Course of Style: Adidas unveils caddie-tested (really) waterproof gear
Amid the buzz about waterproofing or lack thereof emanating from the Ryder Cup proceedings, last week Adidas Golf unveiled its new high-performance rain gear, the ClimaProof Storm Ultimate Jacket and Pants.
An outgrowth of an unusual two-year process of research and testing on the caddie force at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort, the notoriously windy and wet course on the Oregon seacoast, this is the consumer version of the Adidas ClimaProof Storm All-Weather Caddy Suit (official suit of the Bandon caddies).
The Adidas Ultimate suit features four-way stretch, fully seam-sealed zippers and waterproof protection to 20,000 mm (that's a lot). The jacket has Velcro cuffs, to keep moisture out, and a form-fitted rain collar. The trousers have adjustable cuffs on each leg and ankle zippers. Each has a three-year waterproof warranty. The Ultimate Jacket will cost $275; the pants $225.
Adidas continues to make its ClimaProof Provisional rain gear, fully seam sealed and waterproof to 3,000 mm ($75 for a jacket, $70 for pants), as well as various other wind and water resistant garments. But the Storm Ultimate suit is for golfing in howling wind and horizontal rain. (Apparently, you might even be able to snowboard in it.)
"It's a beast," said Tiss Dahan, senior director of global apparel for Adidas Golf.
Speaking of Caddies
The Adidas Golf presentations took place at Deepdale, the tony Long Island country club about 20 miles east of Manhattan. Out on the golf course, one of the caddies told a story about a well-known member, which we feel we must share with you.
Michael Bloomberg, the mayor of New York, is a member of Deepdale Golf Club (as are Matt Lauer and Tom Brokaw), a club that traces its lineage to the Vanderbilts and other swells. When Mayor Bloomberg first came to play the course, he asked to carry his own bag. Both the caddiemaster and professional chuckled and informed him that there were plenty of fine caddies to choose from and that it was unheard of for members to carry their own. But Bloomberg insisted, saying that he wanted the exercise.
Deepdale being the ultra-exclusive (and therefore ultra-expensive) place that it is, likes to comply with its members' wishes. They let him carry his own bag but assigned him a caddie anyway, to walk along. They also allowed the mayor to bring his dogs, as long as they were leashed. So Bloomberg can occasionally be seen playing golf and toting his own bag, while his very chic, very tall longtime girlfriend, Diana Taylor, follows in the cart and the caddie walks the dogs.
To our mind, it's one of the most fashionable scenes in golf we can imagine.