One of the easiest ways to ensure that your golf game doesn't unnecessarily suffer during the cold winter months is to ensure that you are wearing the right clothing.
Most golfers are prepared to accept that they aren't going to hit the ball as far, that the greens may not be rolling absolutely true and you may get the occasional dodgy lie, but one thing that shouldn't suffer during the 'off-season' is how well equipped you are to perform to your best in the conditions.
These days, golf clothing has advanced so far that you no longer need to be wearing four jumpers, long johns and bin-bag style waterproofs in order to stay warm and dry. Advancements in technology and layering theories mean that you can be protected from the elements whilst still having the freedom to swing as you would wish.
One of the brands who have been part of this transition are Ping, who are perhaps better regarded for their golf clubs but also provide an extensive range of clothing and accessories which are used on the PGA, European and LPGA Tours.
I tested their Norse Primaloft Series last year and was suitably impressed, so has the brand found a way to improve for their latest AW20 collection?
Ping AW20 Apparel Review
The AW20 collection sees Ping continue their partnership with insulation brand PrimaLoft, along with Primaloft Cross Core and Sensor technologies, to 'allow golfers to adapt to the ever-changing climates' without compromising any comfort or performance.
A range of different colour palettes have been used to provide a stylish and universal appeal, including Digital Blues, Enriched Red and Modern Green.
There are a wide array of different garments on offer but we've picked out two which think will be most useful for golfers to put them to the test.
There are so many options for golf clothing in the modern age, with brands such as Nike and adidas Golf really pushing the boundaries of what would be classed as 'traditional golf clothing', so can Ping's offering still help golfers to look good and feel prepared out on the course?
Ping Norse S2 Zoned Jacket Review
This is the updated version of the Norse Primaloft Jacket that I tested last year, with a new Zoned focus which centres the technology around the chest and back body as that is the most important area for providing warmth and protection from the wind.
The Primaloft technology was originally developed by Nasa, and features special microfibres which are fused with an aerogel to provide lightweight warmth.
It's available in blue and black colourways at an RRP of £130, which I'd say places it in the middle category as far as golf clothing is concerned. I think this is reasonable when you consider that there's clearly been plenty of technology put into it's development.
I think the contrast design looks really smart and adds a nice feature to the jacket, whilst also presenting a bit of 'visible tech' which indicates that the jacket is going to be pretty water-resistant.
Layering is such an important aspect of golf clothing these days and I was impressed by how slim-fitting the jacket was even though it felt warm and substantial. The elasticated hem around the wrists and the bottom of the jacket improve the fit and avoid any irritating distraction or restriction during the swing.
To be perfectly honest, I didn't really think there was a great deal of difference between this year's jacket and the one that I reviewed last year, beside the obvious tweaks in the design. I don't think that's a bad thing though because I was a big fan of the original Norse Primaloft - and 'if it ain't broke...'
Ping Vision Winter Trouser Review
Ping's winter trouser has been designed to give you the protection you need on cold days, combined with lightweight comfort so that you can play and swing uninhibited.
The Vision trouser uses Thermolite All Season technology which keeps you warm and dry, whilst also working to wick moisture away from the body so that you feel fresh throughout your round.
They are complete with a water-resistant finish and feature Tekfit waistband technology, which allows up to two inches of movement and Ping says that this provides 'playability in any condition'.
First things first, these trousers definitely provide instant warmth as soon as you put them on, which is a huge bonus on a cold Saturday morning when you're preparing for your competition. The fabric inside seems to hug your legs and it almost feels like you are wearing a pair of thermal leggings or compression tights underneath a normal pair of trousers.
Having said that I was also really impressed by how lightweight they were. In fact you would never know, just by looking at them, that they are a winter trouser. That is a big plus, as I like my trousers to be relatively slim-fitting and so I was pleased to see that they weren't too bulky or baggy.
At £90 these trousers aren't particularly cheap, but I think that Ping have managed to justify that price tag due to a number of added features which seem to make life that little bit easier out on the course, which is exactly what you want if the winter weather is a little miserable.
The fleece-lined pockets are fantastic, as the thick and warm material is the perfect way to keep your hands warm between shots and could even save the added faff of having to put mitts on every hole?
There is also added grips on the waistband and back pockets of the trousers too which are a really nice touch, it means that there's an easy place to house your glove when around the green which holds it in place, and also it avoids your shirt coming untucked every time you make a swing.
This is particularly useful if you're going to be using different layers, as you can ensure that everything stays neatly in place so that you can swing with freedom.
Just one word of warning, however, although Ping describes them as water-resistant this does not mean they're completely waterproof, so they're not quite the all-singing, all-dancing pair that are perfect for absolutely every round. If I were you, I'd still stick a pair of waterproof over-trousers into your bag just in case you get caught in a downpour.
Ping AW20 Apparel Verdict
I know that it's not realistic for golfers to be updating their winter golf wardrobe every single year - after all, the whole idea is that this gear is meant to last for a number of seasons and it's not like a jacket is going to wear out after a few months!
But if you're looking to technology to give you a little edge out on the course, the new Ping collection can do exactly that. Golfers often play their best golf when they are comfortable and not distracted - so why not give yourself the chance to do so?
If you're looking at getting some new gear this winter, then I'd definitely recommend checking in your pro shop to see whether they stock Ping's latest offerings.
- Fantastic protection from the elements
- Reasonable value for money
- Smart styling which should appeal to most golfers
- Surprisingly lightweight
- Ping may not be first choice for younger golfers
- Limited colour options in the two products I tested
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