By Joel Tadman
Contributing Editor Rob Smith joins GM Forum reader James Halpin for a day at FootJoy’s Cambridgeshire HQ for a shoe and apparel FootJoy Makeover
As someone who very much believes in the importance of the psychological impact of golf, I have always felt that dressing the part and feeling good is key to both performing well and enjoying my golf.
I was therefore delighted to be invited to FootJoy’s UK headquarters in Cambridgeshire along with reader James Halpin to be kitted out in the latest gear in preparation for a series of course visits and subsequent reviews that we will each be preparing over the coming months.
James is a single-figure handicapper who plays at Selby in Yorkshire, while I am off 15 at Tandridge in Surrey. Between us we get to play a great many courses all over the country in every type of weather.
What impressed us both straightaway was the incredible and comprehensive variety of clothing in the FootJoy range. They had very kindly put together a wardrobe for each of us that will cater for all types of golf course and terrain, and in any conditions that the golfing gods care to throw at us.
From our water-resistant bucket hats down to our excellent new lightweight DNA shoes, we are now the proud possessors of a wonderful array of kit that will enable us to perform at our best in all conditions.
Different types of headwear, stylish shirts, chill-out pullovers, base layers, shorts and trousers, fitted socks and shoes, and of course the correct glove; these are the ingredients of a perfect golfing makeover and FootJoy is at the forefront of the latest and best technology and design in all of these.
As we tried on all our new gear to make sure that the various fittings were correct, we were given the catwalk treatment by GM photographer Kevin Murray.
Five minutes along the road at St Ives Golf Club, we were joined by three more lucky readers who were treated to the new FootJoy Performance Fitting System. This state-of-the-art technology measures foot and weight movement during the swing in order to identify the most efficient and comfortable shoe.
Despite unseasonable and incessant rain, we then headed out onto the new course to play just a few holes in our new protective clothing. James and I were both greatly impressed with how dry we remained whilst still having the freedom and comfort to swing properly.
Far easier than an umbrella, the bucket hat was a genuine revelation for me as the rain just bounced off it. When finished, it is so water resistant that just a light brush with a towel removed any remaining drops and returns it to its perfectly dry form. And despite its waterproof qualities, it was light to wear and never felt wet or clammy.
As for my DryJoys Tour XP Rain Jacket and trousers, they also kept me completely dry despite the relentless downpour whilst allowing complete ease of movement. The jacket looks so good that it will be a regular choice whether I am on the course, out walking, or simply anywhere I need a lightweight but functional top.
My new DNA shoes and extremely comfortable and flexible socks also took away all the potential pain, allowing me to concentrate fully on my game.
As we headed home, we were able to reflect that our new clothing would be ideal both from a practical point of view, and perhaps just as importantly, from a confidence perspective.