Claire Kane: The thorny subject of wet-weather gear

Equipment

Our columnist talks about her trials with the latest 'waterproof' gear...

Playing golf in the rain is no fun and I have spent a small fortune on wet-weather gear that has failed to perform.

A couple of years ago I decided to ‘invest’ in a top of the range, waterproof jacket. I remember at the time the enthusiastic professional assuring me this ‘would see out my days’ although, in hindsight, he may have thought that I wasn’t long for this world, rather than the garment being fit for purpose.

I loved my jacket. It was lightweight, well cut and kept me dry for many a game until last year when I started to feel clammy after being caught in a downpour. After a particularly soggy game, I finally came to the conclusion that  I wasn’t just cold, the jacket was leaking like a sieve, so back to the manufacturers it went.

Within days it was returned, beautifully presented, having been cleaned and reproofed. Now I’m always up for someone else to do my laundry but, as I’d already tried this, I was disappointed.

A technical report accompanied it, highlighting numerous snags and catches (32 to be exact) where the membrane had been punctured, making the life-long warranty invalid.

No wonder it felt like a sprinkler system when it rained. 
I play on a links course which has more than its fair share of lethal gorse bushes and it’s not unknown for me to be scrabbling around in the dense, spiky foliage. Despite peering avidly through my best specs, the holes still remained completely invisible to the naked eye. Then it dawned on me. I play on a links course which has more than its fair share of lethal gorse bushes and it’s not unknown for me to be scrabbling around in the dense, spiky foliage. 

I don’t recall being speared 32 times so full credit for the best gorse protection gear on the market but, having paid hundreds of pounds to keep dry, I do feel there should be some warning gorse could invalidate the warranty – a bush symbol on the label with a big red X would have done the trick!

The manufacturer kindly recommended a company who could repair it although goodness knows what the cost would be to fill all 32 holes. I even contemplated having a go as I used to be a dab hand at mending bicycle punctures but, instead I’ve decided to investigate (as
opposed to ‘invest’) in a robust oilskin, the type that fisherman wear which will cope with all the elements, including gorse.

So if you spot a bright yellow golfer wading about then it could just be me!

Claire Kane is a freelance journalist, a keen golfer and someone who doesn’t take herself, or her golf, too seriously. Follow her tales on Twitter @golfsnippets

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