Chipping is probably the most under-rated skill in most golfer’s bag, and it’s arguably the most important. Just for reference, if the pros only hit 2/3 of their greens in regulation that means that basically, 6 to 9 times around, the best ballstrikers in the world will be chipping to get up and down. If you’re a single-digit handicap, you might chip 9 to 15 times a round, and for those of you who are 10 and up, you chip nearly every hole.
I’m a bit of a self-confessed geek/freak about rainwear. Proof to my geekdom is the fact that after I bought my first rain suit 22 years ago I stood in the shower just to make sure it was really water-proof. The way I figured, it was better to find out how well it worked before I was actually miles away from shelter.
Since then I have owned a few pieces of rain gear but as you know it’s not super cheap to get quality stuff. So, when Adam asked if I wanted to review the Mizuno ImpermaLite Flex raingear, I jumped at the chance for a what would hopefully be a major upgrade. The 3 pieces that we reviewed were the Mizuno ImpermaLite Flex SS RainTop and ImpermaLite Performance Shell & Pants.
Let’s start with why we own rain gear. In a perfect world, we would always play golf in 72 degree sunny weather, but alas for us golf nuts, we are not content to limit our days to play golf. Therefore, we need to have the proper gear. Playing golf is hard enough, but playing golf when the elements are against you is even tougher. Staying dry and comfortable is simply invaluable if you want to play well in bad conditions, period!
Starting with the short sleeve jacket, I found it to be a superior combination of style, function and fit. I wear XXL shirts and jackets, and having enough room to swing is usually an issue for me. Not only is the fit of this jacket perfect, but the stretchy material is amazing in terms of how it moves with your body during the swing. The shell is a stretchy, breathable polyester with PU laminate to make it waterproof, and the lining is a mixture of polyester and a bit of spandex.
There are generous pockets, and really cool zippers that have the little pockets for the zipper to run up into when you’re not zipping them. This way you don’t feel any metal on your body when you’re swinging. So while the short sleeve ImpermaLite Flex is waterproof, it is also just great for those days when the temperatures are too cool for just a shirt but you really don’t need a jacket.
Moving on to the ImpermaLite Flex rain shell and pants is where Mizuno got serious. This thing is hard core. Simple black and white with clean lines, it’s very sharp but traditional. However, when it is raining and windy what you really care about is will it get the job done – the short answer is yes, but let’s look at some of the details.
All of the zippers fit snuggly into pockets such that zero water can get inside the shell. Grommets and pull straps keep everything tight and can easily be adjusted to fit just right. Even so, the shell breathes well and does not feel overbearing. Sure, I would prefer to wear shorts and shirt, but if I am going to play in nasty conditions I do not want to have to be fussing with my jacket.
The pants are of equal quality with all seams being protected. You can even adjust the length of the pants using a snap feature on the leg. Armed with the shell and pants, you will be ready for anything mother nature can throw at you.
Both Adam and I were over the top impressed when we reviewed the Mizuno ImpermaLite Flex SS Rain Top and ImpermaLite Performance Shell. In fact it was not long after I got the short sleeve rain top that I texted Adam to say that this was the most impressed I’d ever been with a piece of rain gear. While it took a few weeks for Adam to get the chance to play in the rain, he ended up christening the gear on the final day of the Club Championship. Forced to play in less than ideal conditions, Adam relayed to me that the pants and performance shell were amazing and he ended up playing very well (6th lowest round of that day). Yes, he made me put that sentence in.
If you’re in the market at all, do yourself a favor, and at least give some consideration to Mizuno this year. They have a variety of rain jackets, pull-overs and pants, and they are simply amazing.
You can see the whole line of Mizuno gear on their website.
True story: On my way home from my first round of golf wearing Royal and Awesome pants I decided to stop off at Subway to buy the family some lunch with my golf winnings (see how I slipped that fact in?). Anyhow, as I made my way down the line, the kid behind the counter says “cool shorts!” to which I stepped back a bit (the counter was partially blocking his view) and pronounced “they are actually pants”. His response, “even better!”. Perhaps this point is exactly why the name of the company is Royal and Awesome because why just be Royal OR Awesome when you can be both.
Us Americans may think that Loudmouth Golf is the only one in the “wacky pattern” business but across the pond Royal and Awesome have been making hay in this market as well. So while Royal and Awesome may be new to many of us, they have a number of great patterns and a growing product line. More importantly, the quality is solid. My mantra is that you can only get away with crazy clothes if they are superior in quality. Otherwise you just look like a dope.
Clearly, Royal and Awesome is not for everyone, but if you are one of the braver folks who does not mind making a statement, rest assured 1) you will make new friends and 2) you will not be disappointed with the quality. As I alluded to earlier, quality is a trump card in my book. In other words, I have no fear wearing slightly outrageous attire as long as it is made and tailored well.
Both the shorts and trousers are 97% cotton, 3% spandex which means they are substantial. These feel like real clothes and not a cheap stunt. They also have a few quirks like the golf tee loops (although I never used them) and a divot repair/bottle opener (which I use all of the time). Seriously, it is a great divot repair tool.
Hailing from the UK, Royal and Awesome offers shorts, pants and caps for men as well as skorts and shorts for the ladies. In the case of the pants and shorts, they pockets are deep, the length is correct and the sizing true. Moreover, they are double buttoned with a solid zipper. Get it? They are made well.
So if you are looking to brighten up your wardrobe a bit, Royal and Awesome will certainly give it a kick in the old arse. Despite the fact that they are a UK company, they do have warehouses in the US so shipping to America will not cost you an arm and a leg. You can see the whole line of Royal and Awesome on their website.
Despite being a full blown golf nut, my first real exposure to Sligo was at the 2012 PGA Merchandise show. Sligo (Sly-go), is a Canadian based company known mostly for their bright techno-patterned apparel. While I admit that I typically shy away from patterned shirts, the Sligo line is top notch and virtually every pattern is stylish, hip and says “yup, I’m a player”.
One thing I that have realized while blogging for Three Guys Golf is that pictures only tell half of the story. On more than one occasion, I have found apparel to be far better in person than it is shown on a website. In the case of Kartel for women, I suspected I would like the gear, but frankly I was surprised at just how much I liked it once I actually had it in hand.
The Three Guys have already chimed in about Kartel so we were pleased to also get a look at women’s side of the business. Sure we have reviewed many shirts that are lovely and made out of fantastic material, but the Kartel shirt is a rare mix of high quality fabric and great fit. What I mean is that so many times women’s shirts have sleeves that are too similar to men’s in style and length. On the other hand, the Kartel sleeves are short, without being too cropped for a comfort which allows you to focus on your swing and not adjusting your shirt.
As women, we all know that there are a few more issues in the fit department than men and finding a truly great shirt is not the easiest. Not to mention, it sure seems like the golf industry is dominated by men’s fashion. However, the Kartel shirt is really well tailored for the regular gal. Simple, elegant, well made, not too much to ask right?
I also tried the ladies outerwear fleece which is a great top for those chilly mornings and as we change seasons. The soft material is both lightweight and warm without being restricting – plus it’s super cute!.
Beyond the look and feel of Kartel, the prices are very reasonable and they have a pretty good selection or shirts, skorts, and outerwear.
You can see the whole line of Kartel for women on their website.
Every time I find myself wandering aimlessly through Dick’s Sporting Goods I inevitably end up in the clothing department. Clearly it’s big business since millions of dollars are spent by golfers every year looking to obtain the “Tour” look, but frankly I am just as demanding of performance as I am style. And to be honest, it has always been hard for me to justify dropping close to $100 on just one shirt. Well it didn’t take long for my opinion to be completely changed after I played my most recent round of golf in one of the new Silver Collection polos from Sunice.
Sunice is a Canadian based apparel company that just happens to know what the heck their doing. Established back in 1976, Sunice started out as a winter gear clothing company mainly for winter sports and was the official supplier to the 1988 winter games in Calgary. Following up the success from the Olympics, Sunice decided to take their products in a completely opposite direction from the winter sports gear and take their technology to the golf course. The Sunice Golf Outerwear line was introduced in 1992.
For comparison purposes please understand that my “usual” golf attire falls tremendously short of the Rickie Fowlers and Ian Poulters of the world so I was certainly excited to review the Sunice Silver Collection.
When I first took the Sunice polo out of the packaging I could tell right away that this was no “bargain rack shirt”. The quality is of the shirt is just outstanding and the fit was perfect. Truth be told, I’m no stranger to sipping down a cold one or two so needless to say the lower half of my torso could use some work. Fortunately, the sizing chart for the polo’s on the Sunice website is spot on.
Now if you have never been to Las Vegas in August, let me assure you that the weather is absolutely miserable. It’s hot, humid, sometimes windy and just plain not fun to be out in, but perfect conditions to see how the Sunice gear would hold up.
After nearly two hours of hitting ball after ball the shirt felt the same as it did when I rolled up. As a comparison, I have a couple moisture wicking shirts that do a pretty good job at keeping the sweat off your body but the Sunice trumped every one of them! I actually remember seeing a gentleman a few spots down from me that was only there for about 20 minutes and was drenched. I couldn’t help but to think what was going on in his head when he saw that I looked like I hadn’t hit a ball despite the two and half empty buckets my stall (yes I know I have a golf addiction problem).
With the range test complete I knew the shirt was for real but a full 18 was in order, if for no other reason than it was a great excuse to squeeze in an extra round that week.
Stuck on a course that was cart path only I got a little bit more of a workout than I planned but that only furthered my assessment. The cart path only rule not only lengthened the round but also allowed me to really get a feel for how well the shirt is designed. A few times out on the course I was caught without a towel and had to clean my club off with my hand after a practice swing. Not even thinking I wiped my mud on the back of the polo and went about my business. I didn’t even realize what I had done until I had gotten home and took the shirt off. I am not embarrassed to say that I was seriously bummed at the thought of ruining my new favorite shirt after just one outing. Fortunately, once again the Sunice knocked it out of the park. Not a hint of any ground-in muddy remnants of the course anywhere on the shirt. It looked like it had just been taken out of the package for the first time.
Without a doubt my first venture into the high end luxury golf apparel has my mind whirling. The Sunice is definitely a shirt that is going to hold up for a long, long time. The construction is top notch and the look, style and comfort rivals any top shelf polo I have ever worn.
Beyond the shirts, Sunice sent us a pair of shorts. Apparently, I am not exactly a 34″ so I was not able to personally review them. However, fellow blogger Adam (pictured in Sunice shirt and shorts below) has informed me that he was quite pleased with the shorts. In addition to being lightweight he did note that the pockets are more shallow than most and the legs are about a 1/2″ shorter in length than many other brands. Neither of these comments are intended to be negative, but definitely a point of differentiation.
With how well this one piece from Sunice did I cannot wait to get my hands on more of their gear, and with the winter months just around the corner I can certainly see some Sunice winter golf gear in my closet in the near future.
Visit the Sunice Website to find out more about their products, technology and get yourself some amazing gear while you’re there.
This summer I had the opportunity to go to my first PGA Expo. While it’s a blast to check out all of the big brands, it’s just as fun to see the up and coming companies. Along with the aisle of gadgets, there are a number of small companies who are putting a twist on established products. One such example is a new line of shoes called “A Game”.
Ed Coleman is the man behind the A Game shoes and has been working very hard to get noticed in this very crowded space. Be it working at home out here in the Las Vegas valley or flying half way around the world to meet with manufactures, he is completely dedicated to selling a shoe that’s not only a quality golf shoe but one that also offers features I have never seen.
It’s called “Brisole”. Ed, in a very crafty way, came up with this very unique concept. Basically, he has included a club cleaning feature on the outer toe-edge of each shoe in his line. These little “bristles” give the player a new and quick way to clean a club while out on the course. I asked Mr. Coleman what the lifespan of the bristles were and he insured me that they would last longer than the shoe and if not he’d replace the shoe. That’s confidence. Another feature in the design is two alignment aides to the top of each shoe above your toes. Because the alignment aides are a design feature they are legal and can be worn without fear of breaking any rules.
I’ve played a number of rounds in the Signature Black A Game shoe and also have worn them while practicing. While not earth shatteringly more comfortable or better made than other traditional golf shoes, I have found them to be extremely sturdy, balanced and well made. What makes the A Game shoes unique, besides the Brisole and alignment aides, is the branding and squared toes. It’s hard to put your finger on it, but the A Game just look different than the big name shoes (in a good way).
So whether it be a standard golf shoe or slip-on sandal, A Game is pushing the envelope in golf shoe style. For me, when I look at the A Game shoe I just get the sense that “I’ve never seen anything quite like this before.” The A Game designs are as unique as his patented technology. Available in men’s and women’s sizes the A Game shoe is a clear alternative option if you’re looking for more than just spikes on the bottom of your golf shoes.
You can visit the A Game website to see all of the styles.
A long time ago in a galaxy far far away golfers used to wear cotton polo shirts. Now of course, 98% of golf shirts you find in your local big box store are some type of polyester performance shirt. Awesome if you have abs of steel and are 25 years old. Not so much if you are pushing 50 and like to eat three square meals a day.
After selling the successful golf company, Fairway & Greene, Rick Martin is back in the saddle with a new venture, this time with his own namesake – “Martin”. Sold exclusively at private clubs, Martin is aimed at the golfer who is more traditional in style and sees value in an $85 golf shirt that can be worn on or off the course for the better part of ten years.
Yes, ten years. While I cannot personally confirm that Martin shirts hold up this long, Rick assures me that because of the quality of the cotton and the manufacturing process, the Martin shirts will look like new for years and years. In my case, I have washed the purple shirt many times. After each wash (mixed in with every color by the way) the collar is well shaped and the sheen has been retained. In other words, it still looks money.
So let me get back to the issue of fashion for a moment. We have all watched old PGA footage from the 70’s and 80’s where most of the guys are wearing a cotton polo and for the most part look like dopes which begs the question, why would anyone want to go back to that era? Admittedly, I like a hipper shirt than many of the styles Martin designs but that is not to say that Martin shirts are only for the older more conservative golfer.
If I were to try and categorize Martin, I would say that there are times you want to look look good and times you want to look “country club good”. In other words, Martin is perfect for when the boss invites you to play a round at the swanky country club and have cocktails afterwards (or if you are the boss who belongs to the swanky country club). On the other hand this is not the time when you reach for the techno print and red shorts.
During my conversation with Rick Martin, I asked him what he thought of the current state of style on the PGA Tour. Being diplomatic, Rick pointed to guys like Louis Oosthuizen, Darren Clarke and Vijay Singh as some of the best dressed players on tour. Others he said “look like they are wearing a costume”…ouch.
Beyond the look of a cotton polo, Rick also educated me on why cotton is better. First, he explained that only natural fibers are made to properly drape. Said another way, unlike clingy polyester, a well tailored cotton shirt compliments a “mature body” rather than highlighting a few extra pounds. Additionally, cotton is meant to move with you and allow for the motion of a golf swing.
In terms of sizing, Martin definitely runs big. I was pretty much swimming in a medium (my normal size). The small on the other hand fit great. While the arms are a bit longer than many euro shirts, they are still above the elbow. They are, however, plenty long so you will have no problem tucking it in.
You can learn more about Martin on their website.
Fairway Fox Golf Wear was founded by Kate O’Connor and launched just this past January at the PGA Merchandise show. O’Connor is in the financial services industry in Manhattan and has played and had a passion for golf her whole life. She calls Fairway Fox her “jobby – a job that’s a hobby”. ALL, yes all, of Fairway Fox’s clothing are made in New York and are machine washable. She describes Fairway Fox’s first line as “Tory Burch-esque” and I couldn’t agree more. The look is sort of a preppy, yet sexy, look. How can that be?? Check out Fairway Fox’s website and I think you will agree.
I recently received the Kate skort in green and immediately noticed two unique details right off the bat. First, the skort has 2 gold buckles on each of the front pockets. The skort looked more like a skirt I would wear out than golf apparel. The buckles aren’t just for looks – they actually buckle the pockets shut and are very stylish. I have never seen anything like that on a golf skirt, and I absolutely love it. Next, the back zipper on the skort is exposed, which is one of the new trendy looks on the runway. I felt as if I were going out to lunch with the girls instead of heading to the golf course. What woman wouldn’t love that?? I for one know that if I don’t like what I am wearing, I will not play well. Its similar to what men like to refer to as “equipment malfunction” – not their fault if they hit a bad shot. (Get your mind out of the gutter – I’m referring to his golf clubs.)
Susan received the Kristin dress in pink, and it is nothing like you have seen on the course. This dress looks like something you would wear to dinner. It is a beautiful pink fabric with white trim around the neckline and hem. The fact that is doesn’t have a typical golf collar on it makes this dress truly unique. The Kristin dress also has the exposed gold zipper in the back and is stylish. It is hard to believe that this is a golf outfit – but the stretch in the fabric is there, and it really allows for movement. Susan found that the dress ran a bit small, so she suggests ordering one size bigger than you normally would.
But what really needs to be mentioned here is O’Connor’s attention to detail. Fairway Fox has something that I have NEVER seen in any line of women’s clothing, and it is brilliant. Inside of the front left pocket is a piece of ribbon that snaps shut. What is the big deal? It is a ring holder. Yes, you can take your rings off, put the piece of fabric through them, and snap it shut. The “ring snap” stays inside your pocket and keeps your baubles all safe and sound. Only a woman would think of that, and I am shocked that I have never seen this before. Genius.
Let me reiterate that all of Fairway Fox’s Golf Wear are machine washable. You can take this right from the dryer and put it on without touching an iron. No more hassle or expense of dry cleaning. Also, Fairway Fox’s clothes are made with Coolmax wicking fabric to help you stay cool on the course. I absolutely love this line.
Let me warn you though that Fairway Fox’s prices are on the high end for women’s golf clothes. But gals, you get what you pay for. The attention to detail and the fabric itself is fabulous. More importantly, all of Fairway Fox’s apparel are made in Manhattan, the fashion capital of the world. It is important to O’Connor to keep jobs local and support her city, and she has found that customers agree. It also helps that her clothes don’t necessarily have to be worn on the golf course, so they can be multi-functional.
Be sure to check out the Fairway Fox website. You can find sophisticated and fun clothes that are really unique – from headbands and hats to polo shirts and dresses. This is a great company to support – and look great while you are doing it.
QED Style: As regular readers know, I am on a bit of a cotton kick. After years of only wearing performance material, I am rediscovering why we wear jeans and not leisure suits….cotton is just more comfortable. Sure I know in the heat of the summer cotton can be tough but there are lots of months cotton is perfect for wearing on the course. Even though Q.E.D. has only been around since 2011, they clearly are in agreement as 1/2 of their collection is cotton.
While I know there are lots of really good apparel companies, I love when I find a small firm with great products in part because I know no one else will have a shirt that looks like mine. Unlike the big boys, Q.E.D. makes only three basic styles of polos. the Eureka and Francis and Heber. The Eurkea and Francis are essentially the same except the Eureka is 100% polyester and the Francis is 100% cotton. The Heber is also cotton but does not have breast pockets. Got it?
From a style standpoint, Q.E.D. has a couple of features which I really dig on any shirt, namely breast pockets, contrasting stitching and buttons that stand out. Together, all of these features give the Q.E.D. shirt a very hip feel and while I may be delusional, I think the look is not too youthful that a middle-aged guy like me can’t pull it off. This is where I trust my wife who is never afraid to tell me I look like a jack-ass. Fortunately, she gave Q.E.D. the thumbs up.
Ironically, despite the fact that Q.E.D. shirts are more hip than most, they only come in just a few solid colors. Maybe I am the minority but I find I have very few solid colored shirts as I have always gravitated toward stripes or patterns. Great strategy if you only want to wear solid shorts or pants, but a total disaster when you suddenly get a pair of plaid shorts. That’s the beauty of a white shirt – it goes with virtually everything. Unfortunately I have had horrible luck with white shirts because they tend to be too thin. No one, not even my wife needs to see me in a sheer white shirt! The solution of course is cotton.
Thankfully, the Francis polo is thick enough to avoid any unnecessary translucent nightmares. And while it is “just a white shirt”, the silver buttons and wide collar give it a cool factor that is void in most generic white golf shirts. Speaking of collars, I have washed this shirt a number of times and the collar has remained well shaped. P.S.- the care instructions say dry clean, but I completely ignored that advice with no consequences.
Despite the fact that Q.E.D. is a self reported “Golf Apparel” company, at least half of the styles are equally suited for off of the course. For me, I try my darndest to never wear a golf shirt unless I am playing golf. I am literally pained to go into a bar or eating establishment looking like I just finished a round of golf. True that the Eureka style is more suited to the links, but the Francis and Heber are appropriate for any casual event. In fact, I probably wear this shirt off the course as much as I do on.
Q.E.D is sold in a number of west coast golf courses and on their website. Unlike many of the shirts we review at Three Guys Golf that retail for north of $85, the Q.E.D. shirts are only $40 or $50 making them a great bargin. Final note on sizing: typically I wear a medium, but Q.E.D. runs a size small such that I was comfortable in a large. In other words, order a size larger.
You can see the whole line on their website, and be sure to check out the video as well.
In 2010 Graeme McDowell burst onto the golf scene by winning the US Open and then followed it up with a win at the Chevron Wold Cup Challenge and a ton of other top 10 finishes. Now Graeme McDowell seems to be a staple in the Sunday 1st page leaderboard and has become a media favorite, including a visit on the Feherty Show (imagine that).
This year Graeme has teamed up with Irish company Kartel to bring us the G-Mac line of clothing (I have previously reviewed Kartel). On a side note I must admit that since I started writing for Three Guys Golf I find myself watching golf and trying to figure out what tour players are wearing – yeah I know it is lame but it is what I have been reduced to. Anyhow, it always seems that the gear the pros wear is just a bit cooler than what is offered in stores (even if it is by the same company). In the case of G-Mac, I am pretty sure the purple polo I have is nearly identical to what McDowell wears (sans the MasterCard logo). You know the shirt I am talking about – the one with the high collar and front pocket that looks so money!
In my opinion, the shirt is absolutely brilliant. Light, soft, stylish and well cut. Despite the fact that it is 95% poly, it feels much softer and lush than most poly blend performance shirts. Moreover, it is one of the classiest shirts I have seen. Perhaps it is the combination of the high collar and buttoned down tabs that gives it an upper crust feel but whatever it is, G-Mac has pulled it off. Even the packaging is better than most. Each garment comes elegantly packaged with a gold embossed tag that has the McDowell Family Crest and explanation upon it. I get the sense that Graeme was very involved in this line and wanted to make sure it reflected well upon him and his reputation. The only drawback of this shirt is that for whatever reason, it does show sweat if you wear it in humid weather. I am not sure if it is because of the color or the material, but when I wore it on a humid day you could clearly see darker areas of perspiration.
The Malone polo is a bit more casual but has nice details that make the shirt pop. This polo is 63% pima cotton 37% poly, although from the feel of it I thought it was 100% cotton. You will note the orange accents which I think set it apart from your run of the mill shirts. While some folks like a 100% poly shirt, I really like that this feels like cotton but has some of the performance of a poly.
Performance aside, the reason this shirt is a winner is the orange buttons, breast pocket and long plackette. Both of these shirts are also super easy to care for and come out of the wash looking just as sharp as when they were new. Additionally, I just really like the fact that the Malone polo is primarily cotton especially as we change seasons when cotton becomes the go-to fabric.
The final item we recieved was MG Wool Sweater. Like most guys, when it gets cool I just throw on the wind breaker. Coincidentally, just after receiving the G-Mac sweater we had a cold snap on the very day I was to play in a tournament. On that day, what I really liked about the sweater was that it was light enough that it never felt bulky but warm enough to take the chill off. Plus it is soft enough to wear over a short sleeve shirt.
Being such a bold color makes it pretty easy to pair this with just about anything and it just looks miles better than a blue wind breaker. Moreover, they allow for much better movement as there is no constriction. The other advantage of having a quality golf sweater is that is versatile enough to wear off of the course and not look like a golf geek.
As we move through our first year at Three Guys Golf, one of the things I am learning is that there is a ton of really cool golf attire that is just not sold in the big box stores. Moreover, many of these companies are European. While it takes a bit of digging, if you are one of those people who wants to look a bit sharper than the next guy, G-Mac is a great place to start. Even though we only looked at three items, the G-Mac line is fairly expansive and not too pricey. Finally, in terms of sizing, the G-Mac runs in line with industry standards. I typically wear a medium and the G-Mac medium fit perfectly.
You can see the whole line of G-Mac on their website.
Iconic Sport Review: Google “sunscreen and skin cancer” and you will be amazed at what pops up. Does sunscreen actually increase skin cancer risk? Is your sunscreen killing you?? We can find everything from consumer reports on the best sunscreen to warnings that our sunscreen is poisoning us. What is a gal to do? Back in the day we would go out on the sorority rooftop and lay on an aluminum looking blanket and coat ourselves in baby oil and iodine. Ohhh to be back in the good old days of ignorance and denial. Little did we know that those lazy days of cooking on the roof would come back to haunt us in a BIG way. Now we try to cover up, zap, inject, fill, peel, buff,and laser away all that nasty sun damage. Being slightly older than my sorority days, I have tried and tried to get better at the sunscreen thing. And I honestly have made vast improvement. But like any busy mom, there are times when I have forgotten to reapply. Ok, maybe to apply at all.
Good news, gals – Iconic Sport is here for us! Iconic Sport Inc. was founded in 2005 by Leslie Chow, an avid golfer and multi-sport athlete. She is a former NASA program manager and researcher, a technology executive and entrepreneur, and has a bunch of degrees with a bunch of letters next to them from MIT and Standford. Whew! All I know is that she made it easier for me to get out on the course and not do any more damage to my skin.
Iconic Sport Inc. produces performance UV protective clothing for women, men, and juniors. Iconic’s sun protection is mechanical, not chemical, so it does not wash off, rub off or sweat off. Unlike sunscreen, we don’t have to reapply it or worry about the chemicals seeping into our body with unclear consequences. The sun protection level does not vary and the UPF 50+ means that less than 2% of the UV light gets through the fabric. Great concept – but really – the clothes have to be cute or we won’t wear them will we?
One look at the Iconic Sport website and you will forget that you are looking for sun protective clothing. Iconic’s line is fun, cute, and bright. I recently wore the Bandon Simple Skort in white and black along with the Mondrian Elbow Sleeve tee in white, hot pink, and orange. My first impression of this outfit was a bit Partridge Familyish, but in a good groovy way. The color block is perhaps this year’s hottest trend and Iconic Sport nailed it in a golf outfit with UV protection! The hot pink and orange blocks on this top are vibrant and look great with the Bandon skort. Both the skort and the top are breathable, wicking, anti-microbial/anti-odor, and have UPF 50+ sun protection. Both pieces were extremely comfortable and the fabric moved well for an unrestricted golf swing.
In addition to the Mondrian top, I also received the Crazy Cat Funnelneck top – Colorblock that I also wore with the Bandon skort. While this top is not as bright and colorful as the Mondrian, it also looks great with the Bandon skort. What I like about the Crazy Cat (besides the name, of course) is that the neckline has a zipper that can be adjusted for your desired level of sun protection. Zip it all the way up or give yourself a little breathing room – up to you. Worth noting, all of Iconic’s golf (and cycling) tops have a longer rear shirt length since your active position is leaning forward and you need extra coverage in the back. Nice.
Iconic Sports also has great accessories that you don’t want to miss. I tried out the del sol SunSleeves in black. They are SUPER lightweight and have UPF 50+ protection. I was surprised at how cool they felt in the 90 degree weather. I have seen some ladies wearing them before and honestly thought they must be burning up. Nope. They were great and actually looked cute! These sleeves come in unisex sizes from junior to 3XL and come in both solids and fun prints.
Iconic Sport is designed and manufactured in the San Francisco Bay Area. (Go USA!) Leslie Chow is also a big supporter of local community nonprofits – so please don’t confuse her with Leslie Chow from The Hangover.
You can see the whole line of Iconic Sport apparel on their website.
Barefoot B.E.R.B.S Review: We all know there’s been an onslaught of new style golf shoes to hit the market over the past several years and frankly the trend doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon. New designs from the major manufactures and upstart companies encompassing all facets of shoe development are arriving at your local golf retailer what seems like daily. It makes the choice and decision to purchase some new shoes that much more difficult.
New to the game is Barefoot B.E.R.B.S. (B.etter E.nergy R.ecovery B.alance S.tability) who have taken the small market ideology of barefoot running and applied it to the game of golf.
When I first started reading about the B.E.R.B.S. my first thought that came to mind was an appearance by Sean Foley on “The Golf Fix” where he talked about having some of his pupils perform some drills barefoot. At the time I thought that was silly. I’ve always been taught play how you practice and practice how you play and I can’t recall anytime that I’ve been shoeless while on the course. Despite my doubt, I was willing to give the Barefoot BERBS a try and see if this new Barefoot Technology for golf is all it’s cracked up to be.
To make matters more interesting, not only are these shoes unlike anything I have worn, but they also come with instructions. Yup, when I opened the box I was presented with these tips for breaking in the Barefoot BERBS. Basically, because of the design, you will be using new muscles which requires a bit of time to get used to.
What? I shouldn’t wear my Kentwools? As much as a love to follow directions, I just can’t justify my feet to not being surrounded by some Kentwool socks when I’m playing golf. So, other than the lightweight sock suggestion I took into consideration everything else they mentioned and actually wore the shoes (without the spikes) around the house while I knocked out my honey-do list. I even changed out a water valve in one of my toilets while wearing them. If that’s not the ultimate test for a golf shoe I don’t know what is!
Their claims of a lightweight golf shoe are no joke. The B.E.R.B.S. shoes are SUPER light. Honestly I was very surprised at how great the shoes felt once I put them on. Made out of Full-Grain Leather and very waterproof the design concept of the shoe is great. The shoes do not have any laces (there are two Velcro straps, one across the top and a second around your heel that hold the shoe in place) and the word “slipper” instantly jumps into your head when you look down on at your feet. Without a doubt you can very easily slip in and slip out of the BERBS., but by no means are these slippers.
After a few hours with the shoes on my feet I started to understand the reasoning for the disclaimer. I was feeling a little discomfort it in my calfs the most, but also in my feet. Not being used to having this type of structure did take some time for my legs to adjust to but in time the subtle discomfort passed and the shoes felt wonderful. In fact, I ended up wearing them the entire day!
When reviewing a golf shoe I think the most important aspect to pass on to the reader is the comfort and feel of the shoe and this is where Barefoot B.E.R.B.S. knocks it out of the park. Their shoe is amazingly comfortable for barefoot style shoe; it’s incredibly light and in no way is it a nuisance to your game. I purposely walked over some pretty aggressive hillsides, splashed around a few deeper than normal water puddles and hit a couple of shots from some very unfavorable stances (not on purpose) and the shoes didn’t disappoint one bit! Even in those extreme conditions. After playing I thought for sure I was going to experience some sort of leg discomfort but that wasn’t the case. The shoes performed flawlessly and my feet felt great.
The idea of being lower to the ground and having a more solid base is appealing, but does it make a difference? I think so. I found in playing a few rounds in the shoes and using them frequently to practice that my balance has shown some improvement. I find myself not being as fidgety with my feet and my lower half has quieted down some as well. I’m not sure how scientific that is but it has me thinking.
The only issue I have with the Barefoot B.E.R.B.S. is its look. The fact is you either like a shoes look or you don’t. While I don’t hate the style, I guess I tend to gravitate toward a more traditional shoe. With that said, I have found myself practicing more with the B.E.R.B.S. than with my everyday Adidas which I think is a testament to their performance.
Barefoot B.E.R.B.S. comes in three different varieties for men and for women (the version I wore is called the Polar Bear). There is a ton of information about the scientific benefits of barefoot running on their website so if you’re at all interested in the science behind barefoot running and the B.E.R.B.S. I recommend you check it out.
You can learn more about Barefoot BERBS and purchase them on their website.
This summer I had a chance to interview legendary teaching instructor, Jimmy Ballard. Seeing that Jimmy has so many fantastic thoughts on the golf swing I thought I would break out a few of these concepts. One of the most fundamental of these concepts is how to use the ground for leverage.
Glenmuir Apparel Review: Founded in Scotland 1891, Glenmuir remains one of the most prestigious golf brands in the world. So recognized for style and quality, Glenmuir has been worn by the Ryder Cup, the Curtis Cup, and Solheim Cup teams. Most recently, Glenmuir celebrated their 29th year of sponsorship of the PGA Professional Championship. With that build up, Three Guys Golf was kinda jacked to see current batch of Glenmuir apparel.
On the men’s side, we took a look at the Jackson and Ambrose. Both shirts feature ThermoCool™, CoolMax®, Hi-Cool® technology. Sure, most high end shirts have a similar feature but I can tell you this is the real deal. Suffice it to say that the Jackson has instantly become on of my favorite shirts. Since I am a sucker for contrasting piping, the coral with black accents has “you are so money” written all over it. Additionally, the zipper it a nice alternative to buttons without looking cheesy.
Everything about this shirt is quality. Whether it is the stitching, the fit, color or details, the Glenmuir shirt is a winner. Moreover, you can wear it with nearly anything and look sharp. If it seems like I am swooning over this guy, you are correct. I have washed it about 5 times with zero issues and it never needs anything close to an iron to look great.
While the Ambrose is more traditional in style, it is still a very sharp looking shirt. It has just enough details like the stripes and alternate texture to set it way apart from your run of the mill golf shirts. It is not until you wear a high end golf shirt that you realize how much better they look, fit and perform. Plus sizing is correct so if you usually wear a medium, guess what, order a medium (crazy I know).
Now seeing that I do not look very good in a skort, Sue and Susan took care of the ladies side of the Glenmuir review.
Glenmuir Ladies Polo: As reviewed by Sue
The Glenmuir Ladies range also offers a wide variety of clothing. They have one of the best websites for women around, offering a comprehensive range of golf and leisurewear. All of Glenmuir Ladies clothing is inspired by a rich history and heritage and will be fitting for any club or resort. They have combined both classic and contemporary designs and added some bold colors.
Both shirts feature Hi-Cool performance fabrics which keep you dry and comfortable. They are both extremely soft and stretchy, not to mention super cute. The fabric is 79% polyester and 21% cotton, making them easy to care for – just throw them in the wash.
The shirt I wore is the Ladies’ Glenmuir Allegra Hi-Cool Jersey Shirt in lagoon/white. (“Lagoon” is a very pretty shade of light blue.) It has contrasting white piping and buttons and has the Glenmuir icon at the right hem. The shape of the shirt is very form flattering, and I also really like the long neckline. The collar on this shirt is not too big and and the length of the shirt was just right. I wore this shirt with a pair of white bermuda shorts and it was very sharp, if I may say so myself!
Susan wore the Ladies’ Glenmuir Holly Hi-Cool Jersey Shirt in iris/winter white. The color of this shirt is a soft purple and is really lovely. This shirt is also soft and has a stretch fit, but it has something more. The cut of this shirt is a bit different in that the front and back are just slightly longer than the sides. This gives the shirt a longer look and looks quite nice untucked. The contrast color side panels give this shirt a nice fitted look, while still being stretchy enough to move with your swing.
Glenmuir has a rich history and heritage and I can see why they have designed and supplied shirts and knitwear for twelve European Ryder Cup Teams. The quality of the clothing is outstanding, and I for one am thrilled about the wide selection of women’s golf attire. The Glenmuir Ladies line is fresh and bright and can be worn on and off the golf course. Be sure to check it out at www.glenmuir.com.
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