You Need This Cold-Weather Golf Accessory

Noble Park buff

In 1991, a Spanish textile manufacturer named Joan Rojas was riding his motorcycle in Catalonia. The weather was cold, and riding made it colder, so he pulled a pair of underpants over his head, to warm his neck. A year later, he introduced an apparel item he called the Buff, a seamless tube of microfiber, which could be worn not just as a neck-warmer but in numerous other ways (though not as underpants):

HowToWear-clicksThe notion that you lose ninety percent of your body heat through your head is wrong, and, if you want proof, take off all your clothes except your hat and stand outside in the snow. But, if your head is the only part of you that isn’t fully covered, escaping heat has nowhere else to go, and on cold days you can dramatically improve your comfort level by plugging gaps above your shoulders. I got my first Buff on a trip to Norway in 2012, when a guide in a national park gave me one:


She was wearing hers just as a headband and ear protector, but I used mine to cover pretty much my whole head, and since then I’ve worn it many times while playing golf in bad weather, usually as a supplement to other headgear:

This was a very cold day. Hacker (real name) looks cold because he's wearing just his Yankees knit cap, but I'm wearing a skier's balaclava; a regular golf cap; a Duluth Trading Company eara band with

This was a very cold day at our golf club. Hacker (real name) looks chilly because he’s wearing just his Yankees watch cap, but I’m toasty because I’m wearing a skier’s balaclava; a regular golf cap; a Duluth Trading Company ear-band-with-slit-for-golf-cap-bill (no longer sold, alas, although they do have one without a slit); and my Norwegian Buff. The Buff, in addition to covering a few critical bare spots, helped to keep everything else in position.

Recently, I bought a fancier Buff, called the Cyclone. One half is made of microfiber, and the other half is made of fleece and Gore-Tex, and you can wear it in even more ways than the original Buff:


I now keep my Norwegian one (which weighs almost nothing) in my golf bag all the time, and add the Cyclone when the weather stinks, as it does at the moment. I needed the Norwegian one occasionally last Sunday, after we had driven halfway across the state in our determined search for a place to play. On that day, wet was usually more of an issue than cold, and I’m happy to report that my Nike Lunar Bandon II winter golf boots worked flawlessly: