Whilst it's easy to become fixated on golf clubs that can give you a couple of extra yards carry or a few hundred more revs of spin, there are other ways in which you can improve the quality and consistency of your golf much more easily.
One of those is by simply making sure that you're properly equipped each time you tee it up, and a good quality set of waterproofs is something that every golfer should have.
Abacus are a brand who have been around for over 30 years, and their products have been used on the pro tours by the likes of Catriona Matthew, Robert Karlsson and Brittany Lancicome.
The headline story in Abacus' outerwear range is the 37.5 Technology, which the brand call dynamic thermoregulation technology. It's designed to help keep your body at the ideal core temperature so that you feel comfortable and fresh regardless of the conditions.
When it's hot, 'patented active particles' in the fabric remove vapours before they become sweat, cooling you down. When it's cold, the same particles are able to trap energy in order to keep you warm.
This technology is possible thanks to the use of volcanic sand and coconut shell in the fiber of the garments, providing wicking properties that will never wash out and provide 800% more surface area to keep you dryer and more comfortable.
In this review, I am testing two of the headline pieces in the Abacus X-Series range, both of which benefit from the 37.5 Technology - the Pitch 37.5 Jacket and the Pitch 37.5 Rain Trousers.
Abacus Pitch 37.5 Jacket Review
The most expensive jacket in the Abacus range at an RRP of £249, the Pitch 37.5 is designed to be lightweight and breathable whilst also providing full waterproof protection.
I tested this jacket in a pretty vibrant red colour which may not have been my first choice but I actually quite liked it, it stood out nicely and the design reminded me a lot of something you might see from Galvin Green, who have earned a reputation as the best in the business when it comes to golf waterproofs.
It is packed with a host of features which are designed to enhance performance and ensure that the golfer is fully prepared each time they play.
There's an elastic lower sleeve which is a really useful tool to stop any bunching at the bottom of your arms and so avoids the issue of your jacket impeding things when you address the ball.
I prefer this kind of snug fit on the arms as it just makes things a little easier and also removes the need to use a velcro strap on the wrist to adjust the fit.
I really liked the anti-slip rubber patches on the shoulders, as they made it very easy to carry without the bag slipping from your shoulders and stops your jacket from showing signs of wear/bobbling in this area which is also a bonus.
There's a brushed fabric lining inside the collar which works to keep your neck warm and comfortable, as well as an adjustable 'stand-up collar' that can be tightened via a toggle at the back. I'm not usually bothered about these as I don't want the neck to be too tight or restrictive but it's nice to have the option, and there are plenty of people who do use this too.
I found that the jacket was able to withstand drizzle with ease, as well as our very scientific 'pour some of your water bottle on to the seam' test, and this is reinforced thanks to waterproof zippers with X-Series detailing. Being waterproof should be a given for jackets but it's surprising how often products can fall at the first hurdle so it's always worth checking to make sure and thankfully the Pitch passed the test.
Abacus also give you a micro fibre cloth which is attached to one of the side pockets with an elastic wire. It's a nice touch although I found it did get in the way a little bit and tended to fall out every time I took my hand out of my pocket which was a bit annoying to be honest.
One slight drawback is the hem of the jacket had the Abacus logo in grippy rubber which tended to catch on my other clothing and so the jacket rode up a bit at times.
Obviously I would have to do some more testing in slightly warmer weather to see whether the 37.5 technology really does work in all conditions, but the jacket did keep me warm on a chilly winter day so it passes the test for now.
Abacus Pitch 37.5 Trousers Review
Pairing with the jacket are the Pitch 37.5 Trousers which are said to remain breathable and give you the ability to swing freely whilst also withstanding extreme weather conditions.
Using the two items together, as Abacus would suggest that you do, meant that I was able to see how the technology really worked as a whole.
Firstly, looks-wise I was impressed although I suppose there's not too much you can say about a pair of waterproof trousers! They're all-black (this is the only colour option available) with a small bit of white detailing and this should mean that they pair well with pretty much any item of clothing you're wearing if you want to make sure you're still coordinated even during a downpour.
I usually wear my waterproof trousers over normal golf trousers as it gives you the flexibility to take them on and off depending on the weather conditions and after the round if you want to go in to the clubhouse for well-earned drink, but the snug fit of the trousers and the added belt loops mean that you could wear them on their own if you wanted to.
The bottom end of the trousers gives you the usual zippers which make it easier to get them on and off, even if you're already wearing shoes, whilst there's also an adjustable velcro strap which is useful to tighten them around the ankles so that they're not too baggy.
There are pockets which have an opening to the inner trousers in case you need to make sure things stay dry or keep them out of harm's way. They're seam-sealed zips which is great, although the flap makes them a little hard to access.
During the course of my round the trousers felt lightweight and breathable, giving me a good range of movement whilst walking, bending and swinging. This, combined with the waterproof protection, meant that they are the ideal option to stick in your golf bag and leave them there until you need them without taking up too much space or weight.
Abacus Pitch 37.5 Waterproofs Verdict
These are high-end products which look good and perform really well too. They're expensive which mean that they are competing with the likes of Galvin Green at the top end of the market, but the performance is more than a match in my opinion.
Both the jacket and trousers were packed with bonus features and little touches that make it clear that these products have been designed by golfers with a passion for the game and with fellow golfers in mind.
Some of them may not be particularly necessary but they're thoughtful additions which many golfers may appreciate and go some way towards justifying the price tag.
I can also see them lasting for a good number of years, so that initial cost is spread over a longer period which makes them better value for money. If you're willing to make the investment, I'm sure you can count on this Abacus range for the seasons to come.
If you enjoyed this, you may also like:
Ping SensorDry Pro Half-Zip Jacket Review
FootJoy ThermoSeries AW22 Apparel Review