Original Penguin Golf Earl Polo Shirt Review

We check out one of Penguin's most popular polo shirts

Original Penguin Earl Polo Shirt
(Image credit: Mark Townsend)
Golf Monthly Verdict

Who doesn't love a bit of Original Penguin gear? This polo is a particularly lightweight and is ideal for both on and off the course

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Lightweight

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    Good value

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    Washes well

Some days you just get lucky. This photo was taken in the first week of November and over my right shoulder is Royal St George's and ahead of me the Shore nine at Prince's.

Original Penguin do a great line in polo shirts, part 'golfy' and part very much more leisure wear. This Earl offering probably sits in the latter category.

Related post: Original Penguin hoodie review

There are five different colours in the Earl polo range – this one (asphalt), caviar, hot coral, powder blue and violet quartz – and they feature a 3-button placket and what they call fashion pocket on the left chest.

The really noticeable thing about this is that it's really cool, both in appearance but also in its performance. If I were to play somewhere hot abroad or we got a really hot day here in the UK then this would be a real favourite which you might not think from its appearance.

Original Penguin Golf Earl Polo Shirt

(Image credit: Mark Townsend)


This is done through its construction from a moisture-wicking fabric and, to repeat the point, it will keep you fresh and dry throughout the round. The part polyester/recycled polyester mix also means that it is stretchy so there's absolutely no infringement on your swing.

Related post: Best golf polo shirts

The white tip detailing on the collar and cuffs gives the shirt a real lift and it washes great and, if anything, is even better after a few rounds as the shirt softens a bit.

I"m 6"4 and generally go with an XL and this is a very regular and comfortable fit, whisper it gently but it could almost be described as quite slimming as it's well fitted but not clingy.

The Penguin back story

This is a beauty. In 1955 a gentleman called Abbot Pederson had too much to drink while waiting for a flight and purchased a stuffed penguin that he named Pete. He accidentally knocked the head off the penguin, a helpful stewardess wrapped a tie around the penguin’s neck and remarked that it would look good on a shirt. Pedersen then went home and embroidered this character ‘Pete the Penguin’ on to his new shirts. Within a few years the likes of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Clint Eastwood and Arnold Palmer were wearing Original Penguin by Munsingwear. These days you’ll be most familiar with Cameron Smith, who nearly won the 2020 Masters, in their stylish clothing.

Mark Townsend
Mark Townsend

Mark has worked in golf for over 20 years having started off his journalistic life at the Press Association and BBC Sport before moving to Sky Sports where he became their golf editor on skysports.com. He then worked at National Club Golfer and Lady Golfer where he was the deputy editor and he has interviewed many of the leading names in the game, both male and female, ghosted columns for the likes of Robert Rock, Charley Hull and Dame Laura Davies, as well as playing the vast majority of our Top 100 GB&I courses. He loves links golf with a particular love of Royal Dornoch and Kingsbarns. He is now a freelance, also working for the PGA and Robert Rock. Loves tour golf, both men and women and he remains the long-standing owner of an horrific short game. He plays at Moortown with a handicap of 6.