It’s not easy to break into the golf-apparel market and become an instant success, but men’s lifestyle brand Johnnie O. has managed to do just that. Famous for its cool surfboard logo and innovative features such as ultra-soft, stretchy fabrics and the “Tweener” button, Johnnie O. has become the brand Tour players (and caddies) gravitate toward without getting paid to wear it. So who really is “Johnnie”? And what’s his secret to appealing to such a wide variety of golfers with his cool California vibe while staying within the traditional parameters of the game? Golf Digest traveled to Los Angeles to get the story behind the brand, and the man.
John O’Donnell is a fan of juxtapositions—mixing old with new, prep with chill comfort. He’s also a deep thinker and idealist who’s not afraid to take risks. So when this scratch player couldn’t find the type of clothing he wanted to wear on the course and off, he decided to ditch his “regular job” and start making it himself. With the moral support from his many golf pro friends and Hollywood-actor brother, he launched “Johnnie O.” to fill a void in a market that’s welcomed him with open arms.