More Bill Murray, Maybe That’s the Answer to Golf Industry WoesBy
‘Caddyshack’ star and his brothers unveil golf-clothing line
‘The golf industry needs to be more fun and exciting’
Bill Murray and his brothers don’t think golf is in decline, just that it needs to loosen up a bit.
That’s why the “Caddyshack” star and his five brothers are debuting a line of apparel for the sport next month that borrows from the comedian’s on- and off-screen pursuits. One pattern is speckled with tiny highball glasses, a reference to Murray’s love of cocktails. Another features bunker rakes like the kind used by Carl Spackler -- the deranged greenskeeper Murray played in the 1980 classic. A pinstriped shirt resembles the home jersey of the Murrays’ beloved Chicago Cubs baseball team. The brand’s logo is a silhouette of Murray tossing a club in frustration.
“The golf industry needs to be more fun and exciting,” said Joel Murray, the youngest of the brothers and chief executive officer of Murray Brothers LLC. “Nicklaus and Palmer were wearing funner stuff in the ’70s than golfers are wearing now.”
The brothers, who all grew up playing golf, partnered on the collection with Resignation Media, which runs the humor website TheChive.com, once described by Bloomberg Businessweek as the “the ‘Maxim’ of the 21st century.” Resignation got on the brothers’ radar a few years ago when it started selling Bill Murray T-shirts to its male millennial audience, which is precisely the group shunning golf in favor of endeavors like paddle boarding.
That lack of interest from the next generation has taken a toll on golf-related businesses recently. Retailer Golfsmith International Holdings Inc. filed for bankruptcy last week, and Nike Inc. said last month that it would stop making equipment for the sport.
Still, the troubles haven’t deterred the introduction of the William Murray Golf clothing line, which will be sold through its own site and at the Chive’s online store. A few Chicago-themed items will be available on Wednesday, with the full line debuting Oct. 21.
“The Chive people -- they enjoy golf, alcohol and comfortable clothes, and we’re on board with that,” said Joel Murray, whose acting roles include “Mad Men” senior copywriter Freddy Rumsen. “They have the same goals in mind. Have fun. Have drinks. Get after it.”
The Murray brothers, of which Bill is the third, developed a love of golf by working as caddies at a country club in Illinois, Joel Murray said. Brian Doyle-Murray, who is also an actor, used those memories to help write the script for “Caddyshack” and played Lou Loomis -- the tough caddy boss in the film that pokes fun at the sport. Last year, all the brothers were inducted into the Caddie Hall of Fame.
Marketing for the brand, which tops out at $90 for a button-down shirt, will be done through Resignation Media’s websites, which it says get more than 3 million views a day. Bill Murray also will wear the line at the charity golf tournaments he frequently plays in.
“There’s a space there to be filled, and we wouldn’t mind filling that vacuum with some funner stuff,” Joel Murray said. “We’re hoping for world domination, eventually.”