You know what would be cool about being professional golfer? Yes, getting paid to play golf would be cool. Yes, playing courses that are “open to the public” in the sense that any member of the public who can fork over $500 plus caddy, tips, beverages, and foie gras at the turn can play them would be cool. Courtesy cars would be cool. Groupies would be cool (hey, golf groupies are a thing, look it up!) But you know what else would be cool about being a professional golfer, at least for a guy like me? Having people. Not in the sense of “people who need people,” but in the sense of “Hey Steve, your people sent over your outfits for the week.”
Going back several years, to when I started playing golf again, I can easily laugh at how dysfunctional my wardrobe was. Being stricken with Acute Style Deficiency, my appearance on the golf course was far less than desirable and my lack of ability to put together a decent outfit was showcased with each outing.
20 years ago I bought my first house. It was a nice house, great location, big yard. But the best part is that it came with the previous owners’ satellite dish and receiver. I promptly signed up for the biggest package available, and drooled over all of the sports and movies I was going to watch. 5 ESPNs, Sports South, MSG, HBO, Skinimax, the works. That may not seem like a big deal in a world where you can watch Game of Thrones any time you want on your phone, but back in the day none of this stuff was even available on cable. It was going to be sports and movies, 24×7 baby!
To everything there is a season – Ecclesiastes 3:1
The last time I got the chance to review some golf apparel I had to fight snow, sleet, and assorted unpleasantness to trudge through enough rounds to give you, our loyal reader, the low-down. But the third stone from the sun has continued its trip, the seasons have turned, and summer has returned to Three Guys World Headquarters and Golf Club. And as if to compensate us for suffering through 8 inches of snow, the North Carolina Piedmont has been “rewarded” with temperatures approaching triple-digits earlier in the season than any time in recent memory.
Finally, spring is upon us and that means there’s much golf to be played. Aside from the obvious reasons to get out and play, the other awesome perk of the new season is all the fresh spring apparel hitting the shelves.
Devereux may not be a name you are familiar with, and you certainly won’t find them flipping through the clothes rack at Golf Galaxy, but don’t worry we have your questions covered. The latest Devereux spring line, called The Christina O Collection, offers a wide variety of stylish colors and unique looks that distinctively separates them from the typical “golfing polo”.
I’m not a fan of winter golf. The grass is dormant, the ground alternates between frozen solid and sodden from rain, sleet, and snow. And to add insult to injury, it’s cold. I’m not even going to pretend that cold doesn’t bother me – I hate cold. I hate cold so much that I don’t complain about playing golf when it’s 100 degrees (that’s like 38 in Australian degrees).
But the alternative to winter golf is too awful to contemplate, so when the snow stops blowing and the wind stops howling, I layer up like I’m sailing with Shackleton, fire up a couple of handwarmers, fill a flask with the appropriate antifreeze, and brave the frozen tundra.
Right or wrong, often times companies get tagged for a certain look and then have a hard time shaking those conceptions even when they no longer fit. About four years ago, we were sent a bunch of Bunker Mentality shirts to review, and since our blog was still pretty new we were probably a bit over-giddy about the hip European brand. As the months wore on and we began to see more apparel, I compartamentalized Bunker Mentality as a “kinda cool, but a little over the top” brand.
Like most people, when I start the adventure of looking for some new sunglasses the first priority on the list is of course style. As a society we can get so hung up on the looks of a pair of sunglasses that I’d be willing to bet 9 out of 10 guys would not wear magical “see thru” sunglasses if they knew they looked ridiculous.
Ok, maybe I’m stretching the truth there a little, but you get my point. While style is on the top of the list, what should be on the forefront of choosing a new pair of shades is the actual lens that protects your eyes from the sun and its damaging rays. To put it simply, protection is exactly WHY we buy sunglasses in the first place.
Providing sunglass wearers more options when it comes to replacement lenses for their current frames is where a company called Revant Optics has decided to fill a void. As much as the big brand retailers would like you to continue to use their lenses for your frames, there is no rule that says you have to replace your existing lenses with the same ones when bad things happen like scratches, or worse, you accidentally step right on them and destroy any chance of using them again.
That being said, when we found out Revant Optics offers replacement lenses that perform equally to if not better than the originals, at a third of the price, we eagerly agreed to do the review for them.
Knowing we’re all about golf, Revant sent us a pair of sunglasses fitted with their new Elite HC3™ polarized lens that we were told is ideal for the golf course. From the Revant website here’s a breakdown of the features for the Elite HC3™ lenses.
- HC3™ Stealth Black (high clarity, comfort, contrast)
- Injection molded, precision polarized HC3™ lenses for complete glare elimination & vivid contrast
- Superior clarity (exceeds ANSI Z87.1 clarity, refractive & prismatic power standards)
- Taper corrected to eliminate peripheral distortion, ensuring accurate and comfortable vision
- 100% infused UV & blue light protection
- 8% light transmission – neutral view tint
- High impact resistant (exceeds ANSI Z87.1 high mass, high velocity standards)
- Revant Elite microfiber transport bag included
- Precision cut and guaranteed to fit
For most, including yours truly, there’s a lot of information in the Elite HC3™ features list that soars way over the cranium, and even though I’m not a fan of listing specs/features I did want to show you some of the key points Revant is utilizing when creating these high performance sunglass lenses.
The stats or features list could have been 200 bullet points long with beyond impressive information but if the lenses don’t perform what’s the point, right? Well, I’m happy to say I’ve been completely impresses with how the elite HC3™ lenses have held up in the desert sunshine over the last month.
I’ve had several pairs of polarized glasses over the last several years so my comparison of the Revant lenses started off relating to my past experiences, and for a few weeks that really hindered my review. I was comparing how everything looked through the lenses and not concentrating on how they were performing. A quick “Bill Nye the Science Guy” moment will help me explain.
Polarized lenses contain a filter that helps eliminate “glare”, which is also known as horizontal reflective light. Long roads and smooth water are a few instances where “glare” can be easily produced. The glare-educing filter in polarized lenses can be very helpful if you find yourself in situations where you’ll be staring into the sun for longer periods of time, like the hood of a car or… a round of golf!
My previous encounter with Polarized sunglasses had made me believe that in order for them to be effective they have to be overwhelming. If you have ever worn a pair of polarized lenses and looked at your cell phone or LCD screen you’ll understand what I mean. Cell phones (my iPhone for example) have a particularly odd visual response.
I tell you all of this because the first time I put o the sunglasses with the Revant Elite HC3™ lenses what I experienced wasn’t as dramatic as others I’ve tried, and that put a sour taste in my mouth. I was concerned these were just another pair of lenses trying to compete with the big boys. I couldn’t have been more wrong.
After playing a several rounds with lenses I started noticing several differences in how they performed. Most notably was the lack of distortion because of the tapered lens technology Revant uses. With most polarized sunglasses the filter can cause the outer edges of the lens, basically your peripheral vision, to distort somewhat like those funny mirrors you find at a state fair. Casually wearing them around the city the lack of distortion was mildly noticeable but once I got on the course, into a wide open space, it was evident how well Revant has taken the troublesome distortion out of the lenses.
I also noticed something different off the course. Later on in the day, once I got home and started relaxing after my rigorous golf outings, I realized my typical “after golf” headache was missing. You never realize how much of a pounding your eyeballs take when they’re not protected to the highest level. The Elite HC3™ lenses block 99.7% of glare, and out here in the desert we’re exposed to a lot of it!
Having a photography background, one of my favorite filters to use is a polarized one. I love being able to make the blues just pop of the page on my prints. The same experience can be said when you put on a pair of polarized lenses. Like I said earlier the Elite lenses were not as dramatic in this area when compared to others I’ve worn, but where the Revant lenses absolutely dominate is clarity.
I have a few “HD” lenses from a several different manufacture and what I dislike about them is how they change the hue or the colors to get their enhancement. The Elite HC3™ lenses accomplish this clarity enhancement without altering the color spectrum. While having some light spectrums “pop” when you wear polarized lenses maybe ideal for some but, I’m a huge fan of natural colors with virtually no glare and amazing clarity.
The Elite HC3™ lenses sell for $52.00 and that price includes a Revant Elite Micro Fiber transport bag for storing your glasses when not in use and also for cleaning. Considering replacement lenses from the OEM Brand can run anywhere from $90.00 to $110.00 – spending half that and getting a lens that is equal to, if not better, is a fantastic option.
There is only one color choice for the Elite HC3™ lenses and it’s called Stealth Black. It’s not a mirrored lens like you often see with polarized sunglasses; however, if you are looking for a mirrored lens Revant Optics has you covered there as well. They offer 8 different MirrorShield finishes that all include the polarized filter and they sell for $36.00. Non-mirrored polarized will run you $32.00, while their non-polarized lenses come in MirrorShield and regular starting at $24.00
The next time you’re in the market for a set of replacement lenses for your Costa, Oakley, Ray-Ban, Rudy Project or Spy Optic sunglasses head on over to the Revant Optics website and see if the choices they have to offer will fit your needs.
Aside from long car rides or days out on the lake enjoying the water or simply fishing, the Revant Optics Elite HC3™ have been a welcomed addition to my golf outings and will be for many rounds to come.
You can see all of their products on the Revant Optics website.
For years the mongo golf apparel brands have been able to dominate both retail sales and player sponsorship. However, in the past few years, smaller companies have been able to start to crack into the mainstream. One of the best recent examples is Travis Mathew, who while still dwarfed by companies like Nike, boasts a number of high ranking PGA players and is regularly seen being worn at your local golf course. What some of you might not know is that a few years ago Travis Mathew was bought out, leaving the founder and chief designer, Travis Johnson, to enjoy some time off and ponder his next move.
Now most normal folks who catch a big payday would smartly head straight to the nearest bar in the Caribbean to work on the perfect arrangement of paper drink umbrellas. Clearly Travis is not like most people as he felt he still had more to prove. Sorry Tahiti, next stop, House of Grey.
House of Grey is comprised of Matte Grey and Heather Grey, two distinct but similar apparel brands for men and women. Like some other popular boutique golf brands, Matte Grey can be classified as lifestyle company in that nearly all of the apparel can be worn on or off the golf course. In other words, nothing about the brand screams “I just played golf”. With that said, all of the polos are absolutely golf appropriate and are made from material that is suitable for warm weather play.
‘Lifestyle’ branding seems to be thrown around a lot these days by companies, which I guess is no surprise given the fact that the golf industry is not exactly growing by leaps and bounds. So to the extent that a company can pull a “Taylor Swift” and jump across industry lines, the marketing opportunity expands. Unfortunately, many of these lifestyle claims are a bit of a stretch. I like to use the “wife test” on the lifestyle claim. Basically, if I walk out of the house and she asks where I am playing golf then the apparel is not lifestyle. Or, if she tells me that we are going out to dinner not to play golf… it is not lifestyle.
In the case of Matte Grey, I am gonna go 50/50 on the lifestyle claim. Roughly half of the polos and nearly all of the shorts are absolutely appropriate to wear for any casual occasion. Some, like the polos with contrasting shoulders and sleeves, fall into “I am playing golf” category but heck there is nothing wrong with that.
After four years of writing apparel reviews I have to admit I have become a touch snobby. The days of fuddling through the bargain rack at Golf Galaxy hoping to find a decent big brand polo for $19 are thankfully behind me. Of course I realize it is easy for me to recommend an $80 shirt when I don’t have to pay for it. With that said, I do believe that investing in quality golf apparel is a wise choice. Not only will you look damn sharp, but I have also found the material holds up much better. Collars looks crisp, colors remain intact and most importantly, the tailoring is not boxy.
Matte Grey is a bit tough for me to categorize. Generally muted in colors, many of the polos have small details that are rarely seen on most golf shirts. For example, the “Captain Stubing” sleeves on the Commander Polo or the pleated chest pockets on the Castro Polo are something rarely seen. Despite these stylized details, the shirts themselves do not cross the “a little too hip” line. In fact, I think most of the Matte Grey apparel falls into the conservative range simply because the color schemes are so subtle.
Size-wise, Matte Grey is fairly standard. Certainly more fitted than, say, FootJoy, but not nearly as thin as the European brands. Arm lengths are moderate and tail lengths are appropriate to wear tucked or untucked.
One of the most pleasant surprises I found was that Matte Grey makes it incredibly easy to mix and match tops and bottoms. For example the Shadow Players shorts (blue) are easily paired with most of the blue tonal polos. Additionally, you will note that the blue on the chest pocket of the tan Commander Polo is the exact same color as the shorts. Boom…Garanimals baby! Having a line of apparel that is this flexible makes a ton of sense but too often brands do not give enough thought to how people will actually script out the gear. Giving people the ability and ease of coordinating outfits is a huge advantage for us dopey guys who can still struggle with what color belt to wear.
Which reminds me of a story… about 15 years ago, one of my regular golfing partners fancied himself a sharp dresser. All was fine and dandy until one day he admitted he could take very little credit for his golf scripting. As it turns out, his wife had made a chart – literally a chart on the wall – that told him exactly which shirts could go with which shorts or pants. Every Sunday (because we had the 1st tee time), he would choose an outfit from the color coded matrixes strictly determined months before. If only he had some Matte Grey… he could have dressed himself.
In terms of fabric, the polos are primarily a polyester with a touch of elastane. However, they don’t really look like your typical shiny polyester shirt. In fact I was sure the Commander polo was cotton until I felt it. In my opinion, this is a good thing, especially if I want to wear these shirts off the course. Nothing screams golf like the sheen of polyester.
The shorts and pants are also made from polyester but again don’t look like they are. Fitting is incredibly standard. They just fit like any good pair of pants. I also like the fact they have deep pockets and do not have a coin slot inside (the most annoying feature in any pants). On the course, the shorts and pants are super in the heat as they are very light. Again, the colors make them versatile so you will get a ton of use.
Finally, the price is right! Yes, they are more than the big brands, but not much. $70 polos and $80 pants are much less than what you will pay for like brands. So guys looking to expand your humdrum wardrobe, check out the Matte Grey Website
Can better socks make you a better person? That sounds like a strange question, but I’m pretty sure that good socks have made me neater, more conscientious, and possibly even easier to live with.
For years I was a plain-white-cotton-sock kind of guy. I thought about socks the same way I thought about vodka: you have to have ’em, but since they all seemed pretty much the same it was a shame to spend any money on them. I begrudged the $8 I spent on a dozen pairs of white cotton crew socks, but I couldn’t find anything cheaper so I bit the bullet.
Many years later, a long and winding trail of shin splints, wretched excess, high cholesterol, and intimations of mortality brought me to a running store. When I kicked off my generic “athletic shoes” and reached for the shiny high-tech Brooks that I would develop a love/hate relationship with over the next year, my fitter gasped at my socks. “You run in those?” he asked, eyeing me suspiciously. “It’s no wonder your feet hurt.”
So I left the store that day with a pair of Brooks Addiction running shoes, and three pairs of running socks that set me back what seemed at the time to be an exorbitant amount of money for something as simple as socks. But over the ensuing weeks I started to change my tune. My feet stopped hurting. My shoes fit better. It was like angels massaging my feet while I ran.
I was never much of a laundry guy. I figured that if some things needed hot and some needed cold, and some needed heavy duty and some needed delicate, then “Normal” and “Warm” should work for everything, right? Not for my new socks. If I was going to spend actual money for socks I decided I had better take care of them. I actually Googled “How to wash socks.” (I’m sure my mother is proud to read that.) The answer: turn them inside-out and wash them in cold, delicate cycle, tumble dry low.
If the socks needed the delicate cycle, I thought, I might as well make a load of it. If I’m going to have a load of delicates, I might as well get a hamper to separate them from the other stuff. If I’m going to have a hamper, I might as well go ahead and put the dirty stuff in it when I take it off instead of making a pile of dirty clothes and dumping them in the hamper when they get in the way. And if you give a mouse a cookie…
Fast forward to today, where I am a veritable laundry czar. The delicates hamper is overflowing with my active family’s performance gear, I wash/dry/fold with the best of them, and socks have stopped turning up in random and inexplicable places in our house.
I’m not saying that Stance Performance Golf socks will change your life, but if that idea sounds impossible to you then I’m confident you’re not wearing Stance Performance Golf socks.
The golf swing is powered by your leverage against the ground. This has led to lots of advances in golf shoes – new and better sole designs, lightweight materials, and running-shoe technology let you grip the turf and exert maximum leverage to power your swing. So what happens to all that leverage if your socks make your feet slide around in your shoes?
Walking an average round of golf means walking anywhere from 5-8 miles. Put in that context who wants to walk 8 miles in dress socks?
But golf is a gentleman’s game – neon lycra is fine for the track but golf demands a certain amount of style, and who doesn’t want to look sharp they’re teeing it up?
Solution you ask? How about Stance Golf Performance socks. With features like Quik Wick fabric and ventilation zones to keep your dogs cool and Stance’s Advanced Cushion Support System to keep them cushioned and deliver outstanding support, I wouldn’t bat an eye at running a half marathon in any of the three pairs that Stance sent for this review, except for one thing: These bad boys look good. These aren’t just high-tech socks for serious athletes, these are good-looking fashion items that add a touch of class to any outfit from the golf course to the office to Sunday brunch.
But I’m not a fashion reporter and this is not a fashion blog. I will say that these socks are every bit as good-looking in person as they are on the web. Fit and finish is very good, and durability has been excellent. After wearing each pair several times I decided that I wasn’t happy with my original set of photos, so I shot them again. The socks you see in these pictures have been worn and washed several times each and still look great.
If looking good was all that mattered you could golf in the same nylon socks you wear with your tassel loafers while you toil away in mergers and acquisitions. What makes Stance Golf Performance footwear a double threat is that Stance has woven in serious athletic pedigree. Since they’re socks let’s start from the bottom, where Stance’s Advanced Cushion Support System translates into a very substantial cushion layer from toe to heel. Besides the obvious benefit of easing the impact on my feet, I found this layer actually helped make my shoes fit better – the loft allowed the socks to compress where my shoes were a bit tight and stay expanded where they were a bit loose, avoiding hot spots on my oddly-shaped feet.
Above this cushion layer is a tightly woven elastic zone that draws the cushion snugly across your foot, particularly in the arch where the additional support helped ease fatigue and keep a spring in my step for a full 18 holes. I won’t go so far as to say that they helped me play better, but after several long, hot tournament rounds my feet were in much better shape than the rest of me.
At the top is a thin, breathable layer that lets you lace your shoes tightly without additional pressure on your instep. This is a huge advantage for folks with tall insteps, since a high instep can make a shoe look clunky, so manufacturers are prone to keep them as low as possible.
Out front is a toe cap that gives your tootsies room to spread out, which is a natural reaction to the need to grip the ground as you transfer weight and turn through the ball. Note that just behind the toe the Stance Performance Golf socks have embroidered “R” for Right and “L” for Left. This is NOT a suggestion. In order for all of this cushiony, stretchy, supportive magic to happen, you absolutely have to wear these socks on the correct feet. That’s the level of engineering we’re talking about here. Just once I put the socks on without paying attention, and I could immediately tell that something was wrong. Trust Stance, they put some thought into this, they’ll take care of you.
Out back is an accommodating heel cup that fits will with no wrinkles or bags. This is always a challenge for me, my duck feet are wide at the front and pointy at the back, and the heel of the Stance Performance Golf socks fits me well, with plenty of elasticity for those with bear paws.
And finally at the very top is what seems to be the hardest part for sock makers to get right – the elastic. The elastic has to walk a delicate line: Too tight and it will drive you nuts, and possibly interfere with circulation, making your feet swell and undoing all the good that Advanced Cushion Support System and Quik Wick fabric have done. Too loose and your socks will fall down. I’m happy to report that Stance got it exactly right – the Sable and (my personal favorite) Lahaina low versions are unobtrusive, but snug enough to keep grass clippings, sand, and random detritus from ending up in my socks. The crew cut Samson is supportive enough that I initially had concerns about being able to wear it all day, but after repeated all-day wearings I’ve found that while it stays quite snug, it never crosses the line and becomes stifling.
In addition to the beauties shown here, Stance Performance Golf socks come in a variety of eye-catching colors and patterns, and with prices ranging from
$10-$22, they deliver a lot of style and tech without breaking the bank.
I won’t promise that Stance Performance Golf socks will make you a better person, but with happy feet anything is possible.
Check out Stance Performance Golf socks, and a whole lot of other cool Stance socks at Stance Website
With summer coming to a close pretty soon here, we at Three Guys thought it appropriate to review a soon-to-be appropriate garment – the golf jacket. A Galvin Green golf jacket to be exact. As their website tells it, Galvin Green is a “pure golf brand specialising in the design and supply of high-performance clothing to golfers in more than 20 countries worldwide”. So they’re pretty established, and a deeper look into their product offerings reveals that Galvin Green focuses primarily on protecting golfers from the elements. They take a multi-layering approach to keeping golfers dry/warm from head to toe, and they take it all very seriously. In fact, in just jackets alone the Galvin Green website offers 29 different styles (differences might be shell vs. inner layer OR just design).
And while Galvin Green makes hats, pants, vests, and underwear, I kept it simple and SFW with the Aron rain jacket, one of Galvin Green’s new styles for 2014. The idea behind the Aron is that it offers waterproof protection with stretch capabilities that allow for a free-flowing swing (if you have one to begin with). It is a full zip jacket made with Gore-Tex Pacilite Technology, and the deal is that there are different places designed to stretch in different directions, thereby accommodating your sick swing.
It’s been pretty hot here in NC, but I was recently able to test the Aron out during a trip to San Francisco, where I was lucky enough to pay $175 to play the vaunted TPC Harding Park. That’s sarcasm. That course is laaaame . . . no idea how they will make it cool for the 2020 PGA Championship. No joke, the best part of the course BY FAR was the two hole stretch that allowed you to look across the way (and up) onto Olympic Club. Other than that it’s just back and forth with the same crap holes, and it is wide open. San Fran definitely has the cool points to warrant many a tournament hostin’, but this is a fool’s Bethpage Black for sure. But anyway, it was chilly and misty in San Fran that morning . . .
I knew going in that Galvin Green was a high-end brand, so I was not surprised that the jacket felt first class from a materials standpoint. The zippers are sturdy and work great, the velcro cuffs are very functional, and the waterproof claims are backed up. My first few swings, however, felt a bit cramped. I was feeling some restriction around the sides of my chest each time I swung, which confused me because I know Galvin Green has done their homework by player-testing all of their equipment, etc. Turns out, there are two velcro straps on each side of the jacket that allow you to adjust the chest width. WHAT?! Pretty smart – tighten it up so the jacket can make you look like a stud (and not like Grimace, which many golf jackets are wont to do), but not so tight that you can’t put a good move on the ball. Brilliant.
The Aron also boasts “rain channels at the sleeve ends”. To be honest, I didn’t really notice those, and upon further review, I still don’t know what they look like. I’m looking at the sleeves right now . . . I got nothin’. On the course though, I was definitely satisfied with how the jacket performed in cold and wet conditions.
In the looks department, I was a bit disappointed by the Aron (at least in this color scheme), because the shape of the jacket is so cool and is sort of asking for an equally cool design. I’ve seen enough styles on the website to know that Galvin Green can definitely crank out some good-looking stuff, so I’m actually surprised that they would make a run with the white/black/red shapey thing from my high school days. And on a final grumpy note, I don’t think the boldfaced citing of “GORE-TEX” on the left sleeve and right cuff is necessary. I would argue that 1) nobody cares, and 2) I remember my dad crowing about Gore-Tex when I opened a highly disappointing Christmas present of sledding/shoveling gloves . . . that was in like 1987. In fact, I think that was the same year he regaled us with office tales of an alleged “facsimile machine”.
All in all, the Galvin Green jacket definitely gets the job done and lives up to its claims on all fronts. Waterproof, comfortable, swingable. Galvin Green jackets range in price from $300.00 – $460.00, and the Aron lands on the high end of that range. I’m gonna have to leave that one up to you.
You can see this and other styles on the Galvin Green website.
Golf is a game of opposites: hit down to get the ball up, swing left to make the ball go right, swing hard to dribble the ball 15 yards in front of the tee. This contradiction extends all the way to a golfer’s wardrobe. We’ve all made tee times at new courses and received the gentle reminder: “Proper golf attire, please.” Spelled out, that means shirts with collars and bermuda shorts or slacks. I’ve heard of but never seen courses that go so far as to regulate the length of gentlemen’s socks! I don’t think I’d enjoy playing in those conditions, but I do dress better to play golf than I do to go to work, and the de facto dress code in my office would be unacceptable at even a relaxed golf course (although one local course states clearly in their dress code: “Sleeves required.”)
And yet golf is played outside. Outside is where the heat and the humidity and the sun and the bugs are. In North Carolina in August the temperature routinely runs into the 90s and the humidity on the high side of 75%. With a round of golf taking four hours or so golfers are virtually guaranteed to be on the course during the hottest part of the day. It’s enough to make it tempting to hit one into the trees on purpose, just to get a little shade!
So now as a golfer you’re faced with having to look presentable while toiling under the summer sun for four or more hours, playing a game that requires a delicate balance of precision, power, and control. Non-golfers frequently claim that isn’t a “real” sport, but under these conditions I think it’s a pretty good bet that golfers have benefited more than any other athletes from advances in performance athletic clothing.
Companies like Nike, Addidas, and Puma are all familiar to fans and amateur athletes in all sports, but golfers are spoiled for choice. Not only do we get to choose from these offerings, but from many more companies whose roots in golf run deep and are paired with modern designs, materials, and construction to create high tech apparel for modern golfers.
That description fits Antigua to a tee. Leveraging 35 years of experience in the golf clothing business Antigua has branched out to create clothing for the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, and a host of collegiate and minor league sports, and in turn has applied the lessons learned from other sports to design good-looking clothing for today’s more athletic golfers.
Before we go any farther, I think I should confess that I am not what you would call “fashion forward.” In fact my teenage daughter has frequently implied that I am fashion backward, but all of my best-looking clothes are golf duds and I’m sure I’m not alone. I’m normally a pretty understated dresser – I learned early that pretty much everything goes with khaki, and I didn’t branch out very far after that – but on the golf course I like for my outfits to be as colorful as my language, and the Performance-72 gear that Antigua provided for this review is right up my alley.
All of the shirts in this review are made with Antigua’s proprietary Desert Dry moisture-wicking material, but you might not know it if you didn’t read the tags, as each shirt has a different design and a different finish. What they all have in common is admirable hot-weather performance. Legend has it that North Carolina’s famous barbeque is inspired by the Dog Days of August. Hot, humid, and slow. Great for turning a cheap cut of pig into some of the finest eats anywhere, but less appetizing for 10am tee time. I was lucky enough to get these conditions for three weeks in a row, putting each of the Antigua shirts to a torture test, and I’m happy to report that they passed with flying (and brilliant) colors.
Despite each having a different cut, all of the shirts fit me as expected, so I would say that they’re sized for the “mature” man. I often have trouble finding shirts that fit my shoulders without being too tight across the midsection, but each of the offerings from Antigua fit well. This might not work for those who prefer a more tailored look, but I think that given the generous length of these shirts it should be possible for slimmer builds to go down a size for a closer fit without looking like a sausage.
The lime green “Oasis” style pictured above was particularly generous, with shoulders sewn for maximum freedom of movement. Wicking and breathability are impeccable, as they are for all of the shirts sampled. I might have been able to get away with a small in this style, but the cut didn’t look baggy and it was extremely comfortable for 18 holes on a hot, muggy day, followed by wings at the bar and a movie with my kids. The starter at my home course asked me if it needed batteries, but he might want to invest in some new sunglasses because he’s going to be seeing this shirt on a regular basis.
The “Highlight” style featured a great finish in alternating bright and dull stripes and a polished finish that looked very sharp. The first time out of the gate I wore it with the matching “Lead” hat in grey with magenta undersides. The Highlight is cut a bit slimmer than the Oasis and gave a more tailored look. It still runs a bit on the large side – if you have any doubts about sizing I think you can safely go down one. On another muggy day it was cool and comfortable.
The “Axiom” has a heathered finish that feels more like pima cotton than a polyester wicking fabric, the finish is very soft to the touch and I was really looking forward to playing in this shirt. Unfortunately the soft finish comes at a price – this is the only shirt of the three that I found myself needing the “tour pro pick”, the little hitch where you pluck your left shoulder as you address the ball to make sure that your shirt will be out of the way when you swing. If you don’t care for the slicker finishes of the other two styles then it’s a small price to pay, and the Desert Dry fabric really outshines even a performance cotton shirt.
All of the styles feature the Antigua detail on the sleeves, which I thought was just the right touch – classy and not overbearing. You might find Antigua shirts with other branding and details as well. Antigua offers a comprehensive customer service department that features a specialized event services group. These departments offer a comprehensive list of services including embroidery and event customization. This flexibility, combined with Antigua’s “in-stock” program that keeps inventory on-hand and ready to be customized, has made Antigua golf wear the choice of a great many pro shops.
With or without custom embroidery the Antigua Performance-72 line offers a wide selection of solid performers that work as well for Casual Friday as they do for Tournament Sunday. If I can get my fashion consultant to stop rolling her eyes every time she hears the word “golf” I think I’ll turn her loose with the Antigua catalog. Billy Crystal once said that “It is more important to look mahvelous than it is to feel mahvelous” but thanks to Antigua I don’t have to choose.
Shop more on the Antiqua website
If you are a child of the 70’s like I am, then you surely remember the iconic tube socks. Yup, the ones that went up to the knee and had three rings around the top. Money! I don’t know about you, but I would hike those puppies up just as far as they would go. Unfortunately, they must have been designed by a five year old as they were about the worst fitting socks imaginable (talk about one size fits none). Worse, they lost the elastic after about a week (which was not all bad because for the 1st few times you wore them you would have rings indented on your calves)
Being the primary apparel reviewer for Three Guys Golf, it is pretty hard to “wow” me simply because I get to see so much gear. The majority of the apparel I review I would categorize as “really good”, but every so often a brand sticks out as truly exceptional. J. Lindeberg falls into that category. For this review, I was able to try out a number of pieces including pants, shorts and polos (from both their cotton and tech line).
J. Lindeberg is a Swedish company that makes high end apparel that ranges from shoes to jeans to blazers to golf shirts. Because it is a Scandinavian company and is primary sold in retail locations and clubhouses, for many golfers it is not a household name. On tour, Camilo Villegas is the brand’s most noted ambassador, although they do have a number of other players on the PGA and European Tours (most notably Jamie Donaldson).
If, however, you are one of those who is familiar with the brand, you likely think of the company as a way-too-hip Euro brand that is only suitable for super good looking athletic golfers. While it never hurts to have Camilo’s looks, I think brands like J. Lindeberg often get wrongly overlooked for this reason. The fact is, well designed apparel looks good on everyone.
Upon receiving the package from J. Lindeberg, my first impressions came by way of inspection of the fabric. In my opinion, this is where exceptional apparel stands out. Imagine doing a blind “feel test” where the only way you could judge a golf shirt or pair of trousers was based on touch. The fact is, most golf shirts feel the same because they are made with a very standard tech material. On the other hand, with the J. Lindeberg apparel, I could immediately discern the level of quality.
As I mentioned, J. Lindeberg sent us a full complement of their golf apparel so I had to opportunity to get a thorough look at what they had to offer. Starting with the polos, since that is what most people focus on, I broke the shirts into two categories: cotton and polyester.
On the polyester side, I received the Gustov Fieldsensor. What makes this shirt different than your average golf polo is the combination of pattern, texture and cut. As you might imagine, the cut is fairly European (although sizing is standard). The sleeve length is short, the collar is small, and the tailoring athletic which gives the shirt a svelte look that complements a thinner player. With that said, they also sent us an XL polo for one of our larger bloggers and it looks great as well. The lesson is that athletic fit polos are also complementary to those with less than world class body shapes.
Beyond the tailoring, I really like the raised fabric on the Gustov. The addition of the over-sewn stripe give the polo a level of distinction that your average golf shirt lacks, and because the stripes are all at or above shoulder level, the shirt does not accentuate the gut area. Plus it is super easy to pair with either light or dark shorts. From a care standpoint, the polyester shirts are simple wash and dry. They look fine and hold up well with little additional care.
As much as I like the poly shirts, I absolutely love the cotton shirts. The three cotton J. Lindeberg shirts I received were the Wayatt Reg Lux Stripe Jersey, Travister Slip Jersy and M Marwin Jersey. The Wayatt and Travister are Lux cotton while the M Marwin is a 50/50 cotton poly, giving you the best of both worlds.
These three shirts have instantly become some of my very favorite. The Wayatt (show above) is made from some of the softest cotton I have worn and features wide green hued stripes. This is a cotton lover’s dream as it is just crazy soft, but not too heavy that you cannot wear it in the heat.
Like the Gustov, the Travister Slip Jersey utilize overstitched fabric to accentuate additional features. In this case, striped taping has been added to the shoulders.
We see this feature again in the M Marwin,which has small colored blocking on the sleeve and taped ribbon in the placket. By simply adding a layer of detail, a common blue shirt now stands out from the crowd.
If you play in milder temperatures or simply prefer the look and feel of cotton versus tech fabrics, these J. Lindeberg polos are absolutely some to the best I have worn. For me, the slender cut works well for my body but I also think that guys who are larger will also appreciate the tailoring. Too often big guys wear over-sized shirt to try and hide a middle-aged belly when in fact they would be better served by wearing a solid colored cotton polo that actually fits properly. The reality is that with a smaller collar and shorter sleeves, the polo will draw attention to your chest and arms rather than your stomach.
The only downside to the cotton J. Lindeberg polos is that they are not super easy to care for. If you choose to wash them you need to make sure to iron while damp or steam them (do not put these shirts in the drier). So yes, these are high maintenance shirts which is a bit of a downer for me because I am super lazy about caring for my shirts. With that said, it is kinda worth the the hassle because they look so darn sharp. Each of these polos have become my “big match” polos as they absolutely blow away nearly every other shirt I have (and I have about 60).
Moving on to the shorts and trousers, J. Lindeberg sent me their M Troon pants and M Lawrence shorts. The fabric used in the trousers is called Micro stretch which basically means they are a light polyester. These pants are perfect for fall and spring, and for those of you who like to wear pants even in the summer, they are light enough to be comfortable. Fitting is very standard so no reason to worry about skinny euro leg sizes. I would classify these pants as absolutely tour appropriate.
The shorts are also made from 100% polyester but they have a silkier look and feel (almost a sheen). For me, this means they resist water (or spills) and clean up in a snap. Playing in humid weather is no issue with these shorts as they are completely chaff free. Pockets are deep and rather than buttons the back pockets utilize velcro.
What I really like about both the shorts and pants are the fact they are stupid easy to care for. Wash and dry and they look just the same as when you first got them. They are also made to look good on just about anyone. Heck the shorts even have cargo pockets (albeit not overley noticeable). My only nit-pick on the shorts is that they do not have any rubber tapping on the waist which helps in keeping you shirt tucked in.
Three years ago I stepped into the J. Lindeberg booth at the PGA show, but being a total newbie to the golf blogging world, I did not get the opportunity to really explore the brand. Fortunately, we have reached a point in which we are able to get a first hand look at this premier clothing line. While I wish the cotton polos were easier to care for, I am 100% impressed with their golf apparel and would highly recommend the brand to discriminating golfers.
You can see the entire line of golf and lifestyle apparel on the J. Lindeberg website.
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