When Edina mom Anna Sabiston was pregnant, she discovered it was difficult to find maternity clothes that met the dress code at most private golf courses.
“Usually you have to wear a skort or shorts of a minimum length,” the mother of two says. “I played [golf] through both my pregnancies, and there was nothing to wear.”
Sabiston tried to meet the dress code by wearing maternity tank tops underneath a larger golf shirt. A pair of shorts that was one size too big and a belly band completed the look. It was uncomfortable and she had to stop play to readjust her clothing.
"You don’t feel good,” Sabiston says. “Honestly, I scoured the ends of the internet to find something for myself.”
To make herself and other women feel good and play the game with confidence, Sabiston created Playing 9, a maternity clothing line for female golfers.
Sabiston kept everything local.
She started by hiring Clothier Design Source (CDS) in South St. Paul to help with design.
“I got a 3-D graphic image of what [the clothes] would look like and I did a Kickstarter campaign,” Sabiston says. Her 2015 fundraising campaign raised enough money to start manufacturing the clothes. Sabiston started with a sample of a polo shirt and skort.
Playing 9 has a polo shirt available in four colors and a skort that comes in three colors. The logo of a pregnant woman swinging a golf club is on the bottom left of every shirt.
“Some of the people who have bought clothes are golf teaching professionals who are pregnant and they have to wear the clothes every day,” Sabiston says. “It’s not a different style, but if you buy all the shirts and all the skorts, or two of each, you can mix and match and get what you feel like is more outfits.”
The polo shirt and skort are made of a high-quality imported mix of polyester and spandex. The polo is designed to fit over an expectant belly. Ruching on the sides ensures the shirt will lay flat and not ride up. Both pieces can also be worn after pregnancy; simply fold down the waistband of the skort and tuck in the shirt.
Playing 9 is only available at playingnine.com. The website launched in December and has been featured in Golf for Her magazine. Golf Network’s Morning Drive co-host Paige Mackenzie will wear the entire Playing 9 clothing line on air and has featured it on her Twitter account.
It’s all very exciting for this Edina mom, who used to play golf for the University of Minnesota and still manages to get to the golf course twice a week. She says golfing taught her concentration, patience, determination, honesty and hard work.
“To me, it’s a small way to give back to the game that I feel has given me a lot,” Sabiston says. “There are so many women making strides in the game that it felt like they need clothing because they’ll probably have kids at some point. That’s why I did it. I felt like it was needed.”