The Transition | History of Straight Down

Straight Down began in the late 1980s as a company for water polo and volleyball enthusiasts, creating beachwear with the neon colors that were popular at the time. But just as popular culture (thankfully) moved on past a fluorescent palette, our maturation as a brand meant moving into spaces that we still successfully occupy today.

It was early in our history that we started making our well-known golf apparel and popular outerwear, including our classic quarter-zips, vests and lightweight layers suited for a variety of settings. The Fairway and Foothill plackets – luxurious fleece sweaters made of recycled ECO2Cotton fibers with a three-button closure – were our first foray into outerwear. These pieces are ideal for both a cool day on the course or an evening on the beach. The Foothill is still sold today and remains one of the most popular pieces we’ve made in our three-decade history.

Polos and golf clothes followed shortly after. It was a natural extension because our founder, Mike Rowley, not only has a passion for the game but also the unique insight that comes from competing at the highest level of amateur golf, including multiple USGA championships. He knows what the most dedicated golfers need because he’s one himself.

While the neon shades didn’t transition into these new offerings, we did want to make a statement on the course. We did so by offering exuberant patterns, like the tropical and flower prints that were found on some of our first polos. Just like the plackets cemented our place in outerwear, the Sunflower Polo did the same in the polo world.

With this extension into the golf space, Straight Down also expanded into a wholesale business that made its offerings available at clubs throughout the United States. With its product lines continuing to grow, the company’s expansion also continued...

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