Tradition will always have its place in golf. But even as we honor the heritage of the game, one arena we're happy to see some updating in is apparel. The best new golf clothes are using the latest high-tech fabrics and finding nothing but fairway.
For more rounds than we care to remember, golf has sported and overdressed image. Early suiting up meant jacket and tie on the course and piles of wool. Even as dress codes relaxed, longs pants and the heavy cottons didn't make it any easier to bear up the heat.
Now nanotechnology comes to the rescue with the miracle of microfibers. The tiny scale makes once-fashion-unfriendly materials as polyester and spandex, soft, stylish and easy wearing. Once you don them, you'll quickly recognize their other advantages: wickability, durability, wrinkle resistance and easy care.
FootJoy emphasizes a layering system, aimed at keeping you on the golf course in a range of conditions that include warm, cool, wet and windy. You add or subtract layers according to the requirements of the climate. At left in white with blue trim, is a Base Layer long-sleeved shirt topped by a short-sleeved DryJoys pullover from the Tour Collection. The company stresses ease of movement in all its layers for natural motion. Materials are also antimicrobial to retard stains and odors.
Adidas (shown at center, in a blue polo shirt and checked blue shorts) boasts its ClimaCool system with CoolMax Energy fabric. The concept is that microfiber material in mesh pattern placed in strategic areas allows air to flow through and moisture to leave. The claim is that minerals infused in the fiber increase oxygen levels in the flowing air and thereby, the golfer can gain as much as seven percent on his energy level.
Greg Norman Collection (at right, in white polo shirt and light blue window-pane plaid shorts) employs its Play Dry system, a similar microfiber technology that wicks moisture to the outer layers for evaporation. In a number of styles the Shark also offers UPF technology, which protects against sun, as well as Play Dry waterproofs. What you also may have garnered from the shirt's argyle pattern is that this Royal Heritage Collection managed to hark to golf's fashion tradition even while going fast forward with technology.
Visit shark.com/gregnormancollectionm adidasgolf.com and footjoy.com.