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Oh, Shirt: Filling Out the 2016 On-Course Wardrobe

“It is better to look good than to feel good,” Argentinian film star Fernando Lamas was famously credited with saying. Golfers know better.

On the golf course, success demands that looking good and feeling good go hand in hand. Thankfully, the golf-shop shelves are teeming with options for 2016 to help players ensure they look, feel and play their best.

Antigua

The Arizona-based sports apparel giant is at it again in 2016, combining smart, savvy stying with high-tech, high-calibre fabric and some compelling new designs to make this familiar logo the perfect staple for this year’s golf wardrobe. And weaving spandex into the material has helped to ensure that the feel and fit of the shirts are unparallelled.

Antigua's 'Element' line boasts 'Desert Dry' technology and a unique 'irregular' knitting style to give it a special look.

Antigua’s ‘Element’ line boasts ‘Desert Dry’ technology and a unique ‘irregular’ knitting style to give it a special look.

“The first of the upgrades was constructing almost every polo in the collection with spandex knitted into the fabrics,” says Sean Gregg, Vice President of Product Development and Marketing Support.

“Typically, spandex is used for added stretch in fitted athletic wear,” Antigua vice-president Sean Gregg said in a release.

“Antigua incorporated spandex in the golfwear collections, to solely improve on the already soft hand feel of the Desert Dry and Desert Dry Xtra-Lite fabrications without compromising performance. Spandex elevates the softness factor and amplifies the body of the fabric that it’s knit into, enhancing the performance fabrics’ natural drape in this season’s collection.”

Antigua's new golf jacket combines light weight and surprising warmth for the perfect foil to those unpredictable spring days.

Antigua’s new golf jacket combines light weight and surprising warmth for the perfect foil to those unpredictable spring days.

In some of the higher-end products, nylon blended with spandex amplifies the finished products even more. And the construction of some of the styles has been changed, omitting elements like collar and armhole stitching to give the shirts a sense of timeless design. Collars are also slightly smaller, and — finally — sleeve length has been shortened to eliminate all the extra material that bunches up at address.

In other words: lighter, smoother, less intrusive and a lot more comfortable, in all temperatures.

Antigua has also added a variety of windshirt styles to its lineup for 2016, including the three-layer Element vest, the short-sleeve Coup and quarter-zip, long-sleeved Paragon — any one of which you may find useful in the unpredictable spring weather of the season’s earliest weeks.

Aveo

If you’re of the big and/or tall persuasion and get no enjoyment or comfort out of traditional golf apparel brands, it’s time to give Aveo’s Hero short-sleeve polo a closer look.

The propietary “Breathe-Rite” mesh side panels complement the shirt’s breathable, moisture-wicking poly blend to ensure the golfer stays cool and well-ventilated regardless of the conditions, while also providing flexibility for maximum mobility. Available in red, white or blue (what did you expect for a company based in Arkansas?), here’s the best news: an array of sizes ranging from 1XLT (extra-large tall) to 4X.

“We want customers to feel comfortable and unique, while being confident that no one else offers what we do,” company co-founder Darius Hicks said in a statement.

Aveo's big-and-tall Hero shirt is designed to be worn tucked or untucked.

Aveo’s big-and-tall Hero shirt is designed to be worn tucked or untucked.

“Aveo designs are built to match most big and tall specs, but provide amazing fabrics, performance extras, and a very slight taper that promotes a better fit than the typical boxy big and tall shirt. Plus, our tall versions add a few inches in length, allowing for a great fit in the taller man.”

The fabric is also infused with lightweight bamboo fibre to improve durability, breathability and a soft hand feel. And if you’re the type who prefers to keep your shirt untucked on the golf course, “our ‘Play Fearlessly’ branding on the bottom hem of all shirts can be a great reminder while tucked in, or it makes a strong statement while untucked,” Hicks says.

“So feel free to untuck and swing away.”

Carnoustie

Like all self-respecting golf apparel lines these days, Carnoustie Sportswear’s performance polos for the 2016 season also include spandex construction to improve fit, wearability and comfort, moisture-wicking and odour-reducing fabric treatments, UV protection and easy wash-and-care characteristics.

“All performance fabric is not created equal, and we made a considerable effort to fundamentally understand man-made fibers,” Carnoustie chief executive Marshall Mancillas says in a release.

“We knew we had to offer a technical product that was commensurate with our reputation in cotton. Many variables contribute to the feel, drape and technical characteristics of performance garments, and we only offer the finest quality available — using only the best micro poly available and always blending it with generous amounts of lycra, for just the right amount of stretch and wearability. Our customers like that while much of the styling is responsive to today’s trends, our shirts still evoke a classic, timeless and refined aesthetic.”

In other words, Carnoustie — indeed, all three brands — can offer players a traditional style that still evokes a more modern look and feel, all without making you feel like that pruny old “custom fit” Rickie Fowler wannabe in those PGA Tour Superstore ads.

Of course, if on the bottom half you’re rocking high-top golf shoes with the gathered ankles and you’re older than, say, 25, well, pal, you’re on your own.

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James McCarten

When James McCarten isn't at the Ottawa offices of The Canadian Press, where he works as parliamentary news editor, he's either on the golf course or putting off his latest freelance golf-writing gig to spend time with wife Lisa and school-age kids Claire and Lucas. With 20 years of experience in Canadian journalism, James also suffers from a financially crippling addiction to all things Scotty Cameron.

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