Malbon and JBL Say Yes to Music on the Golf Course

Typically when people hear of Art Basel Miami Beach, they might think of bananas taped to walls, Wynwood street murals and South Beach benders. And while that continues to be the case in 2023, there’s another side to Art Basel week that a select number of people get to witness: golf.

South Florida, a destination for golf in the winter? That shouldn’t be news to anybody. But thanks to Malbon Golf and its new partner JBL, Miami Shores Country Club, located about 15 minutes north of Brickell, was exposed to a different brand of golf. It’s younger, it’s more laid back, yet flashy at the same time, and thanks to JBL it’s definitely louder. The energy was palpable on Wednesday morning even though many of the attendees were up into the late hours the night before.

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On Tuesday evening, Malbon, whose signature Buckets logo has become the face of golf’s democratization, celebrated the opening of its new Miami store in the high-end shopping district of Coconut Grove. While the location is a bit out the way from South Beach and Brickell, it still gets a high amount of foot traffic from deep-pocketed local residents and University of Miami students.

The retail space was packed with creatives, entrepreneurs and VIPs, each with their own role to play in golf’s new wave. That night, JBL brought out local DJ Irie, and also announced content creator and aspiring pro golfer Paris Hilinski as its newest ambassador. At just 19, Hilinski has become one of the most in-demand women in golf with her athletic style of play and sophisticated fashion sense.1 of 2

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The evening also served as the jumping off point for Malbon’s partnership with JBL, to which Malbon co-founder Stephen Malbon remarked: “Music is intrinsic to the golf experience, so together we’ve created a partnership that hits the mark across sound and golf. I’m thrilled to introduce it to the community.” Naturally, the first drop the two collaborated on was a JBL Flip 6 in 305-inspired green and orange along with “Miami” in Malbon script font.

And music was indeed a central theme the following day at Miami Shores Country Club. JBL PartyBox Ultimates, each capable of producing 1100W of JBL Pro Sound, were stacked next to each other like bowling pins at multiple tee boxes. Additionally, a large JBL installation greeted participants at check-in, and the turnout didn’t disappoint. It’s winter in Miami after all, it’s hard to say no to that. Former pro athletes Victor Cruz, J.R. Smith, Gary Sheffield and Alonzo Mourning mixed it up with JBL golf tastemakers Emma Carpenter and Paris Hilinski.1 of 4

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Julius Oppenheimer/Hypegolf

Smith actually made the first hole-in-one of his life on the 9th hole. Although nobody recorded it live, the reactions were well documented. In between the golf, he live-recorded the Par-3 Podcast alongside Stephen Malbon and various guests throughout the day, where JBL built out the recording studio. Players got one more taste on the next hole where they were given their choice of JBL Live earbuds and Mexican paletas.

There’s a lot more in store for the two brands going forward, as they continue to seek ways to combine the worlds of music and golf. Once considered the sport of “Quiet Please,” golf has loosened up its stance on music, with most public courses and even some private clubs now allowing people to bring their own speakers and play tunes at a reasonable volume. And many of the same people who found their way into golf via streetwear-inspired brands like Malbon aren’t abiding by the rules of yesteryear.

With their new partnership, JBL and Malbon are betting that this movement will continue to pick up steam. “JBL continues to push the boundaries of successful partnerships and unlock new benchmarks for what collaborations should look like,” said Chris Epple, VP of Marketing at JBL’s parent company HARMAN. “We’re rewriting the rulebook, and this venture into the golf space with Malbon Golf is nothing short of a game-changer.”

Thanks to this new partnership, you can now personalize your JBL speaker of choice with golf-inspired designs via JBL x ME, and keep an eye out on Malbon and JBL‘s Instagram channels for more product news and upcoming events.
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