EQUIPMENT

Mark MarneyCombat the elements:
Golf outerwear gets technical

By Mark Marney, The Golf Warehouse (tgw.com)

Life used to be so simple.

When it got nippy outside, you'd grab your jacket and go. Be it a parka, windbreaker or pullover, a jacket was a jacket.


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Not anymore.

Nowadays, the category has expanded and been given a fashionable new name: Outerwear. Or, if you really want to drill deep with head-to-toe advanced technology, call it performance gear.

With winter upon us, what's to buy for those "frozen tundra" type days when your golf appetite desperately needs satisfaction even though your good health might be at risk?

There's zipper, pullover, long, short, water-resistant (repellent and proof), multi-material, zip-off sleeves, vests, reversible, Gore-Tex, roll- 'n'-pack -- everything including the kitchen sink to contribute to golfers' comfort and subsequent game improvement.

Adidas Clima Shell RainwearSo go the options, and manufacturers of performance gear are sky high about their products. All rain gear types are selling well at tgw.com, but one of the hottest commodities is short-sleeve rainwear that, in large part, Tiger Woods has popularized. Short sleeves are not as hot, they don't bind the wrist and they're not cumbersome.

Here's what they say about their latest performance-gear collections:

1. Adidas Clima Shell Rainwear: Read the applied technologies and leap: vented front and back body with mesh lining benefits breathability; exposed molded front zipper with inside storm flap; microfleece chin guard for added comfort and warmth; adjustable side closures. Let's not forget the rear zip scorecard pocket. Nicknamed "The Storm Wear."

Sun Mountain Typhoon Reversible Rainshirts2. Sun Mountain Typhoon Reversible Rainshirts: Half-zip pullover design allows for a full range of motion; twill weave provides soft (not cardboard-like) and quiet movement; treated with 80/30 spray-rated Teflon; water rolls off, soils and stains just wipe away. The genesis of the product's name: just in case a typhoon threatens to interrupt your birdie opportunity on No. 13.

Other popular rain jackets are from Ashworth, FootJoy (DryJoys label), Nike and Mizuno.

And what's a rain jacket without rain pants?

Nike Men's Clima-FIT Packable Rainsuits: The jacket is great and so are the rain pants; full-cut design allows pants to slip on easily over other apparel; fully lined to promote optimal warmth; bottom of each leg is zippered, so there's no struggle to fit over golf shoes; and inside waist coin pocket; don't forget the trademark "Swoosh."

Mizuno Bucket Rain HatsDryJoys Men's Performance Zip-Off Rain Pants: Shorts, anyone? Can be yours with the flick of a zip. Two-snap adjustable waistband with "gripper elastic" and draw cord for a comfortable fit; classic styling; Sta-Dry System promotes moisture control, backed by a two-year limited waterproof warranty; Velcro, bottom allows for convenient length and fit alterations.

To top it off, let's protect our coifs.

1. Mizuno Bucket Rain Hats: Brim sheds water away from the neck and body; designed and cut to protect golfers against damaging rays during showers and sun-only days; 100 percent waterproof microfiber.

DryJoys Rain Headwear2. DryJoys Rain Headwear: Baseball-cap style boasts an unstructured crown that gives it a relaxed feel and an adjustable back strap for one-size-fits-all comfort. The bucket-hat style rolls up for easy packing and carrying in your golf bag. Both styles feature the Sta-Dry System.

Don't forget what's arguably the most important piece of equipment in a rain storm: gripper gloves that minimize club slippage.

Mark Marney is CEO of The Golf Warehouse at tgw.com, the world's largest golf e-tailer. His columns appear monthly at travelgolf.com. He reports on golf products, emerging trends, and he let's you know what's hot and what's not.

Any opinions expressed above are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the views of the management. The information in this story was accurate at the time of publication. All contact information, directions and prices should be confirmed directly with the golf course or resort before making reservations and/or travel plans.

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