It has famously appeared on Nike trainers and Dr Martens' boots.

Now Harris Tweed is teeing off with the world’s biggest producers of golf footwear - highlighting the hidden heritage of the game in the Hebrides.

Foojoy is launching a special edition which incorporates Harris Tweed into the shoes with Black Watch Harris Tweed bag to match.

Until the 1930s, Harris Tweed just about held its place as the performance sportswear of its day, with its loose, forgiving hand-woven structure. Even when plus-fours went out of fashion, caps and waistcoats continued to carry the Orb trademark onto the fairways of the world.

Now it is making a comeback on the fairways.

Golf Business News reported earlier this year that: "FJ’s Premiere Series will be worn by more (US) Tour players in 2021 than any other golf shoe, including Justin Thomas, Adam Scott, Ian Poulter, Webb Simpson and many more. Even during testing, the Premiere Series was the shoe chosen by more players at the 2020 US Masters Tournament than any other."

So if golf fans keep a close eye on this week’s Open at Royal St George’s in Kent, they should see plenty of Harris Tweed as the cameras zone in on some of the world’s best golfers lining up their putts. As part of a massive promotional effort behind the launch,

Footjoy have supplied them to the dazzling array of professionals linked to their brands.
Scotland’s Ryder Cup golfer, Stephen Gallacher, said: “They’re going down a storm. Everyone is loving them and you are going to see a lot of them over the next couple of weeks.

“You put two high quality brands together and this is what you get. Putting wool on a shoe is a bit innovative but it is waterproofed and looks classy. It adds something to shoes that are already excellent. It’s also very Scottish which fits well with the Scottish Open this week and the game in general”.

Footjoy said: “The Packard was inspired by Frederick Packard, FootJoy’s founder and a shoe pioneer who drove the adoption of many modern manufacturing and design innovations still employed today. While timeless in design, the Packard is infused with performance innovation”.

It went on to give a glowing description of Harris Tweed.

“It’s an honour to have the opportunity to work with such an iconic brand. Harris Tweed was the original uniform of choice in the Outer Hebrides, an early innovation statement for golfers performing in challenging elements,” said Chris Tobias, FootJoy vice-president of Global Footwear. “The luxurious hand-woven wool is a strong complement to our modern classic footwear, both fuelled by authenticity, style, and performance.”

The Footjoy connection is good not only for Harris Tweed but potentially for Western Isles tourism. In May, the company sent a film crew and one of the world’s leading golf photographers, Kevin Murray, to the islands where they gathered images which would back up the campaign.

At each of the three principal golf courses in the Western Isles, they recruited a quality local golfer to help with the filming – Iain MacLeod at Stornoway, Russell Tennant at Scarista on Harris and Gary Young at Askernish on South Uist. Each of the clubs also provided co-operation which allowed filming to take place under Covid conditions.

Paul O’Hagan, who led the Footjoy team, said: “Our trip to the Hebrides was even more breathtaking than we could have ever imagined. Around every corner was another stunning combination of rich colours and stunning views to shape the story of our collaboration with Harris Tweed Hebrides.

“The setting was at times other-worldly and the variety of golf courses gave us the ability to tell a number of differing product stories along the way. I hope our content does justice to a truly magnificent setting.”

Rob MacKinnon, chief executive of Outer Hebrides Tourism, says: “Most of the people who visit Scotland for golf have not yet made it as far as these islands and it is something that we are keen to promote. We have the necessary assets and showing them to the world via Footjoy is certainly a bonus.

“Linking golf to our most famous export, Harris Tweed, is a great way of raising the profile of our courses to put us on a par with the more famous names further south. And the shoes look great!”.

Golf’s history in the Western Isles goes back to at least 1890 – the year in which a course was created near Stornoway on land now occupied by the airport.

The following year, South Uist received a distinguished visitor, 'Old' Tom Morris - four times Open champion and fabled designer of courses - who had been retained by the estate's owner, Lady Gordon Cathcart, to carve 18 holes from the machair at Askernish.

More than a century later, the course was rediscovered as the 'lost Old Tom course' and now attracts visitors from all over the world, to play 'natural golf' in a stunning setting.

Former Major winner Nick Faldo so loved Scarista that he described nine-hole Harris as "one of the most beautiful settings for golf" and "paradise" on a fine day.

Faldo left a signed £5 note in the honesty box as his green fee. That note was glazed, framed and mounted and the Faldo Fiver is now competed for annually by Harris members.

Ronan Rafferty has also played the course and his golf ball has also been turned into a trophy.

Harris Tweed Hebrides has made its own previous contribution to keeping the golf-Harris Tweed connection alive. That opportunity arose when Gleneagles was selected as venue for the 2014 Ryder Cup and the company managed to secure an agreement with the European Tour to produce an official Ryder Cup collection.

The winner of each year's Harris Open is awarded a green jacket. It is made, of course, from Harris Tweed, woven at Luskentyre by Donald John Mackay.

Only Harris Tweed cloth, hand woven only by the islanders of Lewis, Harris, Uist and Barra in their own homes, using pure virgin wool that has been dyed and spun in the Outer Hebrides can be stamped with the Orb mark – making it the world’s only commercially produced hand woven tweed.

In recent years the Clo Mhor - meaning 'big cloth' in Gaelic - has legally been used on everything from boots, handbags, hats, dog collars, trainers and jackets.

Its devotees include pop icon Madonna, former Dr Who Matt Smith and actress Gwyneth Paltrow - not to mention many of the world's top designers.