I first wrote about the Bionic golf glove after covering the 2004 Fall PGA Expo in Las Vegas. The glove was unique in that it was designed by an orthopedic surgeon to aid flexibility, comfort, and grip.
This year, Hillerich & Bradsby, parent company of Bionic (and Louisville Slugger and PowerBilt Golf) introduced a new Bionic model for golf, along with Bionic gloves for everything from motorcycle riding to gardening. So I thought I'd take the new Men's Performance Golf Glove ($29.95) out for a spin over the long 4th of July weekend.
After 72 holes at Lake of the Woods Golf Course in Mahomet, Ill., the flexibility and comfort of the Bionic glove were undaunted by the 90+ degree heat and 80-plus percent humidity. The fabric on the inside of the glove did a respectable job of wicking away the buckets of sweat pouring out of me, and the extra padding kept my hands from feeling even a little tired. (No small feat considering how many times I swing a club on some holes.)
However, the mutiple patented "Flexion Zones"--essentially small patches of Lycra-like fabric sewn into various points in the glove to aid flexibility--proved to be not quite up to the task. The stitching around many of these zones, especially in the fingers--began unravelling after a couple rounds. And one of the "Flexion Zone" patches even started coming out altogether by the end of the last round.
In short, the cabretta leather and generous padding felt great and performed well, but the now-frayed stitching makes for a less appealing glove. In fact, once when I was lighting a cigar, one of the loose threads caught fire. Although it didn't help my golf swing any, the flare-up did provide a bit of humor for my playing partners.