Gear Review: AUR Aware golf shirt

For some, the search for the perfect piece of golf equipment never seems to end: if it isnt the driver youre looking to replace, its the flat stick; if not the fairway wood, its one of your wedges. And if youre still on speaking terms with all of the preceding, then you must certainly be in need of new irons.

Well, suck it up, big guy _ theres a recession on.  w3185_88-cotton-bamboo

Heres the thing, though: nothing can breathe new life into your fairway follies like a quick _ and comparatively inexpensive _ wardrobe upgrade. A new shirt, especially one that keeps you both looking and feeling cool (in every sense of the word), can make all the difference.

Weve all had those days where what you thought would work in front of the bedroom mirror turns into a sweaty, garish first-tee nightmare. Who knew that shirt that seemed to fit well enough this morning needed only a thin layer of human moisture to hug your bulging love handles like a fully heated Formula One tire rounding the Parabolica at Monza.

Admit it, fellas – comfort and that sense of ease on the golf course can make all the difference between an enjoyable, productive, relaxing round of golf and the sort of sweaty, agonizing outing where the eyes of the world seem to be on you the whole time and every pass at the ball feels like youre swinging an axe.

The good news, especially for those of you still rocking a closet full of those billowy cotton monstrosities, is that the modern generation of golf garmentia can go a long way towards avoiding those unpleasant moments on the golf course where you just dont feel, you know . . . fresh. Or remotely human, for that matter.

aur_aware Enter the AUR Smart Fibre Chest Panel Polo, a comfortable, eco-friendly golf shirt from Fletcher Leisure Group that boasts all the modern-day bells and whistles one would come to expect from a 21st century golf shirt, without the space-age price. Its just one of several new 2009 AUR garments made with cotton bamboo and Nanobon, two new fabrics that boast the added advantages of being moisture-wicking and anti-microbial.

First, the AURs moisture-wicking properties work as advertised. A recent three-day test session under the broiling Dominican Republic sun (oh, Id regale you with the horrible tales of all-day golf and nightly carousing, but who has the time) saw the SFCPP come through with flying colours. Many shirts like this can leave you clammy and clingy in the heat, but this one did the trick most effectively.

Not only that, but when the sweat-fest was said and done, this anti-microbial marvel took one spin through the normal cycle and came out like new – not a single whiff of, well, me. Truly remarkable, and a testament to the staying power of this shirt. In addition, the structural integrity was rock-solid: the rigid collar was as at attention as the day it came off the rack.

In addition to the shirts understated good looks, its considered easy-care (toss it in the wash, hang it up, fuggedaboudit) and also boasts UV protection. If youre convinced that a shirt without UV protection doesnt protect you as well from the sun as one that does, well, knock yourself out. Frankly, this is one feature the appeal of which Ive had a hard time grasping. Maybe by the year 2018 well all be getting sun tans under our dress shirts, but for the moment Im going to save my UV worries for the parts of my body that are exposed to the sun, thanks very much.

Fear not, though, readers _ as you contemplate your wardrobe for your coming spring golf course debut, know that the AUR Aware line would be a worthy addition to any golfers closet. And at less than $60 US for the Nanobon edition and $45 US for the cotton bamboo, youll be feeling a lot better about it at the end of your round than if you dropped five C-notes on a new driver and failed to break your handicap.

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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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