Q: What do you call Chewbacca when he has chocolate stuck in his hair?
A: Chocolate Chip Wookiee.
Funny right? Ah, not really and neither are any of the assorted novelty headcovers you might be tempted to put on your clubs. Sure, it’s ok to represent your Alma Mater but even then, why not give your school some true respect by passing on the $8 headcover and instead opting for something more substantial.
How does one obtain some style advantage over the gimmicky sales rack at Golf Galaxy? One of the oldest types of head covers that are still widely used even today is . . . wool. A perfectly fitted, hand knitted wool cover has a very classic look to it that can instantly add style to your bag in a way that Marvin the Martian falls dramatically short.
Always willing to cover all aspects of the game, we humbly agreed to order up some customized offerings from Jan Craig Headcovers, who has been handcrafting premium wool head covers since 1962.
The Jan Craig story is not only fascinating but also a perfect example of why I love writing for Three Guys Golf, because like most people, I had never crossed paths with this premium headcover company. Learning about Janet Craig and her husband Bert’s passion for the game and for each other was not only inspiring, but it made me proud to have their covers on my clubs.
The beginning of Jan Craig started out I’m sure like a lot of small companies. Mrs. Craig wasn’t satisfied with what was available, as far as headcovers go, so she took it upon herself and handcrafted her own headcovers from worsted wool. It helped that she was good with yarn and needles because soon others were noticing her work and wanted a set of their own.
My favorite part in learning about the history of their company was how it was never planned to be a real business. In fact, the Craigs only intended to make enough headcovers to finance the couple’s yearly wedding anniversary trip to Pinehurst.
Luckily for us though, a certain touring professional by the name of Jack Nicklaus ordered a set, and as his recognition grew so did the attention paid to those stylish wool headcovers that graced the Golden Bear’s clubs. The rest is ongoing history as many top level PGA Tour pros now have Jan Craig Headcovers in their bags.
Like I mentioned earlier, the story is a great one and even though Jan Craig passed away many years ago her family has continued the tradition she started of handcrafting worsted wool headcovers now some 53 years after she created her first set.
When the package from Jan Craig arrived I opened it up and right away I knew I was dealing with superb quality. I likened it to Christmas mornings from my childhood when grandma would send you that hand-knitted sweater that you quickly toss aside, moing on to the next present hoping it’s anything but clothes. Maybe some twenty years later, when you’re much wiser, you’ll pull out that special blanket grandma made you for your 5th birthday that somehow has held up better than any other blanket you’ve ever owned and you begin to realize what went into making such a remarkable piece.
It wasn’t just Grandma taking some needles to yarn and making a piece of clothing or a blanket, but every strand of wool and every stitch was made with love and passion. This is Jan Craig in a nutshell. The quality that goes into every piece screams passion, pride and love.
Their covers are not sitting in a warehouse on a shelf waiting for an order to be fulfilled; they’re made to order, fully customizable and will take up to six weeks to come in. The time frame was tough to overcome but I had a feeling when I did have them in my hands it was going to be worth the wait, and it was.
The first sign that I had a superior quality product in my hands was the weight. Everyone is in love with lighter, faster, stronger, but when it comes to protecting those expensive metal woods in your bag you don’t want an inferior fabric or process. The time that goes into creating each unique piece is a testament to Jan Craig’s dedication to the craft and it is clearly shown in the details of their work.
The ordering process was as easy as it comes. You access the Jan Craig website and with one click of the mouse you’re in step one of the design phase. Next you’ll choose the club you like a cover for, then there’s an option to go with a 5” POM an 8” POM a Tassel or nothing. From there you get into color combinations and lettering.
For this review I went with a color combination of Scarlet & Gray that worked perfectly with my Cobra bag and, in my own vat of self-righteousness, pays homage to my beloved Rebels of UNLV. It’s the closest I’m going to get to the famed “Hey Reb” covers the UNLV Golf team has.
Since Adam went the way of the Pom Poms for his review of Jan Craig a few years ago, I decided to go with the tassel look to be different. Yeah, it had nothing to with the fact that they’re Pom Poms.
You can customize the headcovers with any number or letter configuration. I chose the “D” on the driver, “3W” on my fairway wood (which with my game will always be a 3-wood) and an “H” for my hybrid. Keeping with the color scheme I had the lettering done in white to match the accents on my bag.
The lettering came out perfect and it most definitely adds to the classic look the wool covers.
After a thorough inspection of the covers, examining every inch of fabric, it was time to grab my woods and see if the obviously well-made products from Jan Craig were actually user friendly. I say that because in the past I’ve owned a few that didn’t make it through the first couple of holes before the on and off action had transformed the head cover from a functional product to dust rag.
While checking out the Driver cover I noticed Jan Craig includes an elastic band right around where the hosel and shaft come together. I’m not sure how many other wool head cover manufactures are doing this, but it was the first time I had seen it used. It a great feature that allows a large 460cc driver to “slip” nicely into the cover and feel like it’s fully in place.
The driver cover has a very long sleeve and for that reason it may not be ideal for bags that have a shaft lock or a small slot for holding the club. I think it’s a great feature though and I love it. It adds even more protection to the club shaft so accidentally scratching up a shaft when returning it to your bag is no longer a worry.
The Hybrid and Fairway woods have a much shorter sleeve but I’m confident there’s more material than you’ll find on other wool head covers, at least when I compared them to the few I have there is a notable difference.
On and off, on and off, on and off, I spent a decent amount of time (what I’d reflect as at least two rounds on the course) taking the covers off and putting them back on. I’m far from an expert when it comes to fabrics but I have to believe that, because the covers are made from a more durable wool called Worsted (Google is your friend), the repetitive actions of removing and replacing will do little to wear down the material.
Jan Craig Headcovers offers a great option for those looking to add some style and class to their golf bags. The quality is phenomenal and with all the customizable options you can make them your own very easily.
When I started this review I wasn’t sure if I was the type that could pull off wool. I felt I didn’t have the personality to pull it off and over the past couple of years I have grown very fond of my leather covers. I certainly didn’t think it was possible that there was a fabric cover out there that would make me change it up.
Jan Craig and their amazing headcovers did just that.
Prices vary depending of the size of the cover of course. The covers we ordered sell for $62.00 (Driver) $59.00 (Fairway Wood) and $44.00 (Hybrid). For $165 you’ll get an outstanding set of headcovers that are built to last and will probably outlast your golfing career.
To see just how easy it is to customize and order your own set of Jan Craig Headcovers please visit their site and add some classic style to your bag.