TESTED: Can bulky clothes harm your golf swing?

As winter golfers, it’s tempting to wear thick clothes to ensure we stay warm while getting out on the course. But could wearing the wrong clothing actually harm our game? We put it to the test to find out if wearing bulky clothing instead of the right layering can have a negative effect on your golf swing.

Anyone who’s played through a British winter knows that beating the cold is crucial if you’re to deliver maximum performance.

Listen to the scientists and most agree that keeping warm in the modern game is all about layering up correctly. Clothing brands are now so switched on to what golfers need in terms of lightweight, unrestrictive insulation, technology has reached the point where you can buy garments specifically designed by NASA.

RELATED: Best Waterproof Golf Jackets

Of course, there are plenty of golfers out there who swear a chunky sweater is actually the cosiest thing they own. And they’ll layer up that bulky mid-layer with a baselayer, polo shirt and waterproof jacket, until they look and feel like the Michelin man.

With this level of bulk there’s bound to be restriction, so we thought we’d find out how much…

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Meet our Layering vs Bulky Winter Golf Clothing tester

TG Test Pro Neil Wain (below) is a highly-experience PGA Professional based at Keele Golf Centre in Staffordshire. For added consistency we work with Neil on all of our golf club and ball tests.

Today's Golfer test pro Neil Wain.

How we performed our Layering vs Bulky Winter Golf Clothing test

We asked Neil to wear six layers (rather than the two or three he usually wears) to replicate how a base layer, T-shirt, three mid-layers and a waterproof jacket would affect his swing speed with a driver.

He hit driver both layered up and in his usual Galvin Green Insula winter wear, the Foresight GC Quad launch monitor watched on.

RELATED: Best Golf Mid-Layers

What our Layering vs Bulky Winter Golf Clothing test revealed

Layering up is a very modern way to play, but it makes perfect sense – especially when you realise what you sacrifice by restricting your swing with too many layers.

Our pro lost 6mph of driver ball speed dressed like the Michelin man – 3.7% of his overall speed.

While the rest of his numbers remained the same (shots launched, span and peaked out at the same levels) the loss translated into a carry distance cut of 15 yards.

The moral here? Layer up with thin, lightweight insulation, and make sure any base or other layers don’t restrict your swing.

Invest in a modern, warm, technical top and pair it with a lightweight waterproof if need be – that’sthe only way to rinse every drop of ball speed out of whatever club speed you can muster.

RELATED: Best Winter Golf Trousers

Layering vs Bulky Winter Golf Clothing test: The statistics

The numbers from our Layering vs Bulky Golf Clothing test.


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