Columbia Sportswear expands its collection of good golf gear
My first introduction to Columbia Sportswear’s line of golf gear came last year (see a review here) while writing about the caddies at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort who were using the company’s rain suits.
Columbia launched as a small hat distributorship in Portland, Oregon, in 1938 but over the years has built a sterling reputation for creating hard-core, stylish fabrics for adventurers - skiers, backpackers, climbers, etc. Golf remains a relatively untapped market for them, even though I’d argue golfers are the greatest adventurers of them all.
We play in any and all weather.
Columbia is brand new to the women’s game, too. This is their first full season with golf products for women.
The company employs its “science of the greater outdoors” to enhance its golf products, no matter the gender. Fancy terms, like Omni-shade and Omni-freeze, explain how the fabrics fight the sun and stay cool against the heat. Most customers, though, just want the answers to basic questions: Does the rain gear work? How comfortable is it?
I’m here to report “yes” and “very.”
My Men’s Match Play Parka and Columbia golf shirts ($70) are holding up well after nearly six months of wear and tear on the course.
My new Match Play Full Zip Vest ($120) offers the same strong material and looks identical to my all-black Match Play Parka, just without the sleeves. The vest protects your body perfectly in shoulder seasons, where playing golf can be an adventure in ever-changing weather conditions. My buddy was practically drooling when he saw my vest during a round of golf on a cold spring day here in Michigan earlier this week. And he’s not normally a fashion buff, believe me.
In addition, with Columbia’s cool interchangeable system, I can transfer my Columbia Ballistic II Windproof Fleece back and forth between my parka and vest for extra warmth with just a few snaps.
The Match Play Pants complete the protective rain suit. The deep leg zips and hem make them easy to pull on and off … a key for golfers fighting that hard-charging squall that comes out of nowhere.
As good as the men’s gear is, I’m jealous at how well Columbia Sports treats the women. The gals get all the pampering in life, don’t they?
While the Women’s Match Play Jacket ($200) is comparable to the men’s with its Omni-Tech waterproof breathable layers, back vent and yellow-striped pockets, the Women’s Kailua Bay Jackets are the best pieces in the clothing line for ladies. They’re as soft and cozy as pajamas.
The 4-way stretch jersey jacket serves as an extra layer for early morning tee times that can be a bit chilly. It features Omni-Shade™ UPF 50 sun protection and Omni-Dry™ advanced evaporation, a moisture-transferring technology that disperses sweat to keep the body from getting cold and clammy. The solid navy blue jacket with white lining as accents looks nice, but my favorite is the chic white-and-black combination with pink stitching.
The Women’s Match Play Jacket costs less than the parka ($170 as compared to $200) because it doesn’t come with the interior vest. It’s just as durable in bad weather with the same Omni-Tech technology. My wife’s white Match Play Jacket looks sharp with her white-and-black Kailua underneath.
With all the crazy weather going on around the country – snow in April in northern California, tornadoes in Mississippi, flooding in Rhode Island and Tennessee – it pays to be ready for anything the weather throws your way, on or off the course. Look to Columbia for relief.
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