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A Phresh Canadian take on golf-course couture

Its a good time to be a young clotheshorse on the golf course _ even better if youre Canadian.

The number of prominent Canuck brands making their way onto the worlds fairways these days seems to get more impressive by the year: Hollas and Second Skin, Dunning, Sunice, Quagmire _ and now Phresh.

Phresh has been around since 2003, when avid golfer and occasional mini-tour player Tim Tochor decided he was better suited to conceiving and marketing a modern line of golf wear that would appeal to a younger generation of player _ one less than thrilled, understandably, with the saggy-sleeved pique polos and frumpy, double-pleated khakis of their predecessors.

Chevron: One of the centrepiece items of Phresh's 2009 line

Chevron: One of the centrepiece items of Phresh's 2009 line

The result, which has really come into its own in recent years, is a substantive collection of modern, freshly-styled tops in an array of unconventional colours, along with a line of cool retro slacks with tartan piping and a handful of youthful accessories, like brushed-nickel belt buckles and Gatsby-style plaid caps.

Every year at Phresh we keep getting excited as we grow and build a brand for the future, Tochor said in a statement that accompanied the unveiling earlier this year of the companys 2010 line.

We are not out there to pound our chest and be seen in every shop in one year and be gone the next. We have built a team that has passion about every garment. From our designs, fabric, manufacturing, sales, shipping and administration we all strive to build strong relationships with our clients. At the end of the day everyone feels that they are closer to seeing all the hard work they have accomplished.”

Far from the mouldy old styles of yore “ boring colour schemes, familiar pinstripe designs and the like _ Phreshs lines of mens tops feature striking patterns unfamiliar to the golf course: chevrons, racing stripes and unconventional, asymmetrical takes on familiar golf styles like argyle and tartan.

The Ryder features the Phresh tattoo, inspired by the Celtic art of Charles Rennie Macintosh

The Ryder features the Phresh tattoo, inspired by the Celtic art of Charles Rennie Macintosh

Most of the pieces are constructed of a proprietary moisture-wicking microfiber fabric, which ensures a high degree of comfort on the golf course regardless of conditions. Too many modern shirt designs end up feeling clammy and clingy when the weather gets close; even in brutal heat, the Presh shirt stays, well …fresh. And unlike some of golfs earliest microfiber iterations, odour retention doesnt appear to be a problem.

The forthcoming 2010 collection, according to the company, is a reflection of the current times. Heres their take:

With colors that reflect the feeling one has when they play the game, the overall theme is one that goes back to basics and strips out the superfluous. The sentiment is one that allows a well-deserved opportunity to unwind and while reconnecting with what is truly important and the drive to get there. The moods are evident; turquoise for the calming water of the ocean, grove is a relaxing siesta in the orange groves, and aloe invokes those soothing properties of the plant. Earthy colors ground the line with clay, coal, peat, and moss while crystal, maize, and orchid are meant to be more of a stress-relief. Anchored by classics such as navy, white, and black there is something for everyone to feel comfortable and confident in. Styles for Spring 2010 also utilize a sporty yet patriotic vibe that incorporates both classic and modern lines.

Phresh_Catalogue_2008_Page_14_01

Take that for what its worth: the fashion-flavoured promotional rhetoric that often ensues when golf meets haute couture often leaves a lot to be desired. What you need to know is this: if youre looking for an escape from the billowy, oversized, elbow-sleeved polo shirts of old without the cli

ngy, form-fitting cuts of a lot of modern golf shirts, Phresh is among a number of Canadian apparel makers that are definitely worth an extra look.

Phresh Wear is carried by pro shops and resorts throughout the United States; In Canada, its available at Summerland Golf Club, Mandarin Golf Club, Oakdale Golf Club, Glen Abbey, King Valley, Vancouver Golf Club, and the fine menswear store Frackeltons and Garveys.

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James McCarten

When James McCarten isn't at the Ottawa offices of The Canadian Press, where he works as parliamentary news editor, he's either on the golf course or putting off his latest freelance golf-writing gig to spend time with wife Lisa and school-age kids Claire and Lucas. With 20 years of experience in Canadian journalism, James also suffers from a financially crippling addiction to all things Scotty Cameron.

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