It's that time of year again. The clocks have gone back, the leaves disappeared from the trees, you've started de-icing your car and you're reaching for an extra layer or two every time you venture outdoors. Winter is upon us.
For us golfers, that not only means the quality and quantity of (most of) our golf suffers, but also that there are changes in what we need to take with us to the course to make sure we're prepared for four hours in the elements.
Of course one of the most important bits of kit is a good waterproof jacket, and that is exactly what FootJoy are promising with the new DryJoys Tour LTS.
What's It All About?
The DryJoys jacket has been around for a couple of years now and, along with the new DryJoys Select, features as their top of the range jacket.
Whilst DryJoys is FootJoy's longstanding and well-regarded waterproof range, LTS stands for Lightweight Construction, Temperature Regulation and Stretch Fabrication. Yep, let's stick to LTS...
The jacket consists of just five panels with six seams, making it lightweight and breathable for easy, unrestricted movement during the golf swing.
A special ThermoLite liner is suitable for all weather conditions, helping to ensure that you stay cool when the weather is warmer but wicking moisture away, and maintaining body heat in colder conditions.
A new 3-layer Bonded Fabric is soft, comfortable and quiet, featuring a 4-way stretch to promote comfort and flexibility out on the course.
FootJoy's mantra is to 'Make Every Day Playable', so I took the LTS Jacket out on the course to see whether it could do just that...
We really challenged ourselves with LTS. We wanted to see just how few panels and how few seams we could incorporate into the jacket to create less restriction and increase mobility.
PJ Skurla, Senior Apparel Designers at FootJoy
I played 18 holes at Stockport GC on a rare dry day in the North West of England to see how the Jacket would impact my game over the course of a full round.
I also subjected it to the Golfalot waterproof test to ensure that, was there to be any rain, I would be well protected.
FootJoy DryJoys Tour LTS Jacket Review
In my opinion, FootJoy clothing always looks smart, and this jacket is no different. You're definitely going to look the part out on the course wearing this jacket, even if your game can't live up to it.
The two-tone style is pretty minimalistic, which works well with the few panels and seams. Because of it's timeless design, you'll do well to find a pair of waterproof pants that don't go with the LTS Jacket.
There's the trademark FJ logo on the collar and back of the neck as well as a vertical DryJoys logo on the arm, along with white zips which stand out nicely offering a good contract to the block colours across the rest of the jacket.
As a DryJoys product you'd expect the LTS to have no problem keeping me dry and it did just that during our testing. However we also tested FJ's new Hydroknit waterproof pullover on the same day and that performed much better. The water seemed to just bounce off the material whereas it left my LTS jacket feeling a little damp afterwards. It didn't let any water through, but the surface seemed of the jacket seemed to absorb it as opposed repel it.
The jackets fits pretty snugly, which I liked, as it allowed me to swing freely (considering I was wearing a waterproof jacket). The addition of the adjustable cuffs on the wrist is also good, as I hate it when the fabric on the sleeves of a jacket is loose when I'm at address.
It did however fit quite short. Although it was perfectly fine on the arms the torso seemed a little small which was a bit irritating, and it is not something I have previously encountered with FootJoy clothing.
As I explained earlier, LTS stands for Lightweight Construction, Temperature Regulation and Stretch Fabrication. Does it provide those three things?
The jacket was pretty lightweight, especially in the arms. This gave me the confidence to swing unrestricted and was reflected by the fact that I experienced no drop-off in yardage on the course compared to when I play wearing fewer layers.
Likewise, the Bonded fabric was nice and flexible during the golf swing, although it did tend to be a little noisy and 'rustly' which I find quite irritating.
The Temperature Regulation is a little disappointing in my opinion. Whilst on the day of testing, which was relatively mild, I was comfortable, I have used the jacket on subsequent cool days and found that it could've been a little thicker and warmer.
I understand that they are trying to save weight and keep this jacket usable year-round, but this jacket will be used predominantly in the winter and I would be wary of going out without an extra layer on too.
One thing I did like about the jacket is that it was the right kind of size and weight to be a good year-round option. You could wear it just on top of a polo shirt in the summer when it rains, and its just as suitable as your main winter jacket too.
It's also really easy to fold the jacket up and stick it in your bag when the rain stops or the temperature is a little higher, and you shouldn't feel too weighed down in the process. There's five different colours available, including black and grey, meaning that there should be something to suit everyone.
So whilst the jacket is versatile I also couldn't help but think that I was unsure where the LTS really fits in. I can't think of many golfers who would want to spend £250 on a lightweight rain jacket for the odd wet day in the summer, whilst I don't think it comes close to the likes of Galvin Green in providing a warm, waterproof and unrestricted winter jacket either.
FootJoy DryJoys Tour LTS Jacket Verdict
I'm afraid that I'm struggling to see where the £250 price tag is justified here. It's not impressively light, waterproof or warm. It does everything pretty well but nothing that blows you away, especially at that price.
In my opinion I think you can get more for your money elsewhere on this occasion.
Would I Use It?
No, I would probably go for the HydroKnit instead, and perhaps use the spare cash to buy a jumper or thermal layer to go underneath. It's cheaper, lighter, just as waterproof (if not more) and less noisy. The DryJoy LTS is a little thicker and warmer so you'd have to wear an extra layer underneath to compensate, but I think in this case that's worth the compromise.
- Classic, smart FJ looks and minimalist styling
- Versatile for year-round
- Good protection from the elements
- Material is a little noisy
- Jacket is on the short side
- Very expensive considering price of other FJ products such as new Hydroknit