Course of Style: New Greg Norman shirts incorporate 'ion' technology

Greg Norman Collection
Greg Norman Collection

The Greg Norman Collection is introducing a magnetic "ion" golf shirt, similar in principle to the various bracelets and necklaces that athletes wear, which uses the mystic physics of "minus ions" to improve an athlete's performance and promote an overall sense of physical well being.

Golfers have been wearing minus-ion jewelry for many years — copper bracelets, magnetic wristbands, and other devices — that supposedly reduce the positive ions created by modern society's multitude of electronic gadgets. But an entire ion-emitting shirt, of course, takes the phenomenon to a new level. Ancient peoples regarded clothing as having magical properties, but this is something out of "Star Trek."

The theory, as we understand it (and we don't, really), is that electrical devices like cellphones, iPods, and computers release a lot of positive ions — atoms with outer-shell electrons stripped away — to float around, within you and without, which results in an imbalance. Wearing negative-ion enriched items supposedly restores the balance and leads to improved health and performance.

While the science behind these performance-enhancing garments is somewhat woozy, many professional athletes — from Josh Beckett, the Boston Red Sox pitcher, to Ernie Els, Vijay Singh and Jim Furyk — swear by them, and their jewelry is clearly visible on television. The ION 75 Titanium shirt from the Greg Norman Collection looks like a regular golf shirt, in either a pin-dot or striped pattern, and has the usual sun-protection, anti-microbial, and moisture-wicking qualities of a performance polo. But it is made with liquid titanium magnetic crystals spun into its polyester microfiber yarn. This technology, according to the company, creates beneficial negative ions, which balance the positive ions and increase serotonin levels. Voila, no more yips! (Or at least you smile when you three putt.) The shirts will cost $89.

Whether an ion-producing shirt can help you deal with first-tee jitters or positively affect your score is an open question, but a spokeswoman for the company said Norman himself will be wearing the shirt in upcoming tournaments.

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