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Review: Oakley Golf Apparel

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Pros: Oakley’s golf polos and Take 3.0 pants are engineered to keep sweat at a minimum, stretch enough to allow for freedom of movement and have enough style options no matter what you’re into. At $65 and $75 respectively, the price is far from a deal-breaker.

Cons: The Take 3.0 pants are made from a thin material that is great in warm climates, but they won’t do much to keep golfers warm when the temperatures drop. They’re also slimmer and have more stretch than other golf pants, so body-conscious golfers beware.

Bottom Line: Oakley’s latest line of golf apparel will appeal to golfers who value the performance of their golf garb above all else. The company’s shirts and pants are fantastic for golfers looking to stay cool in warm climates, and there’s enough styles and colors to suit the tastes of the sportiest dressers while still offering something for those who prefer a more understated look.

Overview

Oakley’s golf apparel is a fairly new arrival on the PGA Tour scene, but it’s catching on quickly. Those trusting the company’s apparel include Bubba Watson, Ricky Barnes, Derek Ernst and Zach Johnson — golfers who have different builds and tastes in fashion — showing the line’s versatility and variety. That’s the biggest strength of Oakley’s golf line; it provides both conventional designs and ones that feed the appetite of golfers looking for more flair.

The company has made inroads in the golf world thanks to its reputation as a provider as high-performing, sport-specific gear, particularly with its incredibly deep line of golf-specific sunglasses. With apparel, the company has focused on creating athlete-minded clothes that offers some of the best moisture-wicking performance on the market.

Oakley’s pants and polos are tremendously flexible, durable and available in a wide variety of styles and colors. See below for all of the technological designs that I tested for this review.

Pants

Performance

For this review I tested three pairs of Oakley’s Take 3.0 Pants: Jet Black (size 32 x 34), Wood Gray (32 x 34) and White (32 x 32), which are $75 each on Oakley’s website. The pants are made with the company’s O Hyrdolix fabric to manage moisture and UV protection to protect against the sun’s rays.

I also tested two shirts: The Warren Polo (size large) in Jet Black and the new Markus Polo (large) in light blue, which sell for $65 apiece. The shirts, as with all of Oakley’s golf polos, have an anti-bacterial material designed to battle odor from microbes. That means the shirts will smell good even when you don’t.

Pants

I usually opt for 34-length pants, but the 32’s were plenty long. As for the 32-inch waist, it was slightly slimmer than what I’m used to in that size. That makes sense, since the pants suit an athletic or trim build. If you’re between two waist sizes, go bigger. If you’re between two lengths, go shorter.

PANTS_2

The pants are made from 87 percent Polyester and 13 percent Spandex, so the texture isn’t cotton-soft, but it is comfortable and seriously flexible. The Take 3.0’s are great for on-course wear because they stretch enough during the swing and when bending over to tee up the ball or pick up the ball from the hole. They’re also very breathable and light, making them great for hot weather when sweat is unavoidable.

The light material doesn’t provide much warmth in cold climates, so winter warriors may want to wear a layer underneath. Also, nothing grinds my gears more than golf pants with no back pockets, or front pockets that aren’t deep enough. These pants have spacious front and back pockets with more than enough storage for golf balls, tees, gloves, quarters, scorecards, yardage books or whatever else you need to carry with you.

Shirts

Oakley Warren Polo
Above: The Jet Black Warren Polo (center) that I tested, which is also offered in “Illumination Blue” and “Wild Lime.” 

The Warren Polo, made with 91 percent Polyester and 9 percent Spandex, was expectedly stretchy and slightly loose-fitting. Since golfers tend to tuck in their shirts, having a little stretch works well throughout the swing so there isn’t too much resistance and the shirt stays tucked in. I found that the shirt allowed me to make a full turn and I didn’t feel any tug as I twisted.

Screen Shot 2014-08-06 at 1.03.19 PM
Above is Bubba Watson’s outfit script for Sunday at the 2014 PGA Championship, with White Take 3.0 pants and the Markus Polo that I reviewed.

The Markus Polo, made from all polyester, had a tighter fit with shorter sleeves, which I found to hug my body more. The material was slightly stiffer than the Warren, probably due to the Markus’ lack of spandex. This didn’t cause any problem, but it behaved like a normal polyester golf shirt. I also liked the shirt’s side vents, which gave me some sweat relief. I’d go with the bigger size if you’re between two options.

Neither shirt was terribly soft, but both were light and comfortable. The Warren Polo will appeal to golfers looking for more stretch, while the Markus Polo will appease those looking for a slimmer fit.

Look and Style

The Take 3.0 pants really suit the look that I go for on a golf course: a blend between classy and athletic. I’ve never owned a pair of pants with slits in the bottom, but I find them to allow the pants to hang comfortably without bunching near the tops of my shoes. It’s my understanding that slits are not for everyone’s taste, but those who enjoy them will be quite pleased.

IMG_3172

The Take 3.0 comes in five different color options (Jet Black, Navy Blue, Stone Gray, White and Wood Gray), so matching with any golf shirt within Oakley’s golf line is no problem. If you find that the pants fit your build, I’d suggest a pair or two. They’ve got a “cool factor” you don’t often see from golf pants, with subtle designs that put them over the top.

IMG_3169

The Ellipse logo seen on the front left pocket adds name recognition and a spark to the overall design. Also, if the small things in life matter — which for a review like this they certainly do — then I have to mention the awesome front button above the zipper. It’s round and heavy with a rustic metal look, branded with the company name. As far as buttons go, it’s a really nice touch.

Shirts

Take a quick browse through Oakley’s line of golf apparel and you’ll notice a wide variety of styles and designs, each with different color options. If you can’t find something you like, then the website probably hasn’t fully loaded.

Personally, my favorite design combination was the Warren Polo that had black, gray and white stripes, which I wore with the White Take 3.0’s, a white hat, black belt and black shoes. I looked pretty official, I say humbly.

The Markus Polo had a futuristic design pattern, which creatively combined blue and white sphere shapes to look like stripes. I wore that with the Stone Gray Take 3.0’s, also with a black belt and black shoes. Both outfits looked great, so picking one out truly depends on preference.

PANTS_3

If you’re looking for options to complete your outfit, Oakley also has a slew of accessories including belt buckles, belt straps, hats, shoes and watches in its golf line.

The Takeaway

The Oakley golf line provides high-quality, high-performing shirts and pants that can be mixed and matched to develop endless outfit options. The slim fit of the pants aren’t for all builds, but they’re seriously flexible and will work well for golfers with trim or athletic builds. They’ll keep you dry in the heat, but won’t offer much warmth in the cold. At any temperature, they still look great.

The shirts are also tremendously flexible, and you can assuredly find multiple designs that suit your liking. At $65 dollars a shirt and $75 dollars per pair of pants, the price is fair for the level of quality and performance.

[wrx_buy_now oemlink=”http://www.oakley.com/en/collections/mens-golf” oemtext=”Learn more from Oakley Golf” amazonlink=”http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00BM8LVOI/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B00BM8LVOI&linkCode=as2&tag=golfwrxcom-20&linkId=WHZJURS265BI5C4Q”]

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He played on the Hawaii Pacific University Men's Golf team and earned a Masters degree in Communications. He also played college golf at Rutgers University, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism.

4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. TS

    Aug 11, 2014 at 1:24 pm

    I found it odd that you don’t like pants with no back pockets since that would only be an issue if you accidentally purchased ladies’ pants.

  2. Max Evans

    Aug 8, 2014 at 6:50 pm

    These golf pants are great! lightweight, at home washable, and stylish. On the other hand they are cheaply made. I have a pair and a co worker has 2. The seams have loosened from who knows what. The pants fit fine and i am not big enough for them to rip if i bend over. My co workers two pair are both trashed after a couple months. This is the same time period mine wore out.

    If you can afford a new pair each month then these are great for you. if not, go to Koals and purchase the cheapest pair of paints and see how many YEARS you will be able to get out of them.

  3. mekender

    Aug 6, 2014 at 7:13 pm

    New mega outlet mall just opened near me and they have an Oakley outlet… I cant wait to go shopping!

  4. MO

    Aug 6, 2014 at 6:42 pm

    The best part of Oakley apparel is that you can wash them at HOME. Saves big dollars from having to send to the cleaners. Some shirts just don’t wash/hang well without dry cleaning.

    I now have my sport casual shirts (Masters, etc), and the shirts I wear to play (Oakley).

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Accessory Reviews

Top-3 men’s golf polos at the 2018 PGA Fashion Show in Vegas

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GolfWRX’s fashion expert Jordan Madley picks her top-3 favorite men’s polo shirts from the recent 2018 PGA Fashion Show in Las Vegas. Enjoy the video below!

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Accessory Reviews

I tried the great Golfboarding experiment… here’s how it went

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Corica Park Golf Course is not exactly the first place you’d expect to find one of the most experimental sports movements sweeping the nation. Sitting on a pristine swath of land along the southern rim of Alameda Island, deep in the heart of the San Francisco Bay, the course’s municipal roots and no-frills clubhouse give it an unpretentious air that seems to fit better with Sam Snead’s style of play than, say, Rickie Fowler’s.

Yet here I am, one perfectly sunny morning on a recent Saturday in December planning to try something that is about as unconventional as it gets for a 90-year-old golf course.

It’s called Golfboarding, and it’s pretty much exactly what it sounds like: an amalgam of golf and skateboarding, or maybe surfing. The brainchild of surfing legend Laird Hamilton — who can be assumed to have mastered, and has clearly grown bored of, all normal sports — Golfboarding is catching on at courses throughout the country, from local municipal courses like Corica Park to luxury country clubs like Cog Hill and TPC Las Colinas. Since winning Innovation Of the Year at the PGA Merchandising Show in 2014, Golfboards can now be found at 250 courses and have powered nearly a million rounds of golf already. Corica Park currently owns eight of them.

The man in pro shop gets a twinkle in his eyes when our foursome tells him we’d like to take them out. “Have you ridden them before?” he asks. When we admit that we are uninitiated, he grins and tells us we’re in for a treat.

But first, we need to sign a waiver and watch a seven-minute instructional video. A slow, lawyerly voice reads off pedantic warnings like “Stepping on the golfboard should be done slowly and carefully” and “Always hold onto the handlebars when the board is in motion.” When it cautions us to “operate the board a safe distance from all…other golfboarders,” we exchange glances, knowing that one of us will more than likely break this rule later on.

Then we venture outside, where one of the clubhouse attendants shows us the ropes. The controls are pretty simple. One switch sends it forward or in reverse, another toggles between low and high gear. To make it go, there’s a throttle on the thumb of the handle. The attendant explains that the only thing we have to worry about is our clubs banging against our knuckles.

“Don’t be afraid to really lean into the turns,” he offers. “You pretty much can’t roll it over.”

“That sounds like a challenge,” I joke. No one laughs.

On a test spin through the parking lot, the Golfboard feels strong and sturdy, even when I shift around on it. It starts and stops smoothly with only the slightest of jerks. In low gear its top speed is about 5 mph, so even at full throttle it never feels out of control.

The only challenge, as far as I can tell, is getting it to turn. For some reason, I’d expected the handlebar to offer at least some degree of steering, but it is purely for balance. The thing has the Ackerman angle of a Mack Truck, and you really do have to lean into the turns to get it to respond. For someone who is not particularly adept at either surfing or skateboarding, this comes a little unnaturally. I have to do a number of three-point turns in order to get back to where I started and make my way over to the first tee box.

We tee off and climb on. The fairway is flat and wide, and we shift into high gear as we speed off toward our balls. The engine had produced just the faintest of whirrs as it accelerated, but it is practically soundless as the board rolls along at full speed. The motor nevertheless feels surprisingly powerful under my feet (the drivetrain is literally located directly underneath the deck) as the board maintains a smooth, steady pace of 10 mph — about the same as a golf cart. I try making a couple of S curves like I’d seen in the video and realize that high-speed turning will take a little practice for me to get right, but that it doesn’t seem overly difficult.

Indeed, within a few holes I might as well be Laird himself, “surfing the earth” from shot to shot. I am able to hold the handlebar and lean way out, getting the board to turn, if not quite sharply, then at least closer to that of a large moving van than a full-sized semi. I take the hills aggressively (although the automatic speed control on the drivetrain enables it to keep a steady pace both up and down any hills, so this isn’t exactly dangerous), and I speed throughout the course like Mario Andretti on the freeway (the company claims increased pace-of-play as one of the Golfboard’s primary benefits, but on a Saturday in the Bay Area, it is impossible avoid a five-hour round anyway.)

Gliding along, my feet a few inches above the grass, the wind in my face as the fairways unfurl below my feet, it is easy to see Golfboards as the next evolution in mankind’s mastery of wheels; the same instincts to overcome inertia that brought us bicycles, rollerblades, scooters, skateboards, and more recent inventions such as Segways, Hoverboards and Onewheels are clearly manifest in Golfboards as well. They might not offer quite the same thrill as storming down a snowy mountainside or catching a giant wave, but they are definitely more fun than your standard golf cart.

Yet, there are obvious downsides as well. The attendant’s warning notwithstanding, my knuckles are in fact battered and sore by the time we make the turn, and even though I rearrange all my clubs into the front slots of my bag, they still rap my knuckles every time I hit a bump. Speaking of which, the board’s shock absorber system leaves something to be desired, as the ride is so bumpy that near the end I start to feel as if I’ve had my insides rattled. Then there is the unforgivable fact of its missing a cup holder for my beer.

But these are mere design flaws that might easily be fixed in the next generation of Golfboards. (A knuckle shield is a must!) My larger problem with Golfboards is what they do to the game itself. When walking or riding a traditional cart, the moments in between shots are a time to plan your next shot, or to chat about your last shot, or to simply find your zen out there among the trees and the birds and the spaciousness of the course. Instead, my focus is on staying upright.

Down the stretch, I start to fade. The muscles in my core have endured a pretty serious workout, and it’s becoming increasingly difficult to muster the strength for my golf swing. It is no coincidence that my game starts to unravel, and I am on the way to one of my worst rounds in recent memory.

Walking off the 18th green, our foursome agrees that the Golfboards were fun — definitely worth trying — but that we probably wouldn’t ride them again. Call me a purist, but as someone lacking Laird Hamilton’s physical gifts, I’m happy to stick to just one sport at a time.

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Accessory Reviews

Review: The QOD Electric Caddy

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If you want an electric golf caddy that doesn’t require that you wear a sensor or carry a remote — one that will be reliable and allow you to focus on your game, and not your cart — then the Australian-manufactured QOD is worth checking out.

The QOD (an acronym for Quality of Design and a nod to its four wheels) is powered by a 14.4-volt lithium battery, good for 36 holes or more on a single charge. It has nine different speeds (with the fastest settings moving closer to jogging velocity) so the QOD can handle your ideal pace, whether that be a casual stroll or a more rapid clip around the course.

The QOD is also built to last. Its injection-molded, aircraft-grade aluminum frame has no welded joints. Steel bolts and locking teeth take care of the hinging points. The battery and frame are both guaranteed for three full years. If you need a new battery after the three-year window, the folks at QOD will replace it at cost.

Its front-wheel suspension gives the QOD a smooth ride down the fairway, and the trolley is easy to navigate with a gentle nudge here and there. The QOD is always in free-wheel mode, so it is smooth and easy to maneuver manually in tight spaces and around the green.

The caddy also features three timed interval modes for situations where you might wish to send it up ahead on its own: when helping a friend find a lost ball or when you will be exiting on the far side of the green after putting, for example. The clip below includes a look at the caddy in timed mode.

When folded, the QOD measures a mere 17-inches wide, 15-inches deep and 12-inches tall.

Another area where the QOD excels is in its small size and portability. When folded, it measures a mere 17-inches wide, 15-inches deep and 12-inches tall, making it the smallest electric caddy on the market.

Folks Down Under have been enjoying the QOD for some time, but it wasn’t until a few years ago when Malachi McGlone was looking for a way to continue walking the course without putting undue strain on an injured wrist that the QOD found U.S. fairways. After first becoming a satisfied customer, McGlone convinced CEO Collin Hiss, who developed the product and oversees its production in Australia, to allow him to distribute and service the QOD here in the states.

The QOD has no self-balancing gyroscope, bluetooth sensor or remote control. Bells and whistles just aren’t its thing — though it does have a USB port for cell phone charging that can come in handy. However, if you are looking for a no-fuss workhorse to move your bag down the fairway, the QOD should be on your radar.

The 2018 model has begun shipping and will be on sale at $1,299 for a limited time. It normally retails at $1,499.

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