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Spring fashion blooms at Lori’s Golf Shoppe

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By Elsa Bonstein, Golf Gab

I am so sick and tired of cold weather, sleet, snow, freezing rain and golf courses that are closed or restricted to cartpath-only rules. I don’t want to wear hats, scarves, earmuffs, sweaters and long johns anymore. I want to stick my down vest into the storage closet, where it belongs.

To cheer myself up, I decided to go to Lori’s Golf Shoppe in Calabash and look at all the new spring fashions. I asked my friend, Billie Ellwanger, to meet me there. Billie is an avid golfer who belongs to Meadowlands/Farmstead and the Surf Club in North Myrtle Beach, S.C. Last year she won The Brunswick Beacon Tournament of Champions. Besides that, Billie is an athletic size 4 and I knew she would look great in all those new clothes.

The new colors and patterns and designs were phenomenal and we had a blast trying on clothes.

Lori DeSimone began her golf shop in 2003 as a tiny, 500-square-foot shop in Ocean Isle Beach. The
shop outgrew its space and in 2004, Lori moved to Calabash. The operation got bigger and bigger. She took over several adjacent stores and now the shop has 4,800 square feet. She also has an online store.

Lori is not just a golf merchandiser. She is a professional golfer whose career was cut short by a shoulder injury. That did not stop this energetic dynamo from finding a career in the game she loved. Today, she teaches golf with a specialty for women golfers, particularly new golfers. She also runs day trips to Bald Head Island and three-day golf excursions to places like Pinehurst, Savannah, Ga., and Charleston, S.C.

Her shop is a rainbow of colors and carries a variety of goods, including clothes, clubs, bags, shoes and golf accessories. She also has a small section of men’s fashions (Loudmouth brand with crazy colors and prints) and girls’ golf outfits, clubs and shoes. In addition, she offers club fitting and club repairs.

Lori is enthusiastic about the new fashions for spring.

“Paisleys are big now and plaids,” she said. “The designers are doing bright colors — oranges, lime greens, hot pinks. There are even berry colors this year, shades called boysenberry and raspberry,” she said. “The best part is that manufactures have coordinated their colors for the past few years, so that the orange in one line matches the orange in another.
That allows customers to mix and match between various lines of clothing. This is a welcome change for the shopper and, basically, it sells more outfits.”

Lori took me over to a display of basic black and beige shorts, skorts and pedal pushers. To the uninitiated, a skort is a combination short and skirt. It looks like a skirt but has a built-in pair of shorts underneath and pulls up for a comfortable fit.

“The waistband in these garments is stretchy and lies flat against the waist,” Lori said. “You don’t need to wear a belt and it has a
smooth line under a golf shirt or sweater.”

Billie and I wandered around and picked out some outfits for her to try on. One rack had a beautiful combination of blacks, whites and oranges. There were striped shirts, paisley skorts, foulard print skorts and assorted pedal pushers.

Another rack had bright blues and greens in plaids, paisleys and diamond prints. Yet another featured combinations of hot pinks, teamed with white and a blue-green color called “sea breeze.”

The fabrics felt soft, and when I crinkled a handful, there were no wrinkles left behind.

"Most of the fabrics these days are blends of rayon and nylon,” Lori said. “They wear well and are easy care.

“Our area supports a variety of clothing. For example, we sell a lot of pedal pushers, those are pants that are cut just below the knee. If you go to California, everyone wears golf shirts and shorts. Here, because of our changing weather, golfers layer their clothing with shirts, vests, sweaters and jackets. They can wear several kinds of shorts and pants of every length during the year.

“One of our manufacturers discontinued pedal pushers awhile ago and we were all upset because our customers like them.”

Lori carries many manufacturers in her shop and online. They include Adidas, Bette & Court, Cutter & Buck, DKNY, Nancy Lopez, Sport Haley and Tail. Her best selling line is E.P. Pro.

Lori’s golf trips are a lot of fun and the one May 21-23 to Pinehurst is already sold out. The group will be playing Whispering Pines, Legacy and Foxfire.

“Our ladies’ golf trips go for three days and two nights to places like Pinehurst, Charleston and Savannah. We play golf the afternoon on the first day and in the morning on the last day,” she said. “We try to pick places that have things to do and see besides golf. All those destinations have great shopping and historical places to visit.

"With the U.S. Men’s and Women’s Opens both in Pinehurst this year, it’s a treat to go there and just soak up the atmosphere.”

Lori recently opened a second Lori’s Golf Shoppe in Pinehurst on U.S. 5, a mile from the center of town.

“We just carry women’s fashions there because we don’t have room for all the other stuff,” she said. “We’re doing well so far and with the big tournament coming this summer, I know the shop will thrive.”

So, if you have the winter blahs, get over to Lori’s and try on some outfi ts in all those great new colors. Book a golf trip so you can anticipate sunny days on a golf course and the good camaraderie.

And, Billie, thanks for trying on all those new outfits for our readers. I owe you golf and lunch, but let’s wait until the temperature gets out of the 40s and 50s.

Golf Gab groaner

Did you ever notice that when you blow in a dog’s face, he gets mad at you, but when you take him on a car ride, he sticks his head out the window? (Submitted by my daughter, Kim Campbell, who owns a kennel called the Dog Eaze Inn in Virginia).

Elsa Bonstein is a golf columnist for the Beacon. Reach her at elanbon@ atmc.net.