There’s a full-size basketball court inside the TravisMathew HQ in trendy Huntingdon Beach in Southern California.
When the guys who set up the company 2007 – led by mad-keen golfer Travis Johnson, who once played in a match against Tiger Wood when he was five – moved into a new office, they thought a basketball court would be a cool thing to have on their doorstep. And as they ran the company, they could do what they wanted!
That was a few years ago, but as the brand has seen significant growth – and the acquisition by Callaway in 2017 – the basketball court may need to make way for the boxes and boxes of shirts, tops, jumpers, trousers and other apparel that’s now distributed every day to pro shops all over the USA. And from today, Britain and Europe.
TravisMathew grew from a group of SoCal golfers and surfers who felt their style wasn’t being catered for by the golf brands of the early 2000s. Even Tiger Woods – the most exciting player of the era – was still wearing floppy, baggy shirts and trousers at that time. So Johnson and his pals set about changing it, by designing their own golf clothing. Golf clothing they could wear in the course or in the bar. Golf clothing that had style. Golf clothing that didn’t look like the stuff your dad would wear.
On their new website, Travis Mathew says it draws its inspiration from “all aspects of Southern California culture and lifestyle”.
“Our focus on making premier men’s apparel for work and play has cemented our foothold in the sportswear world. Over the past several years, TravisMathew has been leading the way in quality and active-wear design. We remain committed to constant innovation and discovery to bring the best to our customers. We’re throwing a party, and you’re invited.”
Johnson, who’d been around the game his entire life and even tried to qualify for the PGA Tour after college, said: “
Though his Tour-chasing days are over, Johnson manages to keep an element of golf in his life through his clothing business. His line includes pieces with unexpected details, like pants with an extra pocket in the back to hold a digital music player or a strip of Velcro sewn in to hold a golf glove.
“Starting in June 2004, I travelled most of the world chasing that lovely white ball around. While pursuing this life-long dream, I became fascinated with all the variables that went into becoming great at golf. I relished any opportunity to shave a stroke here or there.
“Along this process, I found myself growing more interested with the aspect of ‘style’ and how it related to a player’s performance. I realised that if I looked better I’d probably feel better, which might help me play a little better.
“I needed to improve the quality of my apparel. Already knowing the limitations within golf, I searched outside of the game for my solution, but could not find one company that captured the ingredients necessary to meet a player’s needs. “Just like the beginning of any other niche company, Travis Mathew was born of demand. This new interest quickly turned into an obsession, and by the summer of 2007, I had built my brand, my first collection, and an infrastructure to support the business.”
From a tine office in an LA suburb to the giant warehouse facility they’ve just moved into in Huntingdon Beach, Travis Mathew is on a steep upward trajectory.
The basketball court may need to make way for more boxes, but there are still to full-size golf simulators in the corridor – opposite a wall rammed with signed shirts from some of Travis’ Tour staff – notably Bubba Watson (including signed Masters flags) and Keegan Bradley.
Follow the European TravisMathew social media accounts to find out about products, competitions and exclusive opportunities