If there’s one thing I’ve learned about golf it’s to never dismiss an unusual-sounding idea. Just check out some of the non-traditional clubs (both in shape and size, especially putters), training devices (featuring more straps than the Marquis de Sade’s basement), and the medicine-chest-full of bracelets, necklaces, inserts, wraps, patches, and lotions.
Golfers will try anything.
So I wasn’t too surprised to find myself playing the other day in an Energy Athletic golf shirt. It looks like any other high-quality garment, and it has the luxurious feel we associate with fine sportswear: Made of 95 percent polyester and 5 percent spandex, it fits well, moves easily and noiselessly with the body, and features anti-microbial (odor-fighting) and moisture-wicking properties.
Plus, it comes standard with a negatively charged electromagnetic ion field.
That does not mean you’ll clank like Robby the Robot or set off the metal detector at the airport. But what you will do—according to the manufacturer—is get a boost of energy when wearing the shirt.
There is science behind the claim (better and more fully explained on the website). It goes like this: If you’ve ever walked near a waterfall, on the beach, or climbed a mountain and felt enlivened just breathing the fresh air, chances are it’s thanks to the negative ions produced by the combination of sunlight, radiation, water, and air. Numerous studies have shown that negative ions make us feel happier and invigorated. (Think how good you feel in the shower. Could be those ions!)
Energy Athletic uses an exclusive treatment to embed negative ions into the fabric. The company claims its shirt will give your swing more power, offering a risk-free guarantee. They also promise it will be the most comfortable shirt you’ll ever wear, and have signed former Ryder Cup Captain Paul Azinger as spokesperson. (Both long- and short-sleeve versions are available, in a choice of colors.)
My verdict? It is a very comfortable and good-looking shirt. I wore it on an unusually hot, humid day and felt much better, both during and after the round, than I would have expected in those conditions. And I hit the ball really well—and long. Conclusive proof? I have no idea. But you can bet that I’ll try it again, and likely again after that.
I’m just waiting for the ads that say you’ll be able to pay for the shirt after the first few Nassaus you win.