Thursday, July 17, 2008

SOUTHPORT, ENGLAND -- Don't think of a rain jacket as a fashion statement. As the pros who braved the elements Thursday at Birkdale will attest, good foul weather gear is serious equipment and worth investing in. Here are a few things to think about: 1. Waterproof vs. Water resistantWhen you get a waterproof jacket it should keep you dry in a steady rain and not allow any water to leak through. The zippers have flaps or seals that prevent water from seeping inside, and the seams inside the jacket will often be sealed as well. What you might be sacrificing is some breathability.
A water resistant top will usually be more breathable, but if you get caught in a long, steady rain you'll get wet. If you are playing in a light drizzle or a light rain, you'll stay fairly dry. On a hot summer day, a water resistant top will help you avoid feeling like a steamed clam. 2. WarrantiesIf you are looking to invest in a waterproof jacket, look for one that has a warranty. Many, including the tops listed below, promise to keep you dry with normal use for at least two years. 3. Wind resistanceWaterproof jackets should be windproof too, but many water resistant jackets are windproof these days as well. On a chilly day, having a layer that blocks the wind will make you feel a lot warmer.Here are four rain tops that will keep you dry and comfortable for years to come:

Weir2_600Adidas ClimaProof Storm Full Zip ($240) Waterproof, seam sealed, two-way mechanical stretch with four-way stretch inserts, an internal drawcord, and two-year waterproof warranty. Right on Mike Weir (Photo by Adrian Dennis/AFP/Getty Images)  
Verplankjacket_600x400DryJoys Rainshirt ($180)Waterproof, stretch panels, seam sealed, adjustable waterproof cuffs and front zipper, scorecard pocket and two-year waterproof warranty.  Right on Scott Verplank. (Photo by Glyn Kirk/AFP/Getty Images)  
Choijacket_600x450 Nike StormFit Elite 1/2 Zip ($250)Waterproof, Velcro adjustable cuffs, sealed front zipper, limited lifetime guarantee. Right on K.J. Choi (Photo by Glyn Kirk/AFP/Getty Images)  
Watsonrlxjacket_600x400Polo RLX Elude Jacket ($395)Waterproof, seam sealed, full stretch, Vercro adjustable cuffs, two-way front zipper, hidden vents under the arms, back collar and yoke, scorecard pocket. Right on Tom Watson (Photo by Glyn Kirk/AFP/Getty Images)  

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