Loud and proud: golf clothes from Bill Mur­ray

A lit­tle dated, a lit­tle out of sync is par for the course

The Hamilton Spectator - - STYLE - New York Times

Grow­ing up, Bill Mur­ray and his five broth­ers (Ed, Brian, John, Joel and Andy) worked as cad­dies at In­dian Hill Coun­try Club in Win­netka, Illi­nois. They gained more from the ex­pe­ri­ence than crum­pled cash.

Ed Mur­ray won a Chick Evans schol­ar­ship to North­west­ern Uni­ver­sity. Brian Doyle-Mur­ray drew on his cad­dy­ing for “Cad­dyshack,” of which he was a writer. John Mur­ray had a cameo in the film, while Bill Mur­ray starred as the de­ranged groundskeeper Carl Spack­ler, for­ever in­ject­ing his goof­ball, an­ar­chic spirit into a game tra­di­tion­ally as­so­ci­ated with cor­po­rate strivers and con­ser­va­tive Ro­tar­i­ans. Andy Mur­ray, now a chef, was, like his broth­ers, in­ducted into the Cad­die Hall of Fame.

Last fall, the Mur­ray broth­ers, who host a yearly charity tournament in St. Au­gus­tine, Fla., near the World Golf Hall of Fame, deep­ened their ties with the sport by in­tro­duc­ing a golf ap­parel line. Its name, Wil­liam Mur­ray Golf, car­ries a stodgy whiff of Judge Elihu Smails (an­other char­ac­ter from the movie), though the mar­ket­ing copy says the clothes are meant to “in­tro­duce casual ir­rev­er­ence” to the links.

You may have seen Bill Mur­ray wearing one of the de­signs at the World Se­ries last year — a short­sleeve polo with a print fea­tur­ing tiny high­ball glasses, some of them tipped over.

The line, sold in part­ner­ship with theChive.com, has re­cently re­leased its spring col­lec­tion. Po­los in trop­i­cal flower pat­terns and baggy shorts of aqua camo hark back to the 1970s, not only in their loud pat­terns and colours but also in the com­bustible ma­te­rial — 92 per cent polyester. Not since Jack Nick­laus am­bled down the fair­way in plaid Sans­abelt trousers has golf wear looked this won­der­fully gauche.

Joel Mur­ray, who, in ad­di­tion to be­ing an ac­tor (he ap­peared in “Mad Men”), is the chief ex­ec­u­tive for Mur­ray Broth­ers Golf, said the clothes are in­tended to in­ject live­li­ness into the sport.

“You look at the golf world right now, it’s just not that cool,” he said. “I’ve got boys that are 26, 25, and they’re not into golf like we were grow­ing up. They think it takes too long.”

To de­sign the clothes, the Mur­ray broth­ers trav­elled to the Chive of­fices in Austin, Texas, and shared sto­ries about their days as loop­ers. The anec­dotes are trans­lated by Wil­liam Mur­ray Golf em­ploy­ees into con­cepts that the broth­ers re­fine — say, switch­ing a print’s minia­ture golf carts to Eisen­hower-era ones.

Bill Mur­ray came up with the line’s best­seller, the shirt with the high­ball glasses.

“He said: ‘What if some of the drinks are spilled? Some­times drinks spill,’” Joel Mur­ray said. “We try to put a lit­tle whimsy and clev­er­ness into it, and Bill is good at that.”

As Bill Mur­ray revealed in his 1999 book, “Cin­derella Story: My Life in Golf,” there are ad­van­tages to dress­ing a lit­tle out­ra­geously on the course. In ex­plain­ing his wardrobe choices when he played the AT&T Peb­ble Beach Pro-Am tournament, he wrote: “To­day’s pal­ette is cen­tral coast chameleon, noth­ing that would flush the fauna from the flora. Save the fine vines for later in the week, when they can serve to dis­tract the gallery from my golf game.”

The broth­ers plan to in­tro­duce two col­lec­tions a year and even­tu­ally ex­pand into light jack­ets, blaz­ers and pants.

They are stick­lers about the de­tails, Joel Mur­ray said, re­call­ing how shorts were sent back for a re­design af­ter they dis­cov­ered the pock­ets were too shal­low.

“Deep pock­ets, that’s just some­thing you need when you golf,” Joel Mur­ray said. “You want your balls to stay in your pocket — you don’t want things fall­ing out the side.”

To­day’s pal­ette is cen­tral coast chameleon BILL MUR­RAY AC­TOR, CLOTH­ING DE­SIGNER


A more con­tem­po­rary look from the spring 2017 col­lec­tion of Wil­liam Mur­ray Golf. Gen­er­ally, it’s 1970s loud.


Sport­ing a unique hat and shirt en­sem­ble, Amer­i­can ac­tor Bill Mur­ray plays in a celebrity tournament last Septem­ber. He and his broth­ers have de­vel­oped a golf cloth­ing line that de­parts from the com­mon sleek look. STEVEN KURUTZ

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