Adidas is walking the walk when it comes to growing the game, especially among women’s golf. The company recently hosted an all-day women’s event to give a sneak peek into their latest line and share their inspiration for golf apparel and footwear. When looking around the room, it was easy to see the brand is truly made for women by women. Many of the lead designers and product managers are women and hold several leadership positions for the entire adidas Golf division.
“The future is female; adidas feels that way, and we feel that way here in Carlsbad,” said Courtney McHugh, senior director of global brand marketing for adidas Golf.
The entire adidas team lives and breathes the culture of golf; they’ll regularly play rounds or hit a bucket of balls with their colleagues whether they are scratch golfers or just picking up the game. It’s more about enjoying golf together and that passion carries over into their designs.
“Our core sport is rooted in golf, so we try to have a broad spectrum of products within that,” said Sarah Marai, senior product manager at adidas Golf. “Adidas is the creative brand. We want to be pushing the limits and taking things to the next level, but always with the best technology.”
The team agrees today’s style in women’s golf has embraced athleisure and emphasizes versatility and self-expression.
“[An adidas woman] is a versatile female athlete, so we want these pieces to transition whether she’s going to yoga, heading to the course, working out or running errands,” said McHugh. “The style right now is women in sport being strong and beautiful in everything she does.”
Much of the team’s design inspiration comes from their close relationship with their sponsored LPGA athletes Paula Creamer, Jessica Korda, and Danielle Kang.
“I think these women really exemplify how beauty isn’t defined by one attribute anymore,” Marai said of their athletes. “There’s this whole spectrum of attributes; it can be girly and feminine but also bold and fierce. Golf is unique because it’s one of the only sports where there’s no uniform. You get to express your individual style. We hear the women say they want to bring their off-course style onto the golf course. They want it to be a reflection of who they are.”
Marai and lead designer Larissa Grashian said the best part of their job is getting to work with the LPGA players.
“There’s such a partnership back and forth—a mutual respect, understanding, and friendship,” Marai said. “They help push us to be our best and create the best product for all women who golf.”
The adidas event brought together women from around the country and included a panel discussion moderated by Amanda Balionis, a reporter for CBS Sports and Callaway, to discuss where women’s golf is heading, the opportunities for them to embrace the game, and even the insecurities women have about teeing it up.
“When I started working for CBS [Sports] I turned down golf outings because I wasn’t a good golfer, and I thought the people playing would be disappointed,” Balionis said. “Finally [my colleague] Ian Baker Finch said, ‘they’re not drafting you because you are an LPGA player, they want to hear your stories and just have fun’. The minute I started doing that he was exactly right, and I wondered, why we [as women] are so much harder on ourselves than the men.”
The women around the room laughed agreed they should never turn down a day on the course based on skill level, and there was a consensus in the room that relaxing and having fun (not to mention a good pace of play) was all anyone needed—man or woman—to get out there and enjoy the game.