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Nothing illustrates golf’s vibe better than its clap—an applause that’s intended to produce as little noise as possible. But since the pandemic, when thousands of players took up the sport, the game has become, well, louder. And no company has dialed up the volume as high as Pins and Aces.
Nicklaus Mertz (formerly a project manager at a mannequin supplier) founded the Arvada-based business in 2019 after he went in search of a new head cover and found the available options dreary. So he began producing his own, starting with one that featured the Colorado state flag. The designs quickly became more exuberant and now showcase Mexican sugar skulls, mythical creatures, and cultural icons such as William Wallace ($35 to $55). “The demographics have changed in golf,” Mertz says. “It’s following the trend of hypebeast apparel, like a Kith or Supreme—things that are very edgy.”
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As the brand’s popularity has increased—sales are expected to reach $18 million this year—more of golf’s old guard have embraced the noise. The Lakewood and Red Rocks country clubs are among those that now sell Pins and Aces, though Cherry Hills Country Club, the host of this month’s U.S. Amateur (August 14 to 20), does not. Evidently, some institutions still prefer to play the game on mute.