You’d probably never think of blaming your shirt for a lousy round of golf. (For fear of being laughed out of the 19th hole, if nothing else.) But aside from your driver, putter and sand wedge, your shirt may be the most important piece of equipment on any given day.
Being uncomfortably hot or cold, restricted from free movement or battling sticky sleeves can really hinder your game. To cite one example: You’ve probably noticed many pros, including Tiger Woods, tug their left sleeve upward before hitting a drive. This isn’t a fashion statement or a show of bravado – it keeps the sleeve from grabbing the shoulder on the backswing.
Pros do this less often nowadays thanks to the proliferation of technical fabrics. High-tech materials -- most synthetic, some natural – have found a voracious market in the golf world, where players seek every possible edge that could shave a stroke from their scores.
Here are a few features and benefits to look for when shopping for golf shirts:
- Made from materials such as polyester, spandex, lycra, nylon and mercerized cotton, usually a blend of several fabrics.
- Lightweight, flexible and breathable.
- Moisture-management properties, such as “wicking,” which keeps your body and shirt dry in heat and humidity.
- UV protection (without it, the sun can actually penetrate your shirt and reach the skin).
- Anti-microbial properties (odor protection).
For playing in cold weather, shirts made with Gore-Tex provide warmth without added weight and bulk.