I own many golf gloves. I keep most of them in the trunk of my car, which I think of as my mobile locker room, and I use their Velcro closures to stick them to the trunk’s carpet-like liner—a trick I learned from my golf buddy Billy. The rain gloves and winter gloves, which are black, look a little like the sleeping bats that used to hang upside down from the roof of my garage.
For winter golf, I always used to just wear rain gloves, and on really cold days I would wear two pairs, one on top of the other. But this year I bought several pairs of actual winter gloves, made by FootJoy and Snake Eyes. The FootJoy gloves, which are called WinterSof and cost $20 a pair at Golfsmith, look like this:
The Snake Eyes gloves, which are called Cool Weather Gloves and cost $13 a pair at Golfsmith, look like this:
Two of the four Golfsmith customer reviews of the Snake Eyes gloves mention crummy stitching, which is a problem I haven’t noticed with mine. I have found that my FootJoy gloves are slightly warmer. (In a recent scientific trial, I wore both kinds, one right and one left, and switched at the turn.) I like the grippy silicone webbing on the palms and fingers of the Snake Eyes gloves, even though the silicone feels creepy when I hold something made of metal, like a club shaft. I’ve worn both kinds, without incident, while walking the dog with my wife.
At the PGA Golf Merchandise Show a year ago, I tried some winter gloves I liked a lot, although I’ve never actually played in them. They’re call HJ Winter Xtreme, and they’re made by a 40-year-old Korean company called HJ Glove. They’re hard to find online—Golfsmith and Edwin Watts don’t carry them, and Amazon, at the moment, is out of stock in all sizes—but based on my brief indoor test a year ago I’d say that, at least theoretically, they combine some of the most appealing features of the FootJoy and Snake Eyes gloves: tall cuffs, grippy silicone stuff, extra warmth.
My friend Tim recently pointed out that rain gloves and winter gloves tend to wear out first in the thumbs. This is especially true if your swing isn’t everything it could be—holes in golf-glove thumb pads are usually a consequence of mid-swing re-gripping or some other bad habit—but rain gloves and winter gloves are made of stuff that isn’t as tough as leather, and they wear out faster no matter who’s wearing them. Because of what Tim said, I got the idea of buying some little iron-on patches and using them to reinforce my winter gloves, by turning the gloves inside out and ironing one carefully trimmed patch onto the inside of each thumb. I kept the patches in a pile of stuff on my desk, and they were constantly getting in my way. Then I forgot about them. Last week, I suddenly remembered them but couldn’t find them anywhere. Oh, well. I probably wouldn’t have gotten around to ironing them on anyway.
Speaking of gloves: when I was in Oslo in August (researching a non-golf article for the January 21, 2013 issue of The New Yorker), I took a tour of the Norwegian National Opera and Ballet, at the edge of the Oslo Fjord. Among many other things, I saw a bird costume intended for an upcoming performance of the opera “Flaggermusen.” It had been stitched together from dozens of yellow dish-washing gloves, whose dangling rubber fingers resembled feathers. Maybe my wife would be interested in making something similar from my old golf gloves: