Technologies that go into today's waterproof, breathable fabrics also makes them a bit stiff and crinkly, resulting in crackling or swishing sounds when you swing. But that may be changing.
The designers at TaylorMade-adidas Golf have come up with a rain jacket that they claim keeps you bone-dry without the noise. The ClimaProof Storm soft shell jacket is fabricated from a laminated high-gauge polyester knit that has been turning up in hunting clothes as well as tactical military garments (for creeping up stealthily on your enemies). The fabric is exceptionally soft, stretchable, and quiet, said Tiss Dahan, the senior designer of global apparel at Adidas, and it's waterproof to 10,000 millimeters.
The virtually silent Adidas Storm jacket, in full zip, half zip, and short sleeve will cost about $145 and be available in stores in mid-June.Ogilvy's Invisible Edge
Speaking of technical innovations, Geoff Ogilvy, winner of last week's WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship in Arizona, walked the course in Puma's new "invisibonding" shirts, which use a needle-less method for bonding fabric (discussed in this space in January). Ogilvy also wore the company's Swing Crown GTX shoes, which use "smart quill" technology. The invisibonded shirts are essentially seamless, providing a kind of totally fluid fit for easy movement. And Ogilvy was nothing if not fluid, dominating his opponents with his smooth swing. The Puma shoes have odd-shaped directional spikes (hence the term "smart quills") that are said to improve a golfer's swing stability. Both the invisibonding polo ($80) and the shoes ($275) are from Puma Golf's summer collection, available now.
In the Wash
All these technical performance fabrics, with their exotic polyester microfibers, are apparently not so easy to clean. Traditional washing can break down the technological features of the clothes, according to the makers of WIN Detergent, a high-performance sports laundry soap especially formulated to root out sweat and body odor, while preserving the waterproofing and moisture-wicking aspects of the garment.
When you play golf, you tend to sweat, whether it's the good old walking-the-fairway-in-the sun kind or the I-better-not-fluff-this-shot variety. The makers of WIN Detergent say it works better than conventional soaps on golf fabrics like Dri-Fit, Under Armour, CoolMax, and ClimaCool. The secret, as far as we can tell, is something called surfactants, which are organic compounds that make water "wetter." A 21-oz. bottle costs $6.99 and can be purchased at sporting goods stores like Dick's and Sports Authority.
In any case, in addition to the fairway, we cover the water front.
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