Rickie Fowler

    When playing golf on a hot summer day, do you ever take a swing and feel a sticky shirt grab or restrict your shoulders? When it’s cold, do you struggle to get back and through the ball under the bulk of heavy clothing?

    Fact is, it’s not enough just to meet the standard golf course dress code (collared shirt, no denim or cutoffs). You need to treat your apparel like an extension of your equipment — it should fit comfortably and never hinder your game, even under adverse weather conditions.

    Golf apparel makers have achieved huge advances in recent years, introducing “technical fabrics” that are lightweight, breathable, flexible and able to “wick” (move) moisture away from the body. If you’re still playing in heavy, traditional cotton shirts that soak up and retain sweat, it’s time to get with the program.

    When shopping for golf clothing, check the labels for materials such as polyester – yes, it’s come a long way since the 1970s – spandex, nylon and mercerized cotton (also called pearl cotton). Many companies have their own brand names for proprietary fibers, so check the tags for a listing of the item’s features.

    In addition to their comfort and performance-enhancing qualities, many technical fabrics offer UV protection from the sun and anti-microbial properties to ward off odor. In general, they’re also more durable than traditional cotton and hold up better after repeated wear and washing. As far as style goes, today’s golf companies are much more fashion-conscious than in the past. Whatever your personal taste, you’re bound to find golf apparel that suits you well.

    The lone drawback to high-tech golf apparel is pricing – it can get pretty expensive. Still, plenty of lesser-known manufacturers offer affordable, quality products, so shop around before buying.