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|The line of belts from Sumi-G are all uber-stylish and ultra-functional as well. (Courtesy of Sumi-G)|
With the possible exception of fly fishing, no sporting pastime has as many accouterments as golf. And unlike fly fishing, all that associated gear doesn't smell like a day-old trout (usually).
In fact, there is a certain amount of pleasure to be taken from looking good on the golf course, even on those days when your game does stink.
Sumi-G, launched in 2009 at the PGA Merchandise Show, has developed a line of golf accessories based on the philosophy of Sumi-E, an Asian form of black ink painting. The result is sleek, swanky kit that makes playing the game both more stylish and more fun.
After perusing the Sumi-G website and testing out several of the chic products, the one that struck me as the best dovetailing of form and function was the Dormy belt ($85). The supple Italian leather and brilliant stainless steel buckle are finished off with a magnetic Sumi-G logo ball marker that fits right into the buckle. And if black and stainless isn't your motif of choice, there are other colors and other buckle finishes available.
A nice complement to the belt is the Sumi-G fitted cap ($24), which is mainly black with a red underside on the visor and a small Sumi-G logo.
Sumi-G's flagship product is the patent-pending headcover. The slightly heavy covers (driver $38, fairway wood $32, and hybrid $28) feature a hinged sheath that fits inside a rigid outer shell. The idea is that the cover lies on the ground sort of like an upside-down turtle, and you slide your clubhead into the inner sheath. With a flick of the wrist, the cover is on and, if you're particularly skilled, you can even snap the neck of the cover onto the neck of your club.
If you're no more skilled than me, though, you just pick up the headcover and snap the neck on with your hand.
The driver headcover is large enough to accommodate 460cc drivers, although if they're radically asymmetrical (for example the Bob Burns No Bananas driver, the headcover fits less well (though it does fit with some coaxing).
And if you feel like going all-out, Sumi-G also offers a towel brush ($26) that fits securely onto your golf towel, a very sharp divot tool ($24), and money clip ($22), among other useful and eye-catching bling.
For the way to and from the golf course, Sumi-G also makes rigid carryall ($230) and shoe bags ($106-$116). Although it must be acknowledged that if your bags, belt, hat, divot tool, headcovers, etc., etc., etc. ALL match, the rest of the guys in your foursome might start talking. There is such a thing as looking too good when you play.
On the other hand, and once again unlike fly fishing equipment, none of the Sumi-G gear will draw blood if you poke yourself with it.
For more information, visit www.sumi-g.com.
July 9, 2010
Kiel Christianson has lived, worked, traveled and golfed extensively on three continents. As senior writer and equipment editor for WorldGolf.com, he has reviewed courses, resorts, and golf academies from California to Ireland, including his home course, Lake of the Woods G.C. in Mahomet, Ill. Read his golf blog here and follow him on Twitter @GolfWriterKiel.
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