How to Shoot Par in Ireland’s Wind and Rain
Proper gear is essential to make a solid swing
Driving in the rain on Royal Portrush’s Calamity Corner.
photo by Mel MacLaine
The most difficult par I made during my recent week in Ireland was on the 14th hole at Royal Portrush, a 202-yard one-shotter aptly named “Calamity Corner” that plays uphill over a deadly chasm. I hit a solid driver into the 35 mph wind quartering against the tee, a shot that wouldn’t have been possible without my new Sun Mountain Elite rain gear that kept me dry and loose despite the blowing rain and sleet. I could barely see my ball quivering on its tee, much less where it landed three feet off the green, but I managed to get up and down in three.
The Elite rain jacket and pants use waterproof fabric technology called 37.5 that offers up to 3X more breathability than competitors plus essential stretchability. Its three-layer construction keeps you dry and maintains an ideal core temperature of 37.5° C. Sun Mountain says people are most comfortable when the microclimate next to the skin also has a relative humidity of 37.5%, ergo the name.
“The new Elite Rain Jacket and Pants are made with fabric that has a waterproof rating as high as any rain jacket we’ve ever offered, while being extremely breathable, and stretching like our RainFlex,” says Sun Mountain Vice President of Outerwear, Mark Heydon.
The fabric also dries up to five times faster than competitors, diminishing wet cling. That was particularly important at Royal Portrush, where the rain came and went throughout the round. Afterward, the suit dried in minutes hanging over the tub in my hotel room.
The Elite Rain Jacket offers significant four-way stretch and features high-quality, two-way YKK waterproof zipper, adjustable cuffs and two hand warmer pockets. With the 37.5 technology, you won’t need as many layers underneath as you may think.
Elite Rain Pants feature Auto-Fit™ stretch waist with zipper fly and belt loops, two front pockets with zippered pass-through, back pocket with Velcro® closure and a feature I really, really liked, a snap system to shorten the pants 2.5 inches. Additional features include protective fabric overlay on the inside ankle and deep lower leg zippers for easy on and off over shoes.
Sun Mountain Elite is in golf shops and online at $299.99 for the full-zip jacket and $259.99 for the pants.
Other Sun Mountain products came in handy during my trip as well. My H2No golf bag kept everything from my cell phone to the grips on my clubs nice and dry through six rounds and the Club Glider travel bag made airport transfers nearly effortless.