Q&A: Manors Golf Co-Founder Jojo Regan
Updated: Nov 12, 2020
Manners maketh man. Manors maketh golf clothing.
You might know Manors Golf as the brand that looks like it was teleported straight from a round with Arnold Palmer in the ‘60s, or maybe used to wardrobe a Lana Del Rey music video. The stylized golf fashion brand takes traditional pieces and reinterprets them to fit the modern swing. Terms like “performance” and “moisture-wicking” are simply not in Manors’ lexicon.
We passed a pen over to Jojo Regan, a Manors co-founder, to get more insight into the brand’s ethos. You’ll see Jojo use the word “heritage” a few times, and that stuck out to me. It’s clear that Manors’ design process revolves around nostalgia: inheriting iconic looks from the game’s greats, and applying a modern, progressive, and diverse lens to their outfits and content marketing.
"A sweat-wicking performance polo is not going to be the difference between me shooting a 79 or 89."
Manors recently dropped its Sunday Pins series in partnership with US brand Lie + Loft. Check out the limited collection here, and enjoy the interview with Jojo.
The Bag Bandit: Let's hear the Manors origin story. When did you get started, and why did you enter the golf fashion space?
Jojo Regan: At its core, Manors is about changing the perception of the game. For too long now, golf has had this misconception that it is a stuffy game for old white dudes. Yet, if you spend any time out on the course; there are hundreds of young people playing. The problem for players like me and my founders, is that the big brands are all backing technical performance gear. I'm not knocking it; but a sweat-wicking performance polo is not going to be the difference between me shooting a 79 or 89. We just wanted to dress in comfortable clothing that was as appropriate for the links as it is for the pub after. So we did something about it; and started designing clothes that were engineered for a modern swing, but without the tight fit "golfer look" that we see on a lot of the pros.
BB: Loads of European golf brands are rooted in traditional looks, as is Manors—but you seem to juxtapose traditionalism through a decidedly modern lens. What is it about the relationship between old-school and freshness that excites you?
JR: We felt that there was such an opportunity to re-energise the game. However, much of what is great about golf is its heritage. For some reason, we all have this nostalgic attraction to the Arnold Palmer days—back when golf was a real gentleman's game. There is a lot to learn from those eras, but equally, we need to find a way to make it resonate with a modern audience. For us, we do a lot of that work in our content and I think that helps the storytelling side of our brand. It makes it more relatable.
BB: What other brands in golf do you look at as touchstones? How about brands beyond golf?
JR: The golf market has never been as diverse as it is today; but there is still a long way to go and I think we are just at the start of that evolution. There are plenty of exciting options within golf; but I think we take more inspiration from brands outside of golf. We are huge fans of Rapha, the cycling brand. They managed to bring a perfect hybrid together of tech, heritage and style—and create a real community aspect to the brand. We also look at brands like Adidas Originals, who managed to bring the sport and street culture together in perfect unison.
BB: You work with a diverse group of models and don't use gender labels on your clothing, which is unfortunately a rarity in golf fashion. Can you speak to your commitment to marketing your gear to folks from all types of backgrounds?
JR: It's great that we can be seen as a brand who does things differently. I mentioned it before, but golf has an unfortunate stereotype and for that to change, the narrative and messaging around it needs to develop. For us, it comes very naturally and it has and always will be a key tenet of our brand to represent everyone as best we can.
BB: What does success ultimately look like for Manors? What do you want to have accomplished as a brand in 3-5 years?
JR: The game wont change overnight; but being part of that evolution is exciting. For us, being an active part of increasing participation is key, so naturally we'd love to host events and meet-ups (COVID has not helped that!). Our product will always be the cornerstone of what we do; and I hope we can continue to push the boundaries with what styles we bring to the course. It is cliché to say, but we see this as a marathon, not a sprint.
BB: Links courses or parkland courses? Why?
JR: If you had asked me that question a month ago it would be parkland all the way. However, I was lucky enough to spend time in Scotland this fall and play my first true links golf. There is something special about playing a course that has stood the test of time and been battered by the elements for so many years. Links golf is how it all started so I'd have to say that over parkland.
BB: Favorite shot in golf?
JR: I spend a lot of time off the fairway and have to play this shot a little too often for my liking. It's a 4 iron punch with a slight cut. 90% of the time it doesn't come off, but when it does, it's worth all the previous failures!
BB: 3 words that describe golf as it is now, and 3 that describe where you want it to be.
JR: Distance, Ball-speed and Dry-Fit /// Lifestyle, community and laidback