Q&A: Trap Golf Co-Founder, Aaron Munn
You've seen Trap Golf before—most likely you've seen Roger Steele dipped out head to toe in their gear. Maybe you've seen Wayne Birch rocking the brand when he's caddying out on the PGA TOUR.
You might not have heard of Aaron Munn, though. He's the guy who started it all back in 2018, and whose drawings of various objects—peaches, turntables, baseballs—perched on golf tees are plastered on Trap Golf's t-shirts, hoodies, and hats.
This Atlanta-based brand stands for something: that golf is for everyone, even if you've never picked up a club in your life. I zipped some questions over to Aaron to learn more about Trap Golf's beginnings, who inspires him, and where the brand is headed in 2021. Tap in.
The Bag Bandit: Let's hear the Trap Golf origin story. When did you get started and how'd you get involved in the golf fashion space?
Aaron Munn: I started the brand in 2018. I was coming home from a trip with some high school students and I was working on my Golf Team's Instagram account on the bus. When I was working on IG, I was posting something for my golf team and I included a caption for the photo that included lyrics from the Migos. This is something I did a lot: making it fun for the kids and keeping them engaged, since I knew that many of my golfers—white, black, and asian—they all like hip-hop music, and particularly trap music. So I started thinking to myself, this could be brand!
From a golf coach's perspective, I thought about all those lessons I've given to kids on how to TRAP the ball: striking the ball at an ascending blow and hitting the ball, then turf, to create a divot. The name TRAP GOLF stuck out. In February 2019, I started the URL trapgolf.com and then officially opened the store. The idea behind TRAP GOLF was to embrace pop culture, become a brand that can exist in the street—THE REALLLL STREETS— and on the golf course. A brand that represents full inclusion.
I grew up in NYC and ATL, and lived in Tokyo, so I've been around many cultures and have appreciated the differences in people as long as I can remember. But are we really that different? All people want is to be loved and accepted, no matter what color you are or what background you come from. For 12 plus years I've been painting and drawing things on golf tees, and I started a hashtag back then called #TeeUpWhatDrivesYou.
BB: What's at the core of your mission with Trap Golf?
AM: The idea that everyone is inspired by things and has passions. What do you trap? What do you hustle for? Hustlers for years have been associated with drug dealers and pimps, but nowadays, being a hustler means you hustle for what you want, what you're passionate about. This idea that you go after what you want in life is trappin'.
And there is being trappy, which means you bring a level of swag and confidence to everything you do, and you don't apologize for not going with the status quo—especially the things you do that you love or that make you money.
I spent seven years teaching art in a Title-1 school here in Warner Robins, GA. Being around these kids and their families that come from poverty and low income situations, you learn about people. As Trap Golf grows, we want to be a brand that both low income people and wealthy people can identify with, or at least support.
"Trap Golf will be a streetwear brand that will rival Stüssy"
BB: Wayne and Roger seem to be fueling the Trap Golf community. What do you see in both of their abilities to tell stories and meaningfully engage with people on behalf of the brand?
AM: I knew that I needed a team and a face for the brand, so it could really take off and grow. So in June of 2020, Wayne Birch and I started texting each other. I got on the phone with Wayne and we talked and through sharing our stories and hearing how much he loved Trap Golf, it seemed to be the perfect fit to have him sign on as a Co-Owner and Co-Founder of the brand. The growth you see today is largely because of Wayne Birch and now Roger Steele.
Roger officially joined the team in September 2020, and now we have the best team on the planet. Wayne, being a PGA Tour caddy, is the best one to be the face of the brand. Wayne grew up in Atlanta's College Park. He grew up with supporting parents and an uncle that was a golf instructor. He played golf at Southern University in Louisiana. He's played professional golf at the mini tour level and now caddies for Troy Merritt. So we have this trifecta of a team.
We have Wayne: the face—the people's man on tour, and connecting in the professional golf space. We have Roger who is trending on IG and is a very intelligent story teller and filmmaker. And you have me, who brings the content: all the art, design, and production behind the brand.
BB: What does a typical day look like for you?
AM: I'm usually up at 6am and start work as a Graphic Design Instructor and Head Golf Coach at a local high school. I work until about midnight or sometimes all night for TRAP GOLF, and for another brand I started about 8 years ago called Junior Strokes. In addition to my day job, I stay busy making orders for our customers and creating content for our Instagram and Facebook pages. I have a wife and three daughters, so I'm deep into family-man status at the moment. If I'm playing golf here at home, it's with my daughter or with my teams. If I'm playing for pleasure it's usually out of town.
BB: What are some other golf brands that you draw inspiration from, or at least that you think are doing things the "right" way?
AM: Brands that have inspired TRAP GOLF from the jump have been Malbon, Grateful Apparel, and OFF-WHITE by Virgil Abloh.
BB: How did the collaboration with Maurice Allen get started? What are some of the goals with that partnership, and what can we expect from you all in the future?
AM: Maurice approached us about him carrying our bag at the Diamond Resorts Invitational. It was an easy fit because of his relationship with Roger, and a lot of his vision aligns with ours. We hope to collab with him again in the future. The limited edition shirt that we did for him was a success and we were able to donate money to his MA360 Foundation, which will fuel his GROW THE GAME Initiative.
BB: What do you have cooking right now? And how can the broader community support the Trap Golf mission?
AM: We have linked up with some manufacturers now and are looking to start putting out more of the same, and more art. Our mission to make golf cool and inclusive—to help the game get looks from people that wouldn't otherwise give golf a chance, because of its perception of being a wealthy white man's game. Showing kids that it can be a dope sport just like football and basketball. How it can literally change your life, as it has mine, it has Wayne's, and Roger's. But we also want it to be recognized by Complex Magazine. I really believe eventually Trap Golf will be a streetwear brand that will rival Stüssy, Pink Dolphin, Malbon, A Bathing Ape, OBEY, Paper Planes, etc.
BB: How's your own golf game? How often do you play and can you outdrive Roger?
AM: I'm about a 5 handicap. Negative on out driving Roger—not happenin'. But I can still get off the tee pretty good.
BB: 3 words that describe golf as it is now, and 3 that describe where you want it to be.
AM: Fun. Closed. Misunderstood. I want it to be COOL, INCLUSIVE, and SPECIAL.