John Ashworth & The Goat Hill Park Collection: A Golf Course and a Hat for Everyone

Goat Hill Park is a legend, and the best part is, everyone is welcome to give it a go. Goat Hill Park is a public short course in San Diego, California, and its policy is inclusivity and accessibility. So how did John Ashworth come up with this concept? Truth is, he’s always thought that way, which is why Imperial is proud to collaborate with John Ashworth and Goat Hill Park on the Goat Hill Park Collection.
 
Meet John Ashworth and Goat Hill Park
You may recognize the name John Ashworth from apparel brands like Ashworth, Fidra and most, recently, Linksoul. From his beginning days in the golf apparel industry, Ashworth has strived to evolve the game. 
In fact, renovating Goat Hill Park was based on the same concept. With Goat Hill Park’s tagline simply stating “World Class | Working Class,” Ashworth explains, “the philosophy behind our motto is we feel golf should be inclusive and available to anyone with interest in learning the game.”
When developers continued to comb through San Diego tearing up courses, Ashworth and his team wanted to ‘Save Goat Hill.’ This mantra caught on, and many celebrities joined the cause. Renovating the golf course was always about more than showing off the stunning ocean views; Ashworth wanted this course to be a place where the soul of golf grew at every level.

John Ashworth rocks the Goat Hill Skipper Rope Cap, which makes sense since he’s the captain of the Goat Hill Park Collection.
In addition to keeping the green fees low and the course public, you can often hear music and golfers enjoying the course in whatever clothes they like. And one of the more significant contributions? Ashworth followed through on his promise to make Goat Hill Park home to the North County Junior Golf Association. He designed a 3-hole kids’ golf course and founded a caddie program so children can fall in love with the game at an early age and truly enjoy it. 
Drawing parallels back to Linksoul, which Ashworth co-founded with Geoff Cunningham shortly before the ‘Save Goat Hill’ campaign began, Ashworth and Cunninghams’ vision can be seen in the company’s name. Ashworth states, “The inspiration was to take all the experiences that came before and evolve. Making clothing from the best available fabrics that are comfortable and look as good off the course as they do on the course. But just as important, we wanted to promote the ‘Soul’ of the game.”
It also helps that, just like the renovation campaign, Linksoul’s “point of view in style and image was completely different from anyone else at the time.” Plus, they had “guys like Fred Couples, John Cook and Ernie Els on board.” You may recognize a few more people from Ashworth’s network in the photo above, like Matt Ginella, who collaborated with Imperial on the limited edition Fire Pit Collection.
Ashworth’s own story about his start in golf emphasizes the importance of his contributions to Goat Hill Park. Beginning as his dad’s caddie when he was eight years old, he soon realized “there’s the real world and then there is the golf world, and [he’s] lucky to have lived in the golf world and been able to scratch out a living [in it].” 
It’s safe to say Ashworth’s love for the game and its opportunities have been the largest motivation behind his apparel brands and Goat Hill Park plans, and Imperial is proud to share its Goat Hill Park Collection with the course’s biggest fans.
 
The Imperial x Goat Hill Park Collection

After interviewing John Ashworth and learning more about the renowned golf course’s story of inclusivity and accessibility, Imperial is proud to announce its Goat Hill Park Collection, where you will find the iconic course logos on several classic Imperial styles. From rope hats to mesh back hats, you will find every opportunity to represent Goat Hill Park and share in its vision.
 
Goat Hill Park Golf Hats, Rope Caps and Beanies

If you want to emphasize the California vibes, check out the Oceanside Cap; its palm trees will have you dreaming of playing near the ocean in no time. If you’re golfing this winter and need to stay warm, be sure to look into our Venice Waffle Knit beanie hat and our Breck Rope Cap, which gives off major corduroy style points.
 
Goat Hill Park Bucket Hats, Mesh Back Hats and Performance Caps

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On the flip side, if you’re trying to protect yourself from the sun, you can’t go wrong with the Ringer Mesh Crown Floppy Bucket Hat. While there are other Goat Hill Park mesh back options, you can always go with the classic mile high and original performance fits.
 
Q&A With John Ashworth

Can you describe your inspiration for Linksoul, how it got started, and what’s next for the brand in 2021?

The inspiration was to take all the experiences that came before and evolve. Making clothing from the best available fabrics that are comfortable and look as good off the course as they do on the course. But just as important we wanted to promote the ‘Soul’ of the game. When I say we I mean my co-founder Geoff Cunningham. He’s such a talented artist and creator and we share a vision of how important golf is in so many abstract ways.

You’ve been designing and working in golf apparel for decades. Have you always been a golfer, and what made you want to continue working in the golf space? 

Yes, starting caddying for my Dad at age 8 and never looked back…There’s the real world and then there is the Golf world and I’m lucky to have lived in the Golf world and been able to scratch out a living.  

What advice do you have for aspirational creators and entrepreneurs who hope to be in your place someday? 

Be open, curious and in the moment. Try to have unlimited goodwill while learning from absolutely everyone.

The Ashworth clothing brand revolutionized the golf apparel industry. What particular edge do you feel helped you stand out against your competition the most? 

The timing was pretty amazing. Our point of view in style and image was completely different from anyone else at the time and of course to have guys like Fred Couples, John Cook and Ernie Els on board helped stand out a bunch!

Golf Digest described Goat Hill Park as “the little course with big ambitions”. Tell us about the philosophy behind it’s motto “world class, working class” and what makes Goat Hill such a hidden gem. 

The philosophy behind our motto is we feel Golf should be inclusive and available to anyone with interest in learning the game.
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