The U.S. Open was a perfect combination of the two favorite topics of conversation for New Englanders: sports and weather. Yes it has been very rainy but build a bridge and get over it, except we almost needed an ark. Everyone appreciated all the hard work provided by the tournament directors, ground crews, and those involved in the planning, drying of the greens, and reorganization of the schedules. The rain delay did have a ripple effect on the CVS Charity Classic as Camilo Villegas, Bubba Watson, Todd Hamilton, Retief Goosen, and Anthony Kim were all scheduled to participate but could not as they remained at Bethpage Black. Their replacements included Brad Adamonis, Matt Kuchar, David Toms, Laura Diaz, and Brittany Lincicome. The results weren’t all bad, the tournament directors had enough water; all they needed to turn lemons into lemonade was to add some sugar and mix it up. Even though Brad Faxon and Billy Andrade made the decision prior to the forecasts, for the first time in the tournament’s history they featured co-ed teams.
For starters, a quality, vented umbrella is a necessity. If you do not already own a vented umbrella, you do not have the same skills as Mary Poppins, a gust of wind will catch it and flip it inside out. To prevent this comedic frustration, invest in the best umbrella out there, the Gustbuster. It is made from 190-thread nylon and certified by the College of Aeronautics for their patented raindrop shaped wind release vents. The frame is made from lightning resistant fiberglass with flexor rods that spring back to their original shape and do not crimp. It also has an expansion cord system that goes with the flow to prevent tearing and leaking, a double canopy, easy carry straps, a pinchless open and close system, a comfortable handle, and is available in every color and combination imaginable as it can be custom designed with your own logo. It is the number one favorite of the PGA Tour.
When it rains let’s face it, you are going to get dirty, or at least get the bottoms of your pants will muddy, so people tend to wear black. With the exception of Phil Mickelson, who was bold enough to wear very light khakis on Saturday and off-white pinstripe pants in the fourth round of the Open on Monday. Luckily for him, he did not get caught in the torrential downpours while wearing them. Other prevalent colors in the tournaments were red, gray, navy blue, and dark green. It was reported that Boo Weekley looked more like a hunter in Barrington R.I., with his camouflage green jacket and orange camouflage hat, but since he can wear his own camo clothing line called Boo by Firethorn, he has the freedom to set his own trends. The military inspired hat also has become a trend on the Tour. Ricky Barnes wore his white one throughout the Open, even with his funky blue and brown plaid pants.
Players embraced practical golf rain gear such as vests and short sleeved jackets. It’s a personal preference, Lincicome wore a short sleeve jacket and Diaz a long sleeve jacket. Even though companies are doing their best to come out with a completely nonrestrictive golf jacket, it is obviously more comfortable to swing without sleeves than with them. Depending on the severity of the conditions, short sleeves may not even be an option. To avoid this problem, Adidas created the ClimaProof Storm 3 way convertible long sleeved jacket that converts to a short sleeved jacket as well as a vest. Other innovative characteristics such as its lightweight, stretchable material, extra elbow room, and a removable inner compression layer to allow for a full range of motion and prevent the jacket from interfering with the player’s swing. Adidas also stepped it up a notch by providing shielded vents, silicon shoulder grips, an extended collar, and waterproof zippers.
To exhibit waterproof as well as breathable qualities, the pores in the fabric must be large enough to allow perspiration escape but small enough inhibit water molecules from permeating. Water resistance is measured the amount of millimeters of water can be suspended above the fabric before it seeps through. Breathability is measured by the rate at which grams of water vapor pass through per square meter in a 24 hour period. The Climaproof is top of the line at 20,000mm/15,000 g/m2.
Comparable brands include the DryJoys Tour Collection and Performance Light Series by Footjoy along with Nike StormFIT. Matching waterproof pants are also available with most jackets so you can be prepared for the inclimate conditions. The order ranging from most to least expensive rain coats are waterproof/breathable, water resistant/breathable, and waterproof/non-breathable. If the jacket does not possess both qualities it is difficult to avoid the uncomfortable, unhealthy cold chill, felt when your garments underneath are completely soaked through or from the accumulation of perspiration. It has rained 27 out of 30 days this June, so it is what it is as Belichick says, this year we are playing in the rain. So get geared up and stay dry
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