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February 6, 2024

Bing Crosby’s Son Harry Talks New Adidas x Malbon Golfwear Line Inspired by His Dapper Dad

Actors Andrew Santino and Taylor Kinney, NFL players Josh Allen and Kyle Allen, rapper Schoolboy Q, and golf coach to the stars Ron del Barrio turned up at The Preserve Golf Club in Carmel-By-The-Sea this week to hit some rounds in celebration of the debut of The Crosby Collection, a collaboration between Adidas and California-based sportswear and lifestyle brand Malbon Golf.

Created in honor of styles seen on the greens during the legendary Crosby Clambake tournament that Bing Crosby kicked off in 1937, the limited-edition Adidas x Malbon line of apparel, accessories and footwear for men and women has debuted at and as well as select Adidas and Malbon Golf stores.

Also on hand was Harry Crosby, the son of Bing and Kathryn Crosby, who years ago performed with his father until weeks before his death and had a role in Friday the 13th and an episode of the sitcom Double Trouble before launching his investment banking career.

The Adidas x Malbon collection includes polo shirts, a sports coat and a mesh sweatshirt emblazoned with signature patches; pleated trousers and shorts; a cardigan with fun graphics; a checkered anorak and golf dress; high-waisted women’s culottes; a T-shirt with a graphic of the clam decanter gifted to participants at the original clambakes; plus a logo hat, a fresh take on the Stan Smith sneaker, and an MC87 golf shoe with kilties.

Beyond being a renowned singer and Oscar-winning actor (for 1944’s Going My Way), Bing Crosby was a sports enthusiast and avid golfer. His Crosby Clambake tournament was originally played at Rancho Santa Fe Golf Club until 1942 and reignited in 1947 at multiple courses in the Monterey-Pebble Beach area. First televised in 1958, the tournament grew and morphed into what is now the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, happening Jan. 31 to Feb. 4, 2024. The affair was initially designed to bring together a group of Crosby’s rabble-rousing Hollywood friends with tour pros who hit the West Coast during the winter. Regular players included Johnny Weissmuller of the Tarzan franchise, Jack Lemon, Bob Hope, Clint Eastwood, Jack Nicholson, Paul Newman and Dean Martin. Crosby would put up some of his own money as the prize, and the day ended in a clambake on the beach.

“Dad was fascinated with golf early on and, as I grew up in Hillsborough, it was the same thing; I had a golf club in my hand at age 6 or 7,” Harry Crosby tells THR, adding that his younger brother, Nathaniel, won the 1981 U.S. Amateur when he was 19 years old and was the U.S. Walker Cup team captain. “Mom was in her early 40s when dad passed away, and it was a bit of a bucket list to keep his name and his music alive. To help preserve that, we ended up putting together a partnership with Primary Wave [Music, which acquired a stake in Bing Crosby’s name and brand rights in 2021] as an active investor in helping reboot intellectual property. I thought, how do we link the half-life of this artist, when he’s not alive to self-advocate?”
One of the results is this new collaboration. “Malbon and Adidas came together,” continues Harry Crosby, “and we discussed the idea of how to capture the essence of who my dad was. As you can see in this clothing, he was very casual, very informal. He created an accessibility. And he had a great unspoken view of bringing together a diverse group of individuals who he worked with, who he played with, and that’s kind of how he dressed. Dad had a great work ethic, but he loved chilling. He would come from the studio or come from recording and he’d play golf in the same shirt. He was very much himself in casual wear. Everything was beautifully done, but kind of multi-purpose, because it was not so tailored. When I was a teenager, I was a skinny kid, and I used to take his shirts and tailor the backs of them so they could fit me. So then my dad would get the shirts back from the cleaners and he couldn’t button them.”
With the aim of dressing a less traditional golfer, Malbon Golf was founded in Los Angeles in 2017 by husband-and-wife duo Stephen and Erica Malbon and has a store on Melrose Place with additional locations in New York, Carmel-by-the-Sea, California, and Miami, plus multiple stores in South Korea. The brand has a fast following in the entertainment business, with fans who include Troy Garrity, Justin Timberlake, Justin Bieber, George Lopez, Michael Peña, Victor Cruz and Anthony Anderson.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Malbon family purchased a home in Carmel. “It was a perfect trifecta,” says Erica Malbon of the collaboration with Adidas and the Crosby family. “I love how Bing was able to integrate entertainment and golf and really showcase that through the clambake and his tournament; as a brand, we’ve been able to do that a bit, as well. Stephen and I spent time going through the old archival photos of the clambakes and took some silhouettes, like the classic polo and pleated pant and modernized them with fabric and small details like track stripes on the sides of the pants.”

Adds Stephen Malbon, “There were photos of the most famous golfers and entertainers in the world, back in the day,  playing golf at Cypress Point, which is the most traditional golf course. They were wearing baggy, pleated, high-waisted wool trousers with white T-shirts, because it was all about comfort, style, friends. They would have an open mic and so-and-so’s a comedian, the next guy’s a singer, the next guy would do improv or a dance performance or play violin. It was a free-for-all of entertainers entertaining for each other. I learned that Bing was color blind, but he would match odd colors that looked really cool together. He would wear a very casual outfit and then throw on a green velvet hat and a pipe. Like, now I’m fancy.”

Santino spoke to THR in between swings. “What Stephen is doing now is opening up the doors for different kinds of golfers, which I love, instead of just generational wealth golf world, old white guys,” he says. “I was never a country club or private course kid. I was a public course kid. So for me, this is a new world I wasn’t used to. We didn’t grow up with money and golf. The family vibe of the community is wonderful. I’m a part of Lakeside Golf Club in L.A. which had Bob Hope and Bing [as members] — a little respite getaway from the studios and stuff,” says Santino, who’s currently on the Bad Friends Tour with fellow comedian Bobby Lee and soon appears with Zac Efron and John Cena in Peter Farrelly’s comedy Ricky Stanickydebuting on Prime Video on March 7.

Having schooled Sylvester Stallone, Joe Pesci, Larry David and many more luminaries at Weddington Golf and Tennis in Studio City since 1984, Del Barrio also weighed in: “I’ve been teaching Stephen, screwing up his swing for a couple years, and now I’m working on Erica’s. My secret is I don’t kiss and tell. I have a trick thing I do when people want to take lessons. I send them a questionnaire with three questions: Are you willing to hit a wedge for one month? Are you willing to not play for a full month, even if you play twice a week? And if you have to change your grip, because it doesn’t jive with mine, will you do it? If any of those answers are a ‘No,’ I don’t take them. I will never make them do that, but it tells me that they are not serious about it themselves. They have to put the practice in. There are no shortcuts in this game.”

Bing Crosby’s last words, just before he died of a heart attack in October 1977 on La Moraleja Golf Club in Madrid, were reportedly, “That was a great game of golf, fellas.”

Harry Crosby confirms, “That’s correct, in so many words. Dad finished a round of 18 holes and had a very good score. It was a massive heart attack and he died instantly. If you’re gonna go [pauses] … but for me, it was way too soon. I was 19 years old and had just been traveling with him on a tour with Rosemary Clooney. We were very close. We worked together, which was wonderful, and so we had a very special relationship. I miss him a lot.”

ORIGINAL ARTICLE: Hollywood Reporter