Kentwool taking bigger steps into the golf market

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Kentwool, a Greenville-based sock company, is expanding its line in 2016 and making a bigger push into the golf market.

The company is adding a range of new collegiate colors in April to its Tour Standard and Tour Profile sock lines.

The Tour Profile sits low on the ankle. Kent Barber, Kentwool director of operation and special projects, said the Tour Standard, which is a longer crew-style sock, is popular with the younger demographic of golfers.

Kentwool also has introduced a line of boxer briefs and T-shirts.

“We’re just kind of moving up the body,” Barber said.

The company started as a wool yarn producer in 1843 and introduced consumer products in 2010.

KentwooldSocks

Another big step for the company, Barber said, was signing the first-ever sponsorship with the Association of Professional Tour Caddies (APTC).

KentwoolSocks_2He said sponsoring caddies individually wouldn’t be worthwhile, but “150 caddies together is very marketable.”

On any given weekend 100-120 caddies are wearing the company’s socks on the golf course, he said.

About 30 professional players are also wearing Kentwool socks, including Aiken native Kevin Kisner, who is currently ranked second in FedExCup standings and 21st in the official world golf ranking.

Barber said the caddies wear the socks, and since they like them so well, they talk about them with the golfers they are assisting.

KentWool_socks1

KentwoolSocks_3Barber said a direct relationship with golfers and “really the whole trusted advisor role for a caddie has expanded in golf rather than just being someone who carries the bags.”

The socks are specifically designed to prevent blisters during a tournament, and Barber said this year he expects 50 million “blister-free” steps to be taken in Kentwool socks.

Barber said the company is looking to partner with a fitness tracking company like Fitbit or Jawbone to help track the total steps taken in the socks.

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