Martin Hopley

Under Armour have been at the forefront of performance clothing ever since Kevin Plank first designed a moisture wicking base layer for American Football in 1996 that started a whole new category of clothing.

Their latest creations were revealed at a recent ‘Under Armour Innovations Event’ where my finely tuned body and perfectly honed golf swing were once again put on the line in your interest.

Under Armour Stability TopFirst up was their latest development in compression gear. Now if your swing has done as many golfing miles as mine then occasionally it hurts – a lot.

Dr Paul Hurrion is Under Armour’s new ambassador for 2011 and having worked with Olympic javelin throwers and more lately a bunch of Irish Ryder Cuppers he has identified that the lower back is where injury is most likely to strike. Ok, so I am in good still hurts though.

Working with Hurrion, Under Armour claim that their ArmourStability line that hits stores this summer is the first compression shirt made specifically for golfers. Strategic stabilisers are built into the fabric of the shirt to support the lower back and improve your core strength.

The key to this is that compressing the muscles actually engages them more, thereby increasing the blood flow and keeping them warmer, thus reducing fatigue, improving performance and reducing the likelihood of injury.

Armed with the new top I headed for the course. The first thing you notice is that the top feels a lot tighter than a normal compression top thanks to the extra support.

However persist with the right size, as in order for the compression to work best it needs to be tight against your lower back and not too loose, although I wouldn’t recommend wearing right after a big clubhouse lunch as it tends to ride up a little during play until the fabric is ‘broken in’.

It was a sunny day and the T-shirt style Heat Gear version was very impressive in keeping me cool, with the ventilation panels down the middle of the back and under the arms to wick moisture away.

Coming off the course my lower back did feel much better than it normally does so the ArmourStability top gets a big tick from me. It did not necessarily improve my golf, but my stamina was better as I had the energy to be as equally annoyed with my game at the 18th as I was at the 1st.

So would I back the ArmourStability to be a success? Yes I would. The more devoted golfers will go for the ArmourStability, although I think anyone with a sore back, or who is just getting on a bit like me, should definitely use it.

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