One of the many things I love about my wife, Kelly, is that she likes to spoil me with awesome presents.
Kelly knows my favorite golf brand is Seamus, and although she’s not a golfer she knows it resonates with me. Similarly to Ashworth’s Golf/Man campaign (R.I.P. Ashworth), Seamus celebrates the game’s rich heritage and traditions with classic style that features super-high-quality materials, fabrics and craftsmanship.
Early last year, Seamus announced a new venture: Feel Player shoes. They were accepting pre-orders for up to 200 pairs, and luckily Kelly saw the email blast and knew I’d love them.
I can’t say it was easy waiting for these to arrive! Not only did images of the prototype look great, but I was excited in general about getting something as exclusive as “200 pairs pre-ordered.” I’m also a huge advocate of walking golf, so the thought of having a shoe that feels like a moccasin intrigued me.
Minimalist in style, the Feel Players debuted at $195/pair with the option of adding a “Supporter kit” for an extra $100. The supporter kit included a shoe bag, shoe horn, special ball mark, coaster, a tartan pouch for the little items, an extra pair of reflective laces, a hand-signed note of thanks from the shoe’s designer, Michael Friton, and Seamus owner, Akbar Chisti, and a cleaning kit from one of their local Portland, Oregon companies.
The 200 pairs took three weeks to sell out, and most were purchased during the first week.
Friton designed the individually hand-sewn Feel Players to be under 8 ounces a shoe. Their moccasin feel leaves little between the player’s feet and ground, hence the “Feel” part of the product line’s name.
While I don’t golf barefooted as often as my friends Ross and Tom do, I do from time to time and enjoy it. I like feeling the contours of the terrain under my feet, and during the summer especially I don’t mind feeling the dew, or the cold, wet sand between my toes.
Playing barefooted can lead to cold feet and bug bites, though, too… Not to mention awkward looks. The thin and pliable Seamus shoes allow me to get all the feels of the ground without getting my feet wet. The Feel Players are more “well-grounded” than any other golf shoes I’ve worn, and the closest comparison I can make is probably aqua-socks.
Having played six or seven total rounds with the Feel Players, my overall opinion is that I love them. My only moments of concern came in the rain in Florida when my back foot slipped several times during tee shots. The rubber bottoms are lightweight and maleable, but I can see how they’d be prone to slippage in wet conditions especially during a driver swing that features a lot of torque. They have otherwise performed beautifully.
The Seamus Feel Player shoes are just one of many limited edition runs Akbar and Seamus have announced over the past couple of years. Others have included their hand-sewn Sunday bags, hand-forged US Open memorabilia, club head covers, on-course tools and more.
While there is nothing cheap about Seamus Golf products, they always manage to make me feel like I’m getting good value. The Sunday bag, for example, included extras like a hand-forged steel bottle opener/divot repair tool and copper ball mark, and the shoes included a hand-forged steel ball mark, a collectible leather coaster and a number of little trinkets. Everything they do is produced individually and therefore unique, and – most importantly – everything I’ve gotten from them has gotten me a lot of compliments.
Nobody in golf is better at building a connected brand than Seamus Golf, and it’s been fun seeing the golf world continue to take notice of the great things Akbar and his wife Megan, brother Ali and their staff of 18 are doing out in Beaverton, Oregon.