giving back to the community that he grew up in and loves so fondly. These garments are currently all manufactured in South Africa, but plans are afoot to develop a global footprint over the next few years.
Out of the Box
The first thing that is noticed about the Ernie Els Collection is the fabric used. It is very soft to the touch, but has a distinct ‘tech’ element feel that suggests it will support the contortions and twists of a golf swing, along with the breathable elements required on a summer day. The description included with the shirts reference a slight sheen on the higher end material construction, and that seems to be a safe assessment especially off the vibrant red of the Copperleaf polo. The Ernie Els Collection is made from 100% polyester.
Despite the extremely soft and adaptable material used to construct the polo, they did an excellent job of reinforcing the collar to avoid being flimsy. From the fold to the seams and the stitching, the neckline and collar stay very sturdy around the neck and into the buttons. There is also some internal piping surrounding the neckline that may help to collect some sweat, or avoid some of the material from rubbing against the skin.
Much to be expected, the Ernie Els Collection seems to have a subtle relaxed fit, loose in the armpits and around the waist line, yet somewhat limited in the arm length. It is defined as being very ‘easy’ to wear and that seems to be a great assessment, as the shirts sit relaxed and do not stress when twisting the body. Only raising both arms above the head drives the material upwards, and with the material stretch, a lack of untucking occurs.
The Copperleaf offers a softer red base color, paired with a darker red yet subtle “E” logo across a majority of the shoulder on the back of the polo. This is one of four polos in the Copperleaf design, including white, green, silver, and the red shown in this review.
The Candy Stripe design includes horizontal striping, made unique by the combination of variable line widths, colors, and both solid as well as textured colors compiling the striping pattern. There is a really nice added depth by making some of the stripes a textured finish as shown below, producing a subtle change to what would otherwise be a relatively simple pattern. The Candy Stripe comes in green, white, and blue.
Not pictured from the line is the Highgate striped shirt. A combination of large and thin stripe patterns in silver, blue, red, and white.
The Ernie Els Collection is a great representation of “the big Easy” in fit and the softer, more subtle design elements that make up the Highgate, Candy Stripe, and Copperleaf designs. In total, these polos will wear very well during many course conditions, with the light material and fit not hindering the golf swing. The Ernie Els Collection is being sold through www.golfprowears.com, and thanks to their unique “Give Back 9” program, 9% of the full-price brand sales of the collection are going to the foundation. This is a great opportunity to buy a high quality golf shirt, and feel good that some of the proceeds are making a different for Els’ foundation.