There’s no reason to skip a round just because there’s a few clouds in the sky. With a variety of apparel and shoes designed to allow you to perform your best despite inclement weather, you can hit the fairways even if there’s a drizzle in the air.
In the late 1960s, a scientist named Bill Gore was seeking a way to insulate wiring when he inadvertently discovered the material he was working with was waterproof. It took him until 1976 to start incorporating the product, named GORE-TEX, into apparel, but over time it became the standard for waterproof clothing, jackets and shoes.
In many ways, GORE-TEX is still one of the most recognizable elements of waterproof golf gear. But golf apparel and shoes has evolved—offering lighter stretch fabrics, and creating apparel that allows you to perform at the highest levels without worrying about getting wet over the course of a four-hour round.
A decade ago, wearing a rain suit could be akin to feeling like you just put on a garbage bag—and a heavy ply one—over your golf attire. It could be a miserable experience, taking up tons of space in your golf bag and then being uncomfortable when you finally put it on. Seams weren’t sealed and water would often find its way in anyway.
That’s changed dramatically in recent years, as technologies and fabrics allow designers to create rain gear that’s interesting aesthetically, and doesn’t impede your golf game.
For a number of years, Galvin Green was the leader in the space in the European market with a unique look and great feeling rain jackets. That’s still the case as the company has become more recognized in North America. One thing you’ll find with Galvin outerwear is it is often extremely light, making it easy to tuck into a golf bag when it isn’t being used. Whether it is a full jacket, or a short sleeve option for the warmer months, Galvin Green is attractive and offers apparel that using GORE-TEX and other proprietary materials to create incredible clothing.
FootJoy is one of the pioneers in outerwear and remains on the leading edge of innovations in the sport. One thing is clear with FootJoy—you’re going to find playing while wearing it is never a distraction. The company’s Hydrolite line is just what you’d expect—classic in appearance and great to wear while playing. In fact, you’ll find a lot of jackets meant to be worn while it rains work well in those cooler months in the spring and fall.
Look great despite the weather
Women’s outerwear has come a long way in recent years, adding a great look to the performance one comes to expect. Consider Lole, an athletic apparel company from Quebec, that creates timeless rain jackets—like its Piper Long Jacket—that work great if you’ve been caught with some incoming clouds during a round, but also functions wonderfully away from the course.
There’s no question footwear is one of the keys to playing in the rain. No one wants to slip during the round, and similarly no one wants wet socks on the sixth hole. Waterproofing has long been important to golf shoes, as many play in the morning dew. Like some outwear, companies like ECCO have embraced GORE-TEX in their shoes, making them impervious to the elements. But if traction is key in wet turf conditions, turn to something more traditional, like Under Armour’s terrific HOVR Drive GTX shoe or adidas’ Climaproof Boa Boost Spiked Golf Boot, which ensures water won’t get you while walking through longer rough