Best waterproofs for the golf course
Let’s face it, if you want to play golf at any time in the UK, you need to be ready for the weather. We all check the weather forecast for the UK to find out what the weather is going to be like and these can be pretty accurate. But it is still best to prepare for the unexpected! And good golf waterproofs also mean you don’t need to limit your gameplay to fine, sunny weather. You can challenge yourself to play even in tough conditions like the pros do. But how do you pick the perfect waterproofs?
Understanding types of waterproofs
Just like with coats and jackets, there are different types of waterproofs to suit different weather conditions. The top level is the waterproof – the name tells the tale. These are clothes designed to repel even the heavy rain and ensure clothes underneath remain completely dry.
They do this by using specialist material – Gore-Tex is one of the well-known examples. This uses a porous membrane between the layers of fabric or sometimes laminated to another layer. Membranes have an opening that is small enough to exclude liquid water but large enough to allow air flow. This makes it more comfortable to play in the rain.
Fully waterproof outerwear is the most expensive type of weatherproof clothing because they offer the most comprehensive protection. You can buy individual trousers or jackets as well as waterproof suits. Look for ones that offer a guarantee on them – three years is a standard for good quality waterproofs.
Other weatherproof clothing
Rainproof or showerproof is a lesser level of weatherproof clothing that is ideal if you plan to play in light rain or to have some cover to get back to the clubhouse if you get caught out. It doesn’t use heavy duty materials like Gore-Tex but instead has a Teflon coating on it. This makes it ideal to keep water from penetrating it for a short period of time while still allowing air to flow and moisture wicking from the skin.
Windproof clothing also does what it says – protects you from the wind. It does this by using materials that prevent the gusts of wind passing through them while still staying breathable and allowing you to keep a comfortable temperature. Windproof clothes are usually not waterproof but may have some sort of coating on them like Teflon that might make them showerproof. The main idea of them is that you wear them when it is windy but not raining.
Waterproof clothing options
Once you know what type of weatherproof clothing you want to buy, you can then consider the different clothing options.
The most common item of golf clothing to resist the weather is the jacket. The aim of the jacket is to protect against the weather but still ensure you can move properly and that the fit of the jacket doesn’t interfere with your swing or arm movements. Sure, looking good is a secondary consideration but the practical side of golf clothing always comes first.
Rainwear clothing manufacturers aim to have jackets that are lightweight and have an element of stretch to them while offering the level of protection against the weather that you are looking for. When trying jackets, make sure you can swing your arms freely. You can go for a full zip or a collar zip, depending on your preference but take into account their impact on different movements on the course. Also look for extra features such as pockets, hoods, adjustable features around the waist or cuff and the material used in the lining.
Other waterproof items
As well as the classic long sleeve waterproof jacket, you can also get a short sleeve and sleeveless variations. These are ideal if you are playing in warmer conditions but there is a chance of rain. They don’t limit movement in the way long sleeves can and can come with both full-length zip and collar zip options.
Waterproof trousers are the other main thing to choose when you are protecting yourself against the UK weather. When you buy a full set such as Nike golf waterproofs, the set will consist of a jacket and matching trousers that offer the same level of weatherproofing for top and bottom. Most of these styles are also designed to be worn over the top of other golfing trousers so you add them when it starts to rain and remove them when it stops.
Choosing them means going for a leg length a little longer than your normal size as this means they can go over other trousers and still be the right length. This also means they overlap your shoes correctly and send water over them to the floor – too short and they might dump the water into your shoes instead.
Finally, you might want to add waterproof accessories to your bag. Hats and gloves are two of the most popular, with hats being worn all the time and gloves being worn between shots to keep your hands warm and dry.
Caring for waterproofs
Caring for waterproofs helps keep them in top condition and extends the lifespan of the clothing. Every item will have its own care instructions with it, but general rules are that you shouldn’t use normal detergent or fabric softener on these clothes – this can break down the special materials that make them waterproof.
You can get specialist cleaning products to use with them. Before you start, remove loose mud or debris and close all zips. Use the specialist cleaning in a washing machine and don’t add any other items of clothing. Use a 30 degree wash then air dry them (you can tumble dry them if the care instructions say this is okay).
You may need to reproof the garments after a time to ensure the waterproof layer remains intact. This isn’t needed every time you wash but just periodically.
Waterproofs are an important part of your golf wardrobe if you don’t want to be relegated to a warm, fine weather player. By getting the right ones, you will ensure your game isn’t impacted but you keep warm and dry while playing.