Who are TravisMathew? The story behind golf’s trailblazing clothing brand

How a SoCal dream awoke a cultural shift that’s casualizing golf wardrobes from coast to course, and the performance lifestyle brand driving it.

As Jon Rahm stood over a four-foot putt for Masters glory, some with a passion for fashion may have questioned how a green jacket would pair with salmon, but far more were asking…what’s that ‘M’ logo on Rahmbo’s back?

On closer inspection, you’ll notice the cleverly spliced cuts in the arches that reveal a hidden ‘T’ also. It’s ‘TM’, and no – not that one!

This is TravisMathew, tailor-made to ‘meet the moment’, and born out of sheer frustration of the lack of versatility and historically poor aesthetic of golfing uniform.

Jon Rahm during the final round of the Masters.

In the early 2000s, the golf apparel market was pretty starchy, and golf fanatic Travis Matthew Johnson became obsessed with addressing this travesty.

The hypothesis was simple. If you look good, you’ll feel good, and if you feel good, you’re bound to play good… and if all else fails, at least you can head straight to town without looking like a full-kit shanker.

California Dreamin

Dreams change, and Johnson’s pursuit of playing professionally morphed into creating a brand that redefined golf style, providing a new benchmark for high-performance clothing made to make you look and feel your best.

Elegant, sexy, rock ‘n’ roll. This was the litmus test for everything in the early days and set the course for a brand identity destined to cause disruption.

And as with a golf swing, timing is everything.

A societal shift toward more casual golf clothing over the last 15 years has accelerated TravisMathew’s growth at a rate of knots, bouncing along on the Californian surf from one milestone to the next.

Taken under the wings of Callaway TopGolf for $125 million in 2017, TravisMathew is now sailing towards its aspiration of becoming the biggest sportswear brand in the US and a $1 billion brand.

The laidback SoCal vibes are resonating with discerning golfers from coast to coast across America with an expanding high street presence that’s organically evolved the brand beyond golf, bridging the gap between performance and lifestyle.

“TravisMathew pioneered that movement, and although many have done a good job trying to replicate us, we continue to evolve to give the consumer what they never knew they needed,” TravisMathew EMEA General Manager, Matt Freeland tells us.

“It’s really important that brands stand for something, and remain true to their reason for being. Although the brand has evolved, TravisMathew has never waivered from its core principles. We discovered our niche, and recognized that no one’s stood for that except for us… we’re going to keep driving it.”

It’s this focus on versatility with products crafted to make you look and feel your best, irrespective of the activity, that has really landed.

There is a humility running through the brand, from Johnson’s deliberate modification of his name to the understated sophistication of the product line.

The modesty only stops when it comes to fabric quality, something TravisMathew takes the utmost pride in and continually strives to enhance.

“I do not know of any brand that has a greater attention to fabric diversification and design than we do, with meticulous scrutiny across every category and style,” added Freeland.

“Right now, we genuinely believe we have the best of the best in fabrics for polos, shorts, t-shirts, fleece, and especially headwear. Our goal is to offer that in every single category moving forward.”

It’s easy to see why Americans are filling up the TravisMathew bandwagon, and why the rest of the golfing world are sitting up and taking note.


TravisMathew, highly focused on becoming a globally revered brand, has now set its sights firmly on the European region, and for good reason.

However, ‘California Dreamin’ for us Northern Europeans remains just that for most of the year, not just a winter’s day.

The brand can’t be everything to everyone, particularly with such diverse European marketplaces, where climate, geography, and culture dictate how far you can push the boundaries of ‘fitting in while standing out’.

A golf wardrobe inspired by a lifestyle of surf, sand, and sun would be perfect for those two days of summer I experience in Cornwall each year, although it’s probably not the best value for money.

It’s why localizing content is seen as the logical way to make headway in Europe, letting the quality of the product start spreading its own word.

Early TravisMathew trailblazers this side of the pond will lay testament to the comfort and confidence on offer that’s hard to consistently find elsewhere.

Try scrolling through a ‘best golf clothing’ page without seeing a featured TravisMathew product. Those who know… know!

But if you still need a rubber stamp of approval, becoming the first brand-specific store at the ‘Home of Golf’ – St Andrews, should do it.

An iconic moment in the brand’s history, opening on the footsteps of the famed Old Course, seamlessly merging rich heritage and modern lifestyle to excite a global audience.

Here you’ll find clothing that pays homage to the coastal roots of both brands, featuring officially registered Scottish Tartan, blending TravisMathew’s core colors of black, white, and grey with the hint of St Andrews’s famous golden sand.

Inextricably tied, while trying to convince you otherwise. It’s about more than a look however, TravisMathew is about the feeling.

A quick browse through the website and you will see products evoking the relaxed vibes without being slapped in the face by a pair of Bermudas.

Check out the Cloud Collection, a great place to start for those seeking ultimate comfort with relaxed styling and modern fits.

Casual enough, but dressy enough. Comfortable without looking like you’ve just got out of bed – a unique balance that is casualizing golf for the better… TravisMathew started that!

On the green and behind the screen

A fast-growing reputation for quality will certainly open doors for new brands, but nothing drives customers through it like some star power donning the stash.

The brand has organically developed relationships with some huge celebrity names, by placing themselves strategically within retail environments of some of the top golf courses in the USA.

“Once they wear the brand, feel the fabrication, and appreciate the fit, they immediately understand the difference and they’re hooked,” says, Matt Freeland.

Mark Wahlberg, Chris Pratt Justin Timberlake, Matthew McConaughey, Adam Sandler, Harry Kane, and Niall Horan have all been seen sporting the TM icon.

And as for Travis-wearing trophy lifters. The brand has draped the backs of two Masters Champions (Rahm – 2023, Watson – 2012),  a US Open Champion (Rahm – 2021), and a host of PGA Tour and DP World Tour winners including Keegan Bradley, Sam Burns, Joel Dahmen, Adrian Otaegui and Dale Whitnell.

The brand has also partnered with the Haas F1 team as their official travel kit and luggage supplier, showcasing their versatility to new customer bases across the globe.

While TravisMathew thrives on the world’s biggest stages, on the backs of the greatest talents, accolades alone are not how the brand measures its value.

A TravisMathew customer understands and values quality above all else and will invest in clothing that looks great and withstands the test of time.

When the quality of the product matches the experience – people know they have a brand they can really get behind. This is what TravisMathew hangs its hat on.

Golf may be the beating heart of the TravisMathew mission, but the lifeblood is its versatility, created through products that represent a lifestyle.

And whether that lifestyle includes a golf course or not, you’ll be hard-pressed not to be seduced by the relaxed styling and comfort on offer.

One downside, however. Get used to your mates asking: “Who’s that ‘M’ brand you’re wearing again?”

You can check out the TravisMathew collection here.

A brief history of TravisMathew:

2007TravisMathew is born
20081st orders shipped, and 1st appearance at the PGA Show
2009 1st PGA Tour win – Geoff Ogilvy, Sony Open
20114 PGA Tour wins
2011First VW bus fixture
2012Bubba Watson wins The Masters wearing TravisMathew
2014 1st retail store opened – Fashion Island
2016TravisMathew HQ moves to Graham St, Huntington Beach  
2017Callaway buys TravisMathew for $125 million
2021Jon Rahm moves from adidas to TravisMathew
Jon Rahm wins the US Open wearing TravisMathew
2022St Andrews by TravisMathew launches
PGA Tour season ends with four TravisMathew players inside world’s top 30
20239 PGA Tour & DP World Tour winners wearing TravisMathew
Jon Rahm wins The Masters wearing TravisMathew

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About the author

Ross Tugwood is a Senior Digital Writer for Today's Golfer.

Ross Tugwood

Senior Digital Writer

Ross Tugwood is a golf equipment writer for todays-golfer.com, specializing in data, analytics, science, and innovation.

Ross is passionate about optimizing sports performance and has a decade of experience working with professional athletes and coaches for British Athletics, the UK Sports Institute, and Team GB.

He has post-graduate degrees in Performance Analysis and Sports Journalism, enabling him to critically analyze and review the latest golf equipment and technology to help you make better-informed buying decisions.

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