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Ashworth built a business on soft collars. The subsequent advent of casual Fridays didn’t hurt either. It was the 1980s, and it created what became known as “the new look of golf,” which not only changed how golfers dressed, it changed how they thought about what they wore. Fred Couples was the man who helped sell the look and vibe.
Today the company is stepping in a new direction. It has introduced four footwear styles to complete its collection of head-to-toe apparel. "The uniqueness of golf is that golfers don’t just wake up on a Saturday and decide they’re a golfer that day and then go back to being a lawyer, insurance salesman, banker, or whatever on Monday," explained Harry Arnett, vice president and general manager of Ashworth. "It’s always been more than just a game for those who completely embrace the true golf lifestyle, and in apparel and footwear that means having products that not only perform and look great on the golf course but can easily and seamlessly be worn off of it. Our footwear collection is a great addition to that philosophy and we’re sure it will be an instant favorite for true golfers everywhere."
The new footwear is available in styles mostly named after its California roots. The Encinitas ($140; available in tan and black) is a loafer with go-anywhere freedom that works with chinos or jeans, on casual Friday or on the town.
The Cardiff ($120; available in navy, white and black) is a golf shoe with crossover. Playability, wearability and a sure-footed spikeless sole unite with tumbled leathers and rich suede accents to take the Cardiff from the course to the clubhouse and beyond the company said. The molded rubber sole is discreet and pliable for a comfortable, low-profile feeling, Ashworth said, without the sensation of traditional golf spikes.
The Leucadia ($90; available in grey, tan and black) is a saddle shoe that receives a long-overdue rework through the pairing of soft suede and leather uppers with a classic vulcanized outsole. Ashworth promises the Leucadia will be an instant wardrobe favorite on and off the course.
The Ash Standard Issue ($70; available in navy, sand, white and black) the only style not named with a geographical reference, takes a classic plimsoll design and melds the style and versatility of today’s sneaker. Rich leather accent trims deliver a refreshed look that takes the Ash Standard Issue places a normal sneaker can't go, according to the company. Safe to say this style is intended for a younger audience than the banker, insurance salesman or lawyer.
At present all Ashworth Tour players under contract (adidas or FootJoy or Ecco in the case of Couples) but its working towards having some Tour exposure in 2012.