Product Testing in High Heat and Humidity
July 15, 2016
During the 2016 PGA Merchandise Show in January, I met with several different companies to discuss their new product lines. These included Callaway Apparel, Zero Friction’s new one-size-fits-all golf gloves, and New Balance shoes.
In each case, the marketing folks offered to send me samples of their items, so that I could test their merits while out on the golf course. Because I am all about helping my readers, I was perfectly fine with this arrangement.
The current heat wave seemed like the perfect opportunity to conduct these tests–especially after first doing yard work in khaki trousers and a cotton polo shirt, in over 90 degree heat with over 50% humidity.
The cotton clothes just weren’t up to it. My sweat quickly soaked through everything.
Did you ever notice how heavy wet shirts and pants can become in a Delaware summer?
After cleaning up, I headed up to Rookery South for an afternoon round, planning to apply my own version of the 90-degree rule: when it’s over 90 degrees, use a golf cart. Do your walking some other time, when heat stroke is less likely.
I wore a Callaway Opti-Dri shirt, in white with black sleeves and trim, and a pair of light tan Callaway Golf Performance Flat Front Tech Pants.
The Opti-Dri fabric treatments for the shirt and pants “transfer moisture” away from your body. The pants also feature an SPF50 layer of sunlight protection. In addition, a small percentage of Spandex throughout the pants fabric adds a welcome bit of stretch wherever it’s needed, while walking or swinging the club.
Tiffany DiPanni, Callaway Apparel’s marketing manager, thoughtfully added a Callaway reversible belt to her test shipment, and it did its job nicely.
Zero Friction sent its Johnny Miller Motion Fit glove, along with a Standard Cabretta model. Both use Cabretta leather for the palm and other critical parts. The rest of the Miller glove relies on Spandex, while the Standard model uses Lycra.
New Balance shipped a pair of its new Golf 3001 shoes, featuring a “waterproof microfiber leather upper” and bright fluorescent-green Champ golf cleats.
The Rookery South course was not very crowded, but it was very hot, and still very humid. There just might have been a connection between the weather conditions and the lack of golfers.
To make matters more challenging, the breeze varied between light and non-existent. Nonetheless, the Callaway shirt and pants were up to the task, as much as any clothing could be under the circumstances.
The Callaway shirt worked hard to wick away my “moisture” as fast as I produced it. A breeze helps a lot in that effort, whether natural or golf cart-generated. The pants fabric is remarkably light, and moved easily whenever the wind picked up.
Nonetheless, when it’s well above 90, deathly still, and so humid the haze is visible a few yards away, there is only so much your modern clothes technology can do. Compared to my yardwork khaki and cotton polo, however, it was still an improvement.
The Zero Friction gloves also held up well in the heat, especially with my “moisture” adding to the challenge. The Lycra and Spandex portions of the gloves kept the leather parts from being overwhelmed, and they stayed dry for the 18 holes.
As for fit, my normal glove size is Cadet Medium Large. The Zero Friction gloves molded to my left hand with no bunching or stretching.
The New Balance shoes were crazy comfortable, with a bit of a spring-like effect from the cushioned sole. The company has a good reputation among golfers who need a wider shoe, but I’m not in that category, and I have a narrower heel than most. Wearing thicker athletic socks usually helps most golf shoes fit me better, and the 3001 model fit fine.
The bright green cleats peek out from the sides, and were a little disconcerting at first. If you are a fan of the University of Oregon athletic teams, however, you will love the color.
The Callaway polo shirts can range up to $70, but there’s a sale now underway at Callawayapparel.com. The pants also retail for $70 before any sales discount, and the reversible belt is on sale there for under $30.
The Zero Friction Johnny Miller Motion-Fit gloves sell for $21.95 at zerofriction.com, and in eleven color schemes. The Standard Cabretta gloves go for $19.95, in six colors.
The New Balance Golf 3001 shoes retail for $169.99 at newbalance.com, but you might also check the company store on Route 1 near Midway.
Local Club Competition Results
The Kings Creek Ladies 9 hole group played Flag Day on July 6.
In this format, each golfer plays her own ball until she reaches her handicap score. If she’s finishes before completing the round, she places a flag on the spot where she used her last stroke. Golfers playing better than usual continue the routine on the putting green until all strokes are used.
Sue Eisenbrey won first place, followed by Mary Beth Merolla in second, Carole Ellison in third, and Jeanne Drake in fourth. Mary Mezger won closest to the hole on the 11th green.
The Kings Creek Ladies 18 hole group also played Flag Day on July 6. Marilyn Hewitt and Tricia Ritthaler tied for first place in the first flight, with third going to Ruth Lauver.
Lynn Sweeney won first place in the second flight, followed by Carol Lowen in second and Jennifer Falcone in third. Sheree Mixell won the third flight, with Barbara Hines in second and Patricia Magee in third. Wendy Maclay won closest to the pin.
The Kings Creek 18 hole group played a Low Net game July 12. Marsha McLaurin won first place in the first flight, with Jen Flinchbaugh taking second and Sheree Davis finishing in third.
Katie Heintz won the second flight, with Jennifer Falcon in second and Kathy Casey in third. Denise Stewart took first in the third flight, followed by Patricia Magee in second and Prabhat Karapurkar in third. Winnie Sewell won closest to the pin.
The Sussex Pines Ladies golf association played their Criers tournament July 12, in which the three worst scores are tossed before adding the rest. Brenda Lewis won first place, followed by JoAnn Foster in second and Susan Brady in third.