What happens when you take Australian ski culture and infuse it into golf? You get Walker Golf Things.
The new brand, which released its first collection on July 9, is the brainchild of professional skateboarder and amateur dew sweeper Jack Vardel. Originally from the Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia, Fardel now lives in New York City and spends his time touring the country competing in professional events and filming content like the popular Away Days series with adidas, which he has been with for eight years now. Although you might know Fardell from competing in the X Games at the age of eleven, his love of golf goes back to that. With his father who was passionate about the game and named him the great Jack Nicklaus, “I had no choice but to play golf,” Vardel says.
Over the years, Fardell became part of a circle of peers in the ski industry who shared a passion for golf and travel. When they didn’t tear it up at the skate park, it was nice to find them at the track. Later, when Fardel found himself living in Southern California, he began to create important connections within the golf industry.
The idea for Walker Golf Things came about through conversations with his ski buddies and communication with the world of golf and fashion. Although there were a number of up-and-coming, up-and-coming brands such as Malbon, Manors, Puttwell, Beams Golf among others, Fardell saw a place for a uniquely Australian golf brand that represented the rich history and culture of the sport below.
“Golf isn’t very much an elite game in Australia. It’s not a million dollar membership and you can go to your local club and it’s a great community. It’s easy to sign up and become a member and it’s not expensive. So you can get into golf in a really positive way there.”
To help revive the brand and show the “Australian way of golf,” Vardel enlisted the help of Will Watt, Cady’s editor-in-chief and longtime freelance photographer. “It shoots at Barnbougle, Royal Melbourne and Kingston Heath, the world’s top 10 amazing courses,” Fardell says. “But he also takes trips to the Northern Territory and shoots earthy red greens, tin shed clubs and locals golfing and drinking beer.”
For Walker Golf Things, the goal is to represent both sides of this duality. “It’s more like a ski atmosphere where you can play golf while still going to a country club or to your public course. It’s a good mix of skiing and golf.”
As for the brand name, it comes from one of the other founders, Glenn Walker. “We’d play with names and kind of suggest Walker because most of the time we play golf and walk anyway,” Vardel says.
Overall, he hoped with this brand that people would interact with the products in their own way, whether it was golf, skiing, or anything in between. Most recently, Vardell spotted Thrasher’s Skater of the Year for 2021 representing the brand in a pro tournament. “Marc Socio skated in one of our Street League jerseys put out for delivery a couple of weeks ago. I turned on the TV to support him wearing my jersey. And I thought ‘Wow that’s rad, all the way from Australia to the Street League.'”
Looking at the brand’s offerings, on the first drop featured a specific country symbol (in addition to the Fardell family crest), the Kookaburra, perched atop a golf club. The logo appears on each drop element, including the black and white woodland Kooka Polo, the Kooka Bucket Hat, the black and white graphic T-shirt, and the classic black and white/red rope-style hat. Meanwhile, the second show, tentatively scheduled for August 13, will feature Walker’s text logo on graphic T-shirts and a bowling-style T-shirt among other things.
You can find all Kooka items, priced from $42 to $69, right now by visiting the Walker Golf Things online store.
In other golf news, new photos of the Air Jordan 12 Low Golf “French Blue” have surfaced.