By  on May 16, 2006

SUNRISE, Fla. — Women's golf line Astra USA is rethinking its game.

This season the company launched Astra Sport, a contemporary collection with more technical fabrics, fitted silhouettes and fashion colors than its traditional Astra line, renamed Astra Classic, which caters to the mature country-club set.

"We needed to capture a younger audience that golfs at high-end resorts and clubs like Florida's Fairmont Turnberry Isle Resort or Trump International Club," said Kara Faust, director of sales and product development for Astra USA, a division of Lord Daniel Sportswear, based here.

While the skort leads sales at Astra Classic, a long short proved to be Astra Sport's bestseller from the start. Produced in a cotton and nylon blend, the 22-inch cut with six pockets retails for $88. Black, white, pale pink and plaid are most popular. Fit and function are top priorities for the line, Faust said.

"We're known for our fit, and we always make sure there's lots of room for golf balls, markers and Ts," she said.

All pieces are washable and many are dryable, such as a skort in a microfiber that mimics wool.

For fall, the company is introducing ankle pants with a hidden zip front and four pockets for $96 at retail. Colors are black with white piping, chocolate with cream or tan with cream.

Skorts move forward, but with different linings in high-tech, lightweight fabric. The company also plans to introduce skorts with adjustable zipper hems for more legroom in the same fabric as its long short. Astra USA is manufactured at Samsung's factories in South Korea, and Faust said access to Samsung's innovative technology enables the brand to offer high-performance fabrics with UV protection, lighter weights and durability. "One of our most popular items is a long-sleeved polo shirt in stretch-thread Egyptian cotton with UV protection," Faust said.

Astra Sport already has 600 accounts, including Palm Beach Golf Center in Palm Beach Gardens and Boca Raton, Fla.

"We're projecting total sales of $1.5 million for 2006 for Astra Sport," Faust said.

The move into contemporary comes as many firms are freshening their golf offerings. Puma and Fila both launched golf for spring, and other traditional golfwear firms, such as Greg Norman and Ashworth, have introduced brighter colors and more fitted silhouettes to appeal to a wider range of customers.

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