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Beer drinkers who love golf will LOVE Nike's new golf belt

By Alex Myers

On Wednesday night, Stephen Colbert listed "free beer" as one of his suggestions for growing golf. We're pretty sure Mr. Colbert would be a fan of Nike's new belt then.

Related: Golf Digest's 2014 shoe guide

As you can see from the picture posted to Twitter by @PGApro1, the new belt has a built-in bottle opener:

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The belt also appears to be reversible. Is there anything it can't do?!

(h/t @pgapro1 and @darrenrovell)

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Style

Apparel-maker Criquet is making noise with its 'high-performance' shirts

By Marty Hackel

A tongue-in-cheek tagline "high-performance shirts for the 19th hole" speaks to the mind-set of apparel-maker Criquet.

Founders Billy Nachman and Hobson Brown were drawn to vintage cotton polos their grandfathers wore and spotted what they considered a niche between "performance" and "everyday" golfwear when they started in 2010.

NewStuff-Criquet-red.jpgMade of certified organic cotton, Criquet polos (starting at $75) have removable collar stays and feature a slot pocket to hold a tee or pencil. Button-down shirts (starting at $85) also have the slot pocket, as well as what the company calls "the Bendle Sleeve," an extra layer of fabric strategically positioned at the shirt bottom to twist off the bottle top of the owner's favorite beverage.

NewStuff-Criquet-green.jpg Even their new showroom -- the Criquet Clubhouse in Austin -- conveys this "every man" theme. With tributes to Caddyshack abound, the store features HD televisions, a bbq pit and a soon-to-be driving net in the backyard for hosting major-viewing parties.

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With a nod to the past and a hope of a more sustainable, stylish future, Criquet is not your grandfather's shirt. It's the one he would've proudly passed down to you.


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Gear & Equipment

Up for auction: Vintage visors

By Alex Holmes

eBay, the Internet's premier market place, is an absolute gold mine for golf gear. I've scored everything from vintage visors to mint condition 3-woods on the site, and I'd like to start sharing the fruits of my foraging with the Golf Digest community. "Up for Auction" is my periodic installment of whacky to worthwhile golf auctions that may just pique your interest. However, like the amateur golf swing, reliable and repeatable eBay is not. The electronic bazaar is often flush with quantity, but short on quality. As such, I endeavor to give it a once over so you won't have to. Check in early and often to see what's trading.

Up for Auction - Vintage Visors

If you're like me, you might have noticed that the magnificent high crown headgear of years past has practically passed into extinction on today's tours (Mad props to amateur Beau Hossler and some of the other college kids who appear in pro events for keeping the style alive.) These retro relics do still exist -- some in better condition than others -- in a few old pro shops and in the recesses of eBay golf auctions.

The formula for style success with these gems is simple, the higher the crown and the more prestigious the club the cooler you are. That said, check out these bad boys...


U.S. Open Olympic Club Visor
-- Wednesday AM Bid: $29       

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1991 Shinnecock Hills Visor -- Wednesday AM Bid: $22

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And if you really want to turn some heads on the first tee (and have more disposable income than yours truly) - drop the dough for the coup de grace...

Cypress Point Visor Photo  -- Wednesday AM bid: $99

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Style

Game improvement: Pants you can't wait to put on one leg at a time

By Alex Holmes

No matter who you are, chances are you've got some gear in your game that could use an update. While we don't advise retooling everything at once, trading up a few staples at a time is the ticket to solid style. Each week we'll pull a dud from the dark depths of every man's collection and suggest a simple substitute. Check your nostalgia at the door -- it's time for your tune up.


This time of year, housebound golfers all over the northern U.S. tend to say "enough is enough" and embark on early season rounds with balky swings and big smiles. Winter's come and gone (kind of ...) so we gleefully traipse down water-logged fairways, gouging divots the size of bath mats as our golf year finally begins in earnest.

This year, instead of reaching the second tee in soaking wet khakis, upgrade your soft-season game with Dry Stretch pants ($39.90) from Japan's rapidly growing retail giant, Uniglo.


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GI-Uniqlo-DryTechTrsr-MicroPrint.jpgUniqlo -- with Adam Scott serving as a brand ambassador -- designed the tech trouser fabric in collaboration with Toray, a Japanese chemical engineering firm. The material aims to wick water, dry quickly and stretch with the body's natural movements. The pants are also wrinkle resistant and machine washable so no matter what they look like after 18, toss them in the wash and just hang 'em out to dry.

Leave the heavy cotton twills in your locker and work these pants into your sloppy spring rounds.
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Style

Getting you size wise with your polo shirts

By Marty Hackel

Vastrm's story is like many golf apparel lines. Founder Jonathan Tang is a tall, slender guy who struggled to find golf shirts that fit. Ones that were right in the shoulders were often too big in the waist or too short in length. A similar problem is a complaint of shorter men who don't match standard cuts.
 
Enter Vastrm, which promises a better fit by offering 24 size options to customize polos to your dimensions. The online company (vastrm.com) offers a home try-on program, where it ships three sizes and lets you return ones that don't fit for no charge.
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And you don't have to sacrifice luxury in the process; in addition to size options, Vastrm offers shirts in fine cotton, with woven collars, moisture-wicking technology, placket accents and a variety of colors and buttons. Pricing starts at $135, and orders can be filled in three weeks.

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Style

Game improvement: Tone up your fitness gear

By Alex Holmes

No matter who you are, chances are you've got some gear in your game that could use an update. While we don't advise retooling everything at once, trading up a few staples at a time is the ticket to solid style. Each week we'll pull a dud from the dark depths of every man's collection and suggest a simple substitute. Check your nostalgia at the door -- it's time for your tune up.


Workout gear is expensive. And a lot of us have trouble dropping dough on new stuff when all we plan to do is sweat through it anyway.

Enter the 2014 H&M Sportswear project. H&M's new sportswear concept is a tech driven, simple and stylish activewear line developed in large part by Sweden's 2014 Winter Olympic squads. The collection is the perfect way to pick up a few new pieces without coughin' up too much coin.

It's time to gift that college hoodie to your girlfriend and pick up a some new goods for the gym.   



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Light Weight Beanie -- $9.95
Zip Hoody -- $29.95   
SS Breathable T -- $14.95
Zip Pocket Short -- $29.95
Waterproof Gym Bag -- $49.95   

All available at HM.com/US
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Gear & Equipment

Ping tries hat trick to help promote i25 driver/woods

By Ryan Herrington

Ping's tour pros will be showing their "stripes" this week at the WGC-Cadillac Championship and Puerto Rico Open.

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The company has unveiled a limited edition "Racing Stripe" hat that staffers will wear exclusively at this week's two PGA Tour stops. The stripe is designed to promote the "racing-stripe" alignment technology on the Ping's new i25 driver and fairway woods.

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The hats will be available in four colors: black, gray, blue and red. They'll then be sold at retail starting next week for $22.
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Style

Game improvement: A way to treat your feet better

By Alex Holmes

No matter who you are, chances are you've got some gear in your game that could use an update. While we don't advise retooling everything at once, trading up a few staples at a time is the ticket to solid style. Each week we'll pull a dud from the dark depths of every man's collection and suggest a simple substitute. Check your nostalgia at the door -- it's time for your tune up.



One of the most important, yet underappreciated, elements in any man's wardrobe are his socks. Whether you're traipsing to work or strolling down the fairway, keeping your feet warm and dry is a must. Summer or winter, rain or shine, swap out your old cotton socks for good merino wools; they'll wick sweat, dry fast and last longer. Golf may be a good walk spoiled but, that shouldn't because you're wearing the wrong gear.

Game-improvement-Kent-wool-low-profile-sock.jpgToss the tube socks and check out these tour tested woolens from Kent Wool - Low Profile, $19.95. Mid-Calf, $24.95. Available at kentwool.com.


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** Styling note -- You can wear the no-shows with pants but, keep the mid-calves under your trousers at all times.


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Style

The company that makes Jimmy Walker's Sunday best

By Marty Hackel

Blog-Jimmy-Walker-Iliac.jpgJimmy Walker has come out of nowhere to win three PGA Tour events already in the 2013-14 season, gaining attention on all aspects of his game -- including his wardrobe.
 
His success has been a boon for Iliac Golf, the nine-year-old company that has dressed Walker since the start of 2013. Iliac apparel, sporty yet sophisticated, is available in green-grass shops or online (www.iliacgolf.com), and is the creation of Burt LaMar, a former snowboarder who boasts that "apparel design is in my blood." (His mother and grandmother previously in the business.)
 
"I was drawn to the rich history and classic style of golf," LaMar recently told me. "I want to preserve the rich tradition of style and push the envelope in performance."
 
So what can we expect LaMar to push the boundaries of Walker's outfits?
 
"We've been working on some things for Augusta," LaMar said. "I can say that if you see Jimmy during the Par-3 Contest, you should see something cool."

Photo by J.D. Cuban



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Style

Nike's Innovation Cover-Up doesn't compromise warmth, comfort or playability

By Marty Hackel

It's a shirt; no, it's a sweater; no, it's a jacket.

Truth is, it's all of them.

The new Nike Innovation Cover-Up ($120) wears like a sweater and functions like a weather-resistant jacket but is light enough to feel like a shirt. The rib sleeves are something I especially like, and the nylon and spandex fabric not only helps protect you from the elements, they create a trim fit that allows for more flexibility and range of motion when combined with the practicality of the water-resistant body. (Not to mention, it will make you look better.)

Nike Innovation Cover-up front (430).jpgIt seems as though you're always compromising when you play golf; one item to keep you dry, one to keep you warm, one to keep you comfortable. To combine all of those things is truly innovative. It's also great for everyday use, and for layering with other apparel.

Staying warm and dry in one piece is the new trend; we've seen some similar jackets in the industry but this is taking it to the next level, and I would be surprised if more designers don't follow suit.

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