Over the last decade or so we've really seen a shift in the type of clothing that is worn on the golf course - both in terms of a more relaxed style, but also thanks to much more focus on performance too. It's not all about collars and knitted jumpers these days...
Alpha-U is a new player in the world of golf gear, the Irish-based company were set up with an aim of providing technical apparel for golfers of all ages and skill level.
They have produced thermal compression base layers, something which is not entirely common in the golfing world, which are ideal for protecting you against the elements during the British winter,
If you've seen Tiger Woods recently since his car accident you'll see that he is constantly wearing a compression sleeve to help support and protect his leg. So can it actually help with your performance?
Developed with input from elite amateur and professional golfers, the Alpha-U compression base layers are designed to allow for total freedom of movement in the golf swing, along with a number of other benefits.
Using state of the art thermal fabric is said to offer targeted support to key muscle groups to promote better circulation and reduced muscle fatigue. This works to enhance your range of motion and allow for unrestricted swings to maximise performance.
The base layers act as a thermal insulator to keep your body warm and comfortable in colder temperatures. The fabric composition traps body heat while allowing moisture to escape.
The fabric used is designed to be lightweight, breathable and is engineered with four-way stretch for a snug yet flexible fit which minimises friction and irritation.
Alpha-U Base Layers Review
I received the Compression Pack for testing, which consisted of both the compression base layer top and leggings, and straight away out of the packet I was impressed by the premium look and feel.
The quality was great, from the material itself down to the stitching and design, the attention to detail was really impressive.
The branding was also pretty smart, with a visible logo on the collar and on the inside of the sleeve, neither of which were too garish. Some base layers can have branding or words which run all the way down the arm or the leg, and I was glad to see that this wasn't the case here, as I find that a bit much.
At the moment, the base layers are only available in a navy colourway which is a bit of a shame because having the option of black, grey or white, for example, would be useful for some golfers depending on what colours they usually use on the golf course. I'm sure this is something that Alpha-U will look to add in future collections.
I tested these base layers out on an autumn day in Manchester where the weather wasn't cold, but there was a fresh breeze in the air so I was thankful of the extra layer.
I was really impressed by how the base layers kept me warm and comfortable throughout the day of testing where I was outside for at least 6 hours, whilst remaining nice and breathable and helping me to feel fresh.
A look at Alpha-U's website shows that they have put plenty of time and effort into the fabric that they have used for these garments and as soon as I put them on, I could tell that they were great quality - they felt premium and were nice and lightweight.
This may seem like a small thing but they were also really easy to actually put on, which can sometimes be a pain with items like this as they can be so tight and clingy that you end up getting into ridiculous positions to try and squeeze yourself into them.
The baselayers felt tight enough that they still provided the required compression, without being too difficult to take on and off which is a big plus for me.
The fit was great and the arm length was also just right as it provided a little room at the bottom before my wrist, which is good because it meant it wasn't getting in the way - something which can be really annoying when you address the ball.
In terms of muscle fatigue and recovery, this is quite a hard thing to judge because it's impossible to know how you would've otherwise felt but I would say that I still felt pretty fresh after a day of testing with these base layers on, which can only be a good thing.
Alpha-U Base Layers Verdict
This is a really impressive first entry into the 'technical apparel' category from Alpha-U and they've tapped into a market with a lot of potential within golf.
Nearly everyone who plays football, rugby or even goes running will have some compression/base layers of some sort, but you could argue that they are even more necessary in golf as you're out there for much longer periods of time.
In my opinion they are a must for winter golf - they're lightweight and thin enough that they don't impact on your swing, whilst also keeping you warm and helping to optimise your performance thanks to the benefits of the compression. For me they are a much better option than having to put on another thick, heavy jumper.
The top and leggings together will set you back €105, which is pretty decent value for money considering the quality of the materials. If they could just come up with a couple of new colourways, as well as potentially introducing some compression shorts, then they'd have every base covered.
Alpha-U Golf Base Layers Pros and Cons
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