Interview with Rick Martin Golf Apparel

A brief question and answer with the owner and founder of Martin Golf: Rick Martin

Why use your name for the new company instead of a “brand” like Fairway and Greene?
After many years in the industry Rick Martin created a name for himself and it was an easy name to establish a company under.  After getting out of the golf apparel industry for 5 years, Rick Martin noticed the lack of cotton shirts available to the consumer.
Why Cotton?
The natural fibers of cotton offer many qualities in a golf shirt that just can’t be matched by synthetics/non-natural fibers.  While many synthetic fibers are called moisture wicking, they actually trap the moisture by your body instead of absorbing it.  In some ways they work against the natural processes of our bodies.  Cotton on the other hand absorbs the sweat then allows it to dry in the air away from our bodies not against it.  So yes, a cotton shirt will absorb sweat and even show it, while a synthetic shirt will not, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the sweat is being dealt with properly.  The sweat running down your back under a synthetic shirt isn’t exactly the most comfortable feeling.

What are your thoughts on bamboo fabric shirts? 
Bamboo is not really a natural fiber either, but slivered off pieces that are woven into thread.  The other issue with Bamboo is the distinct smell of the shirt.

I’ve owned many cotton shirts over the years and color fade seems to be an issue no matter quality or price.  Have you found an improved process for color-fast?
The new technology in the apparel industry have greatly improved how cotton shirts are made.  The double mercerized cotton used to make the shirt, along with color solutions that are much more stable and only 2% shrinkage rate creates a much higher quality shirt.

What is the secret to the collar?  It seems the biggest downfall of many shirts.
The collar is all about the time and money that is spent on making it stiff and stand tall.  Martin Golf shirts use more yarn and a double locking technique that ensures a nice looking collar, even after many washes.  It costs more to manufacture, but the end result is a better collar.

What is your favorite color shirt to wear? What colors tend to be the best sellers?
My favorite is a navy shirt.  I prefer a traditional look.  The best sellers have more to do with region than anything.  The hotter the climate the lighter the color shirt, while the cooler the climate the darker the color shirt.
How  do you determine sizes?  There is so much variation between  brands.
I went with a traditional sizing which some would call a full cut.  It is full in the body, streamline as possible and shorter in the sleeves.  There is no perfect system, but we tried to stay with a traditional S, M, L, XL that should be similar to most other brands.
As a golfer that travels, cotton seems to wrinkle easily.  How do your shirts resist wrinkles?
Again the double mercerization of the cotton, the colorfast technology and the stabilization process means the shirt should have less touch up, that is not to say you won’t have to iron it, but it should be much less.

If I understand correctly, your brand is exclusive to private clubs, are you considering the online market, or big box stores?
I believe we offer a better and alternative product.  It is not really a big box store product.  We want the discerning customer to try on our shirt and notice the difference.

Do you have a tour presence? Are you considering expanding in that area?
We have no plans to pay for tour presence, but we do have 7 players on the PGA tour wearing our shirts because they like them.  Obviously we offer them a discount, but they are not paid.  This could expand as more pros go back to cotton shirts.

How often do you get out and play? 
I still play about 4 or 5 days a week.  I still enjoy the game and like to play as much as I can.  The new company has taken up a large chunk of my time, but between my daughter and the other employees we have,  I still find time to play the game.