Not much lends more credibility to an apparel line than a legendary namesake. Well, Jack Nicklaus apparel has just that – a legendary and iconic name that necessarily evokes thoughts of classic golf imagery. Once I stopped dreaming of winning a major, I realized that I had a few pieces that carry the Golden Bear’s name and logo in for review.
Thankfully, my first impressions were exactly what you would think for a line with the Nicklaus name – pieces that have classic designs that skew toward a golfer that shuns the loud, flashy designs that are nearly ubiquitous in today’s marketplace. The muted colors, horn-style buttons, and the knit collars on the Nicklaus pieces were classic, comfortable, and familiar.
Best of all, the one thing tying all of the pieces together was the ever-present Golden Bear logo. Man, I love that logo. Between the three polos, two pairs of shorts, and the pullover there were plenty of Golden Bear logos to love.
The Nicklaus line of polos do an excellent job of delivering on a classic feel and look. Between the solid colors and the simple, thin horizontal stripes, the designs are understated and the fabrics are quality, although there is a bit of modern technology built hidden just beyond what the eye can see. For example, each of the polos in the Nicklaus line had moisture wicking and UV protection features to keep you safe and dry on the course when the sun is going strong.
And while the designs were mostly muted, they did selectively venture into the more modern design in the form of a deep purple shirt with a black paisley design. Even though it has a more outspoken design up-close, it appears to be just a simply deep purple shirt from a distance and its true design is hidden unless you truly study the shirt.
Each polo is made of 100% polyester with several sporting a knit collar that felt like a different fabric. The entire line has an American fit, with adequate length and width as it reaches your beltline that will keep you moving freely on the course. My main criticism is that the fabric was not as stretchy as others on the market, however this shouldn’t be an issue if the polo is the proper size.
The shorts pick up right where the tops left off. Continuing with the subtle colors and general mass appeal, the Nicklaus shorts were right down Main Street in the best way possible and are the standout of the bunch in my opinion. The offerings came in solid colors of navy and tan (or peacoat and chinchilla in Nicklaus speak, respectively) that paired well with everything in the whole line. The simple color scheme and simple design was only broken by the placement of the Golden Bear logo that ties the whole look together – a really nice touch.
The shorts are exactly what you want in golf apparel, namely light, comfortable, quality fabric, and a true to size fit. The fit is great, providing plenty of room for comfort without being baggy and with a straight leg that terminates right above the knee. And the hidden cherry on top is the rubberized waistband that will keep your shirt tucked in.
Finally, as a weekend warrior who loves the game and pullovers equally, I was most excited about the ¼ zip pullover. The Nicklaus heathered navy color ¼ zip with grey accents was consistent with the rest of the line – a little classic and a little modern. The fabric, also 100% polyester, was comfortable and not overly heavy. In theory, it should have been perfect for a nice fall day but it failed to live up to my lofty hopes. Quite candidly, the ¼ zip pullover underwhelmed due to sizing issues.
Unlike the rest of the Nicklaus line, the “large” simply didn’t match up with expectations nor its peers in the market. In short, the sleeves are too short and the waist is too large, which is not a great combination for battling the elements on the course. Unfortunately, the sizing issues also found a way to hinder my swing when the sleeves slid up my arm and exposed my wrist during the backswing, and it was generally too baggie in all the wrong places. With no cuff at the sleeves or the waist to help keep everything in place, the movement occurred far too often and it hindered the utility of the pullover. Although the individual aspects of the pullover are great (design, accents, color, logo), the sizing issue were ever-present and it is a certainly a piece you will want to try on before you buy.
Despite the minor misstep with the pullover sizing, the Nicklaus line has plenty of good, classic options for someone who wants to keep their look understated and let their game do the talking. It won’t help you win 18 majors, but getting a little Golden Bear might be just what the style-doctor ordered. Check out more about the Jack Nicklaus apparel line on their website www.jacknicklausapparel.com.