G-Tech Apparel has the hottest cold season item for your wishlist

G-Tech Button imageCold weather sucks — especially for golf. Colorado is no stranger to much-less-than-favorable temperatures, but oftentimes you just gotta say fuck it and get some swings in when you can. That usually means throwing on an uncomfortable amount of layers, adopting the legendary “Tommy Two-Gloves” look, and every other feeble attempt at staying warm, and still freezing your ass off. The fact remains that cold weather golf just sucks and always will. Thankfully, though, G-Tech Apparel is making the cold season a lot less sucky with its patented heated hoodie.

G-Tech Lee hoodieThis will be one of the easiest reviews we’ve ever written given the quality, look and performance of the two CGB branded hoodies we received just in time for the Colorado cold season. Even without its signature feature the hoodie impresses: the polyester/spandex material in the hydro-thermal hoodie is water-resistant, sporting a semi-glossy finish and stylish modern lines. It’s a sturdier hoodie that’ll keep you toasty on its own as well, with a substantial hood that covers your head, hats and beanies comfortably, too, without messing up your line of site when addressing the ball. First impressions placed G-Tech easily in the running for a daily use sweatshirt — and we haven’t even gotten to the good stuff yet.

Second impression: Holy shit. This is a game changer.

My first round in the G-Tech heated hoodie came on a 45-degrees at tee off kinda day. I made it to the first green before needing to lower the temperature setting from high to medium to keep from sweating, and never once found myself shivering or needing to warm my hands with anything but the heating “Therma Grip.” It had topped 58-degrees by the end of the round and the low setting kept me comfortable through the home-stretch. I had figured the battery pack would’ve died well before our 4+ hour round was over, too, but it lasted closer to 6 hours by the time all was said and done.

G-Tech Craig imageG-Tech’s patented Therma Grip is what brings the heat to this heated hoodie with low, medium and high settings. The control button rests on top of the pocket and couldn’t be easier to use. Hold down the button and select your setting (green/yellow/red = low/medium/high, respectively) and you’ll feel the heat distribution begin almost immediately. The heated grip rests in the belly pouch of the sweatshirt — along with the battery pack — and feels like a small strip of padding designed and fastened to be held in your hands. It may sound a little awkward, and granted it was at first, but that the heating element/battery pack placement adds about the same amount of girth as a pocket full of gloves, hand warmers and whatever else is the only not-spectacular thing we can say about this product. Don’t worry about it impeding your swing in any way, though, it won’t — and with the heat resting on your belly your core stays toasty too.

Ending with a bit of advice: when you buy your G-Tech heated hoodie (starting at $149) you’ll want to buy two, especially if you have a girlfriend/wife/etc. — this may be the most steal-able hoodie out there. As of this writing the company’s website says all products are sold out, so keep an eye out for new arrivals when they drop.

Rhoback performance polos are cool in more ways than one

Rhoback featuredFor all there is to love about summertime golf there’s one thing we all struggle with: beating the heat. Cold beers and bucket hats can only go so far when you’re already sweating by the time you reach the first tee box, and heaven forbid a good-looking cart attendant catches you rocking any less than flattering sweat stains out there. The clothes you wear on the course matter in more ways than one, whether you’re out there flexing your look or just trying to meet the club dress code.

Rhoback polos are made for those living an active lifestyle on and off the course, with a range of colors and styles suited for anyone’s taste. As a matter of fact, the company “craves activity” and is dead set on changing the way you think about your summer active wear. The quick drying and extremely breathable material — 92% poly and 8% spandex — is all but unnoticeable on the course, which is a good thing. No matter the temperature or precipitation in the air, Rhoback polos keep you looking great, and cool, without worrying about sweat stains, wrinkles or becoming disheveled and needing to change right after your round. That’s part of the company’s goal, to design all day active wear, ready to go from the course to a meeting to a dinner date without hesitation. The comfort fitted polos don’t impede your swing in any way and look sharp tucked or untucked no matter the outfit. The sturdy self collar holds its shape well and is all but guaranteed to never “bacon,” speaking to the durability of Rhoback’s designs as well.

Rhoback Casey Jones

The Casey Jones

To see the difference between Rhoback and standard golf shirts, imagine the difference between wearing a black polo on the hottest, sunniest day of the summer versus a white polo, or a long sleeve versus a tank top — it’s night and day. After two rounds at altitude in the baking July sun I should feel like a hot, sweaty mess (as indicated by the sweat stains covering my hat) but my Rhoback Casey Jones polo still looks fresh off the rack, and I could keep chasing the sunshine for another 18.

It’s not that Rhoback is the one and only company making great summer active wear, but Rhoback is making it more practical and accessible than others. Many a golf shirt looks, well, like a golf shirt and not always an appropriate option for off the course outfits. But Rhoback’s subtle, classy designs can be paired with just about anything, for just about anything — not too flashy or overpowering.

If you’re looking for a high performing active polo ready for whatever you can throw at it, out Rhoback polos to the test.

Golfkicks says screw your everyday golf shoes

I am not one for gimmicks or novelty products — cheap, one-use-only items that usually just end up sitting in the junk drawer — but I am a shoe junkie. So when a couple of boxes of GolfKicks showed up at the CGB headquarters I found myself feeling skeptically excited to try them out.

The idea behind GolfKicks is simple: turn most any flat soled pair of shoes into golf shoes by adding spikes. Thoroughly enticed by the notion of turning any shoe I want into a fly pair of golf shoes, I spent months trying to decide what brand would be best suited for a trial run. I knew I wanted something cheap in the event I totally ruined them, but also something I’d want to wear regularly incase the GolfKicks performed as advertised. I also wanted something familiar in both fit and style, with nothing else like it already available as a golf shoe, and finally settled on a pair of classic Vans checkerboard slip-ons ($50 brand new).

GolfKicks in hand and thinking I’d done enough homework on my choice of test shoes — I’d also seen a pair of the same shoes while scrolling GolfKicks’ Instagram — I figured I’d be hitting the course in no time at all, but that wasn’t the case. I learned Vans’ sole pattern is “not ideal” for GolfKicks after visiting the installation tutorials on the company’s website. Flat, minimally textured shoes work best, but the company says there’s been enough interest in the Vans pairing for them to be “going with it,” and providing a Vans-specific installation video, too. So far, so good.

GolfKicks come with most everything you need for installation — the spikes, a small Phillips head screwdriver and a marker for pilot holes — but you will need a 5/32 drill bit to make pilot holes. For my Vans, though, the company suggests using a slightly larger bit for the pilot holes, as well as Shoe Goo or another strong glue to secure the spikes to properly, so it cost me another trip to the store and a few extra bucks before I was ready to go. Once you have everything you need, installing your GolfKicks is as easy as marking your spots, making pilot holes, and screwing them in. The company suggests starting with 8 spikes per adult shoe — 4 on the heel and 4 for the toe —  though each set comes with plenty extra in case you want to add a few more, or need some for replacements.

Regardless of the shoe, your pilot holes are important to make sure you screw the GolfKicks in properly by hand. You want to make sure the bottom of the GolfKicks spikes are flush with the sole of the shoes, without stripping the thread by trying to tighten them too much. For my Vans, I added a dollop of Shoe Goo to each pilot hole before screwing the GolfKicks in, and had to let the adhesive set overnight. GolfKicks are meant to be permanent, meaning don’t try to take them out and reinstall them whenever you want. You’re putting literal holes in the bottom of your shoes, so even if you do remove them chances are your soles are already damaged — another reason why shoe choice is important.

24 hours later and I’m on the course with my new golf shoes — playing a short 9 at Cherokee Ridge Golf Course. Walking on hard surfaces proves a little uncomfortable as you can definitely feel pressure points on the bottom of your feet coming from the spikes. It’s not a deal breaker, though, and may not be noticeable in other shoes with more favorable soles. On the turf, though, the pressure points disappear making the shoes feel a lot more like a regular pair of golf shoes.

Swinging hard from every kind of lie I could find, even deliberately trying to pop a spike or two out of the shoes, I found myself pleasantly surprised at the feel and performance of the GolfKicks. Not a single spike had loosed by the end of the round, and numerous double-takes, complements and questions I got about my “Vans golf shoes” made the afternoon all the more enjoyable.

Cool as they are, GolfKicks will not replace your everyday golf shoes, especially if you’re playing a lot of golf or walking the course regularly. But it is one of those few novelty items that lives up to its promises, cheap and easy enough for anyone to try, and A LOT of fun. I couldn’t be happier with my Vans, and you better believe I’ll breaking them out again when the feeling’s right. If you’re looking to take your golf shoe game in to another level, add a pair of GolfKicks to your collection.

Too good to be true? Athalonz golf shoes promise more distance and fairways

“Distance” is the Holy Grail for golfers everywhere. Every golfer I’ve ever talked or given lessons to always asks how to hit the ball farther. Even without them asking, the constant barrage of $600 drivers all the major manufacturers, specialized balls promising extra yards, and distance-driven strength training is a testament to that never-ending chase to hit the ball as far as you can. But the quest for longer shots actually starts from the ground up — literally the only point of contact between us and the ground, our feet and the shoes we’re wearing — an oft overlooked source to maximize distance.

Athalonz is a golf shoe brand many may not be familiar with. But those who hit the ball really, really far, including many on the World Long Drive Tour, are wearing these shoes. Why? Because those who can hit the ball 400 plus yards know ground contact is absolutely critical.

If you’ve ever had your foot slip on wet grass while making a golf swing, you already know the importance of maintaining solid footing — even more so when we’re swinging the club harder to hit the ball farther. Solid footing is what Athalonz stakes its name on, going as far as guaranteeing longer drives and more fairways.

AthalonzThe science behind these shoes is what drives the company (the EnVe model alone holds four US Patents). “Shoes are a force transfer system. Via physics principals, the forces can be manipulated to improve power,” the company says. Anthalonz golf shoes are designed with “the right angles in the right places” to promote the natural transfer of forces throughout your entire golf swing, increasing your power by “at least 9%,” the company says.

Now, I’m no scientist, and I’m often skeptical of gains such as those when advertised — I can’t confirm or deny a 9% increase in power with any real data. But after a number of rounds in varied conditions, I can confirm the comfort and stability Athalonz offer, letting me feel free to swing I hard as I can without worry of slipping out of my shoes. The subtle, modern slip-on design stands out in all the right ways, with muted colors offset by a bright leather-colored band wrapped around the heel, and goes with just about any outfit, too.

As a teaching pro and all around avid golfer practicing and playing way more than my body oftentimes can withstand, finding comfortable, durable, and stabilizing shoes is critical to the enjoyment of my golf round — and my distance numbers — and Athalonz may just be living up to all of those promises.

 

TRUE Linkswear is making the best damn golf shoes. Period.

TRUE Linkswear Original

TRUE Original

TRUE Linkswear has a simple ask: Enjoy the walk. And they’ve made it extremely easy.

To say the 10 year-old company is making the best golf shoes money can buy may be bold enough, but I’ll take it one step further and say TRUE Links is also making the best lifestyle shoes money can buy.

I’m not lying, but first I’ll make our case for them on the course.

We were first introduced to the TRUE Originals ($149) and the TRUE Outsiders ($139) two years ago when they graciously sent a few pairs to the CGB headquarters. Both lines tout casual yet athletic designs — clean lines and simple, tasteful features, and just the right amount of edge — but the performance of the shoes is what’s most evident at first look.

Set atop the company’s signature cross life rubber tread is beautiful full grain waterproof leather, layered with a waterproofed Symptax bootie, and coated with a water repelling “system.” All this is to say that, according to the companies website, TRUEs are the highest performing waterproof shoes in the game. The company backs that claim up with a 2-year waterproof guarantee — depending on the model — but they may be selling themselves short.

(For those curious and or concerned about where TRUE’s waterproofing products are sourced, the company places a high priority on health and environmental safety. See this page for more details.)

TRUE_Outsider

TRUE Outsider

Colorado can’t compare to the sogginess of the Pacific Northwest, where TRUE Links was born, but we do have a fair share of elements to deal with on the course all year round. A little more than 2 years in, and after countless rounds in rain, sleet, snow, ice, mud and everything else, our TRUEs are still going strong. Aside from the nicks and creases that come with normal wear and tear my Outsiders perform like new, keeping my feet dry, and happy.

The comfort level is off the charts, mainly due to the wide base sole that lets your arches and toes spread out naturally as you step and swing — particularly important for those of us with wider feet — and the foot-conforming inserts have only gotten more comfortable over time. The sturdy tread proves reliable no matter how wet and slippery the conditions, and moves like tennis or hiking shoes. Strolls down the fairway aren’t interrupted by any rubbing, pinching or other discomforts either. You truly couldn’t ask for more from a golf shoe on the course.

To many, though, golf is more than a game; it’s a lifestyle. It only makes sense a golf shoe company would deliver a product built for the grind on and off the course.

TRUE_Knits

TRUE Knits

We live an active lifestyle off the course — hiking, skiing, camping, sports, etc. — so the TRUE Outsiders and Originals remain a go-to for worry free footwear. My pair is a must for trips to the creek at the local dog park (where the 2-year waterproof test for this review occurred). No matter how much mud and gunk I traipse through, a simple rinse with a damp rag and these shoes and ready to go again.

Other times, though, something a little more relaxed is in order. That’s a perfect time to bring out the TRUE Knits. The Knits’ ($129) design is more in the casual sportswear realm, meaning high points in performance can still be expected on and off the course, and they’re a perfect tennis shoe substitute. Clearly, the Knits are not waterproof, but the polyester material does keep your feet dry in dew-like conditions — and talk about ventilation.

The Knits are effortlessly cool. The design is sleek and sublet at first glimpse, but a closer look reveals a classic wingtip pattern formed into the beautiful material. On more than one occasion I’ve taken my Knits from a business meeting straight to the tee box, and never fail to earn some compliments along the way.

TRUE_OGP

TRUE OG Premium

The TRUE OG Premium ($179) is the company’s latest release. While we have yet to get our hands on them — or feet in them, if you will — the OGP may the best TRUE shoe yet. As noted in the product description, it’s basically the Original design wrapped in a ultra premium vintage brown leather. Given TRUE’s performance track record and the stunning design, the OGP went to the top of our 2019 wishlist immediately.

If you haven’t figured it out by now, know that we have nothing negative to say about TRUE Linkswear’s offerings (except wishing there were even more lines to shop from). With unmatched performance, unquestionable style, and the highest quality materials, TRUE Links is making the best golf and lifestyle shoes. And that’s no lie.

Enjoy the walk.

Arnold Palmer Apparel is fit for a king

Arnold Palmer ApparellAs younger generations of golfers impact the game with tremendous buying power, the image of the game is quite literally changing. Neon ensembles made famous by one Mr. Fowler, and eccentric prints and loud patters donned by the likes of John Daly and others have found their way onto public courses. But, golf being golf, a strong testament to tradition remains.

Arnold Palmer Apparel, as the name should suggest, is among the best performance golf clothing to come through the CGB headquarters. From the fit and the fabrics to the styles and performance, the official clothing line of the King himself impresses. The company’s shirts tout moisture wicking fabric keeping players comfortable in the steamiest of conditions while also protecting from harmful UV rays, and the flexible material moves with the body through the full range of motion. Palmer polos come in a variety of colors and traditional styles, each with a cleverly iconic name associated with the golf legend, and range from $50 to $60.

Pants and shorts are also available from Arnold Palmer Apparel, each offering similar performance material. Though bottoms usually aren’t the most exciting part of a golf ensemble, the company’s designs shine in the details. Rivets emblazoned with the iconic umbrella set these pieces apart, capped by impeccable cuts and creases that withstand the wear and tear of the course. Though the colors and designs are fewer, Arnold Palmer Apparel pants and shorts will compliment any golf wardrobe, ranging from $45 to $65.

Weather on the course can often times be as unpredictable as one’s game — something we know well here in Colorado — making midlayers and outerwear and essential addition to course attire. As important as they are, I’ve found these pieces are amongst the hardest to shop for, and more often than not, I’m left disappointed in one way or another. Palmer Apparel’s offerings in this category made me a believer once again, with pieces designed for a range of conditions. Performance is one thing, but it’s the fit that usually gets me — it’s all in the sleeves. To my delight, I found these pieces move easily throughout my swing and the sleeves don’t ever interfere with my grip at all. If you’re looking for a go-to in this category of golf clothing, look no further. (Check the website for prices and styles.)

Just when I thought it couldn’t get any better, it did. (Hats, belts, and other accessories are available, too, but that’s not what I’m talking about.)

Arnold Palmer Apparel is closely tied to Arnie’s Army Charitable Foundation, one of the foremost philanthropic organizations in the industry, providing financial support via retail purchases. Golf is pricey as it is, and so is the associated apparel. But knowing my dollars are helping not only helping grow the game, but also helping change people’s lives, makes clicking the checkout button a lot easier. Given the close ties the game has to nonprofit organizations — when’s the last time you played in a scramble not benefitting a charity of some kind? — companies fostering social endeavors through sales seems a natural fit, and very welcomed.

Fashion is as big a part of today’s game as the game itself, and will remain so for the foreseeable future. And companies big and small will continue to attract and equip golfers of any style, eccentric or traditional, on and off the course. Fact is, the golf attire industry has reached a point where consumers can now make more conscience buying decisions — beyond the aesthetics — without sacrificing individual style preferences. Arnold Palmer Apparel is a shining example of what the industry should strive for.