My Favorite Golf Shoes Keep Breaking My Heart

In 2011, I became an enthusiastic unpaid shill for True Linkswear golf shoes, the most comfortable golf shoes I’ve ever worn. I now own more than a dozen pairs, and I wear them even when I’m not playing golf, and many of my friends have switched to them, too. Last October, though, my most recent pair, called True Motion, basically came apart during the Sunday Morning Group’s annual buddies trip to Atlantic City:


After I wrote about those shoes, I heard from a reader who had had the same problem:


I also heard from a vice president at True Linkswear, who acknowledged that the company had had “past issues” with quality, but said that it had made “a significant switch in factories” and that the next model, called True Elements, would not only correct those issues but would also be “our first breathable & waterproof shoe” and would represent “a remarkable design and construction method” that had been subjected to “rigorous testing standards.” I bought a pair in March, as soon as I could find them online, and wore them several times to make sure they truly were waterproof—as I wrote here:


They passed that test beautifully, so I bought a second pair of Elements and put both pairs away, the newer one still in its box, to keep them pristine for an upcoming buddies trip to Ireland, in early May. And here they are at Ballybunion:


They were the only shoes I took with me on that trip, and they performed beautifully—with one big exception: before the trip was over, both pairs had developed serious holes in their fabric covering at the points where the shoe bends during walking, on either side of the ball of the foot:


I don’t think the holes penetrate the waterproof lining. But they’re big, and every time I wear the shoes they get bigger. That V-shaped dip in the outermost layer seems to act like a tiny pair of scissors:


I wore the newer of my two pairs of Elements only twice on the trip—and I hadn’t worn them before, and I’ve worn them only once since. But one of those shoes already has small holes on both sides, after just a few rounds. Tim D. also took Elements on our Ireland trip, and his shoes have the same kind of holes in the same places:


Now, we played two rounds a day, on foot, on up-and-down terrain—but shouldn’t any pair of golf shoes be tough enough to survive a week in Ireland?


And not long after we got back from Ireland my shoes’ self-destruction opened up a new front, on the vamp, just below the laces:


I sent two emails to the vice president who had told me about the company’s new manufacturing standards, but I haven’t heard back. Maybe I’ll hear from him now. But whether I do or not I’ve bought my last pair of Trues.

Field Test: True Linkswear Elements and Pants-in-a-Jar

We had a huge rainstorm the other day—a good thing, for two reasons. First, the storm gave me an opportunity to pursue what I now realize would be my No. 1 choice of occupation if for some reason I could no longer work as a writer: vacuuming up water. (Our basement was flooded, and I spent a fulfilling evening emptying it with my wet/dry Shop-Vac, my portable sump pump, and a hundred feet of garden hose.) Second, the storm washed away all the remaining snow in this part of the country, making several area golf courses fully playable again. On Sunday, my friends and I traveled to the Woodbridge Country Club, which we first visited in early December:

Ice-free pond at Woodbridge Country Club, Woodbridge, Connecticut.

Ice-free pond at Woodbridge Country Club, Woodbridge, Connecticut.

The course was wet and muddy in lots of places, and I was able to test my latest golf-related purchase: a pair of True Linkswear Elements golf shoes. I’ve been an enthusiastic unpaid shill for True Linkswear for several years, but we had a falling out a few months ago over an earlier model, called True Motion, which apparently are not supposed to be worn outdoors. (Mine fell apart.) The company assured me that it was on the case, and that Elements (which are new this year) would address all my issues. I wore mine around town for several days, then subjected them to Woodbridge.

true elements

As far as I can tell, they fully live up to their billing. They’re insanely comfortable, like all my dozen other pairs of True golf shoes, and, even though I purposely stood in puddles, they never leaked. I’m going to order a second pair and take both to Ireland in early May. (You can find them online for a hundred bucks.) My only wish is that True would make a high-top version. Their shoes are so low-slung that your socks, which probably aren’t waterproof, are vulnerable in tall grass. Rickie Fowler has made the world safe for high-top golf shoes. Let’s go!

Doug and Keith.

Doug and Keith.

The group on Sunday included Keith, a new member. Doug, who’s a teacher, asked him if he and his wife have kids; he said they don’t yet, but that they have “pulled the goalie.” Keith looked like a veteran, because he had dressed to take advantage of our winter shorts rule (two extra handicap strokes for shorts after December 1). I wore shorts, too, and I supplemented them with a concoction that I’m thinking of marketing, as Pants-in-a-Jar. It’s a mixture of Warm Skin (“a soothing balm that moisturizes and insulates against weather extremes”) and capsaicin creme (an arthritis ointment that generates heat). Warm Skin is what many NFL players use to protect themselves when they play in Green Bay in December. I rubbed a ton on my bare legs before we teed off, and I never felt cold.


I’m hoping that I won’t need to use Pants-in-a-Jar many more times this winter. Three of us ran into our club’s greens committee at a local breakfast place on Saturday, and although we couldn’t overhear what they were talking about we decided that maybe they were discussing an opening date. Fingers crossed.


I Wish My Favorite Golf Shoes Didn’t Leak


I learned about True Linkswear golf shoes at the PGA Golf Merchandise Show in 2011. The pair I tried on at the show was too small—the company’s reps had sold out of my size—but they were still the most comfortable golf shoes I’d ever worn. I now have a dozen pairs, and I wear them even when I’m not playing golf, and many of my friends have switched to them, too. Tim even bought a True golf bag:


My only beef, until now, has been that the pairs I own that are supposed to be waterproof aren’t really—and other golfers who wear and love Trues have told me the same thing. My favorite model ever is one they don’t sell anymore, called “lyt/dry,” which I wear in preference to other shoes even when I’m not playing golf. They are definitely lyt but they’ve never been truly dry, even though the word “waterproof” is printed right on the side:


I’ve dealt with that issue by wearing wool socks when I play in the rain or when the grass is wet, and I’ve dried wet pairs between rounds by using the hairdryer in my hotel room, and I’ve persevered because even when my Trues were leaking they were way more comfortable than any other golf shoes I’ve ever worn. But during the Sunday Morning Group’s recent golf trip to Atlantic City my latest pair, called True motion, didn’t just leak — they basically came apart:


Now, True doesn’t claim that motions are waterproof, and this particular pair had been in my golf-shoe rotation for more than a year. Still, we were playing in dew, not rain, and I had subjected them, cumulatively, to less wear and tear than I have to my very first pair of Trues, which is four and a half years old and which I still walk the dog in. Yet they didn’t hold up:


I complained to the company, and a representative assured me that a new model coming in early 2016, called True elements, will really and truly be “breathable & waterproof.” And I hope he’s right, because even when they’re wet I really, really love these shoes.

Best New Shoes, Plus Good News for Sober Golfers

True Linkswear, the golf-shoe company for which I am an unpaid shill, recently sent me what must be my tenth or twelfth pair, called True Motion:

They are now not only my favorite golf shoes but also just about the only shoes I ever wear—although if I had to go to a funeral or a wedding I’d wear an older (and, sadly, recently discontinued) model, my black-and-dark-gray True Lyt Drys:


This latest pair was accompanied by a moral quandary: a $50 gift card, which I was instructed, by the company’s publicists, to spend on “some range buckets or a round of 9 on us.” Somehow, accepting a free pair of golf shoes from a golf-shoe company didn’t strike me as an ethical problem but accepting a (less valuable) gift card did. So I decided to square things up with my conscience by donating the value of the gift card to a golf-related charitable organization. The one I picked is SoberGolf:


I learned about SoberGolf from Peter Fox, who was a founding executive producer at ESPN and the producer of Golf Digest’s video Moe Norman & Natural Golf (see photo at the bottom of this post). He told me, “This May 21 will mark 28 years since my last drink, enabling me over time to shoot my age, become the senior club champion at Hillandale Golf Course (in Durham, North Carolina), and create SoberGolf, a manifestation of the realization that for some of us golf is a place where our sobriety is enhanced.” Here he is with the trophy he received for winning that club championship:

Peter Fox Senior Club Champ Hillandale Golf Club (2)

And here’s more of Peter’s story:

There’s little doubt in my mind that golf helped me get sober. There’s no doubt golf helps me stay sober. My hands used to tremble on the first tee and when I faced short putts. The quivers would stop with three or four fingers of fermented potatoes. I read and researched all I could find on the yips—the dreaded affliction that shortened the careers of Hogan and Miller. I watched Watson overcome them and determined that I could, too. Then I saw the tremors spread to marking my scorecard and golf ball. 

The awakening came early one Saturday morning on the fifth tee at my club during a pretty healthy money match. I bent to tee my ball, fumbled it, chased it, lost my balance, and body-surfed over the grass embankment.

That incident ignited another search—this time a soul search. It took a while, but I came to know and believe I am powerless over alcohol.  And by that time my off-course life was in a shambles. As I write this, nearing the end of my third decade of sobriety, I am grateful to golf for triggering an arduous yet rewarding trek toward sanity. And I am grateful to golf for introducing me to my wife, the only significant woman in my life to never have seen me drink.


There’s much more on the website—including a mailing list that circulates information about alcohol-free golf trips and other events. And if you want to contact Peter directly you can do that by emailing

I Don’t Get Blisters Anymore, But if I Did. . . .


Golf shoes by True Linkswear, a company for which I am an unpaid shill, are so comfortable that I now wear one or another of my many pairs not just when I play golf but also almost any time I can’t get away with being barefoot. My favorite model at the moment is the “lyt dry” (I don’t pick the names). The photo above shows what they looked like on my feet at the men’s member-guest, back in August. I’m also quite fond of a similar model, called “vegas.” (Again, I wasn’t asked.) Here’s what those look like:


My very first True golf shoes were a little like clown feet, or flippers, but they were so ridiculously comfortable that I didn’t mind. Recent models have been more shoe-like, in both appearance and construction; some of the latest ones even have heels. That’s a good thing if you want to wear golf shoes when you go out to dinner with your wife, as I do, but it’s mildly worrisome if the thing you loved most about your first pairs was that they felt like bedroom slippers. I’m just going to trust True’s designers not to go overboard with the conventional-shoe stuff, and to keep working on whatever technology they use to make the waterproof models waterproof—a technology that, in my opinion, they haven’t perfected.
I haven’t had a single blister since switching to Trues—not even on the two days when my friends and I played more than a hundred holes between sunrise and sunset. If I ever do get a blister, or feel a blister coming on, however, I know exactly what I’ll do: cover it immediately with a Band-Aid Advanced Healing blister pad:
The pads are actually manufactured by a Danish company, and are called Compeed everywhere but in the United States. (The company also makes pads for corns and cold sores.) Each one contains a “hydrocolloidal” gel, which both acts as a cushion and draws moisture from the affected area, helping it to heal. Ideally, you leave the pad on until it falls off—and it stays stuck, even in the shower, and doesn’t slide around the way an ordinary bandage does. I carry several in my golf bag, and issue them to whimpering friends.
My wife uses them with her new hockey skates, which she’s still breaking in. She also uses another Band-Aid blister product, called a Friction Block Stick, as a blister preventative:



It’s basically Crisco in a plastic applicator, as near as I can tell. (The main ingredient is hydrogenated vegetable oil.) But my wife says it works.


Further Thoughts on Packing for Golf Trips

Strainer and chamber pot fashioned from German helmets after the end of the Second World War. Resistance Museum, Amsterdam, September 8, 2013.

Strainer and chamber pot fashioned from German helmets after the end of the Second World War. Resistance Museum, Amsterdam, September 8, 2013.

My wife and I just returned from Germany, the Netherlands, and Belgium, where we spent ten days celebrating our thirty-fifth wedding anniversary. Among the many interesting places we visited was a museum devoted to the Dutch resistance during the Second World War. (See photo above.) For reasons having to do with my desire to remain married for another thirty-five years, I didn’t play even one hole of golf. But I did do some golf-related luggage research, and I wife-tested a few ideas about minimalist packing.

Our luggage. (My wife's backpack and purse are out of the frame.)

Our luggage. (My wife’s backpack and purse are out of the frame.)

We each took just a carry-on bag and a small backpack (plus my wife’s purse). All the luggage was from eBags, an online luggage company for which I am an unpaid shill. Here’s what we took: two eBags Mother Lode TLS Mini 21″ Wheeled Duffels; an eBags TLS Workstation Laptop Backpack; and a similar, older backpack, which eBags apparently no longer makes but is a lot like this one. My wife not only got along fine without a big suitcase but actually packed lighter than I did. We didn’t carry the carry-ons onto our plane—international flight, one checked bag free—but once we were in Europe our relatively light load made it easy to get on and off trains, climb stairs, take the tram instead of a taxi, etc., while still leaving room for souvenirs. The bags are perfectly designed, and the laptop backpack is like a mobile office—not that I did any work.

Souvenirs, outdoor flower market, Amsterdam.

Souvenirs, outdoor flower market, Amsterdam.

Although I left my golf clubs at home, I did take two pairs of golf shoes, both by True Linkswear, another company for which I am an unpaid shill. They were the only shoes I took on the trip, and (it turns out) I could have gotten by with just the black ones, a model called Chukka. (I took the others, called Sensei, because the Chukkas look a little spooky when worn with shorts—but then I ended up never wearing shorts.) Chukkas are waterproof; Senseis are not. Both are extremely comfortable, and, by comparison with some of the shoes that Europeans wear, Chukkas don’t look strange at all.

True Chukka (left) and Sensei (right).

True Chukka (left) and Sensei (right).

Before we left for Europe, I held tryouts for the position of Trip Pants. The pre-competition favorite was a pair of black Nike flat-front Dri-Fit Tech Golf Pants, which are 95 percent polyester and 5 percent spandex. But when I wore them for a test round on my home course I decided that they made too much noise when I walked, and that they felt too much as though they were made of bubble wrap. I had similar issues with a super-cheap pair of no-name pants I found on Amazon. The eventual winner was a pair of black Dockers Advantage 365 Khakis, which are 100 percent polyester microfiber. They don’t wrinkle, they don’t stain, they can be “laundered” in a hotel-room sink, and they look fine in the morning if you leave them in a heap on the floor overnight—yet they remain silent when you cross your legs.

Docker's 365 Advantage microfiber pants, in overnight storage.

Dockers 365 Advantage microfiber pants, in overnight storage. (Note belt with beer-opener buckle, by Bison Designs.)

I also took a pair of pre-wrinkled 100 percent cotton Dockers in a grayish color, which, unlike the Advantage 365s, don’t look like the bottom half of a limo driver’s uniform. But if I’d been on a golf trip with my pals, instead of a romantic getaway with my wife, I’d have taken a second pair of microfiber instead.

Opening Weekend: A Full Golf Report


We had a snowstorm during the night three weeks ago, and you can see the result in the photo above. A few days later, my wife and I took our dog for a walk at the golf course. We got stuck in the Executive Parking Lot, which is back behind the clubhouse, between the Dumpster and the propane grill. Our retired superintendent, who still lives next door, helped me dig out, and as I rocked my car back and forth I figured I wouldn’t be playing golf until at least May. But Gary, our current superintendent, opened the course this past weekend, so everything is normal again. The only part of the course that was still out of play was the practice green:


When I arrived, Nick, who is about to graduate from high school, was in the bag room performing pushcart triage. In the photo below, the pushcarts on the left are headed to the dump, the ones on the right are still fully functional, and the ones in the middle will be kept for parts:

20130330_114646Quite a few of the guys wore shorts—apparently in the belief that our Shorts Rule (one extra handicap stroke if you wear them after November 1; two if you wear them after December 1) still applies once the new season has begun. It does not. 

Reese and Mike A, fourth green, no extra strokes.

Reese and Mike A, fourth green, no extra strokes.

We inspected the new pump house, which Frank built over the winter. Here’s what it looked like before:

Pump house: before Frank.

Pump house: before Frank.

And here’s what it looks like now:

Pump house: after Frank.

Pump house: after Frank.

Unfortunately, Frank is taking a leave of absence this year. He’s having both knees replaced—something he has needed for a long time. A few years ago, during a storm, he helped me install an emergency patch on a hole in my roof, using a technique that he called “redundant half measures.” It worked great, but I had to do most of the kneeling.

When we finished playing, Mike G. and Chic were getting ready to tee off. Here they are, loading provisions into their golf bags:


Addison had some new golf pants, which he got because he plays for the University of Hartford. The only other significant off-season acquisition I noticed was Tim’s golf bag, which is made by the same company that makes our favorite shoes:


And the next day, I played again, with Addison and Reese. We had the place pretty much to ourselves:


Reese and I played Addison in a series of close-out matches, with all our strokes. We won both World and Solar System, but Addison, with a par on the eighteenth, took Universe. Luckily, we have a full season to get it back.

How to Pack for a Golf Trip to the British Isles


Quite a while ago, Tom Reynolds, a reader in Atlanta, asked me to suggest a packing list for a golf trip to Ireland. I said I would, then forgot all about it, and recently he asked again. So here it is.

This packing list is the result of two and a half decades of thoughtful experimentation. In making it, I’ve assumed that no spouse or health-department official will be in your group, and that you will buy at least one souvenir golf shirt, one souvenir golf sweater, and one souvenir golf hat while you’re abroad. I’ve also assumed that you are not planning to do anything rash, like meeting a client or going to a play. My strong preference with rain pants (which are also useful as wind pants) is to wear them as pants, if possible, rather than over pants. If the weather is nippy, I wear them over long johns.

The reason for minimalist packing is not to avoid airline luggage charges; the reason is to reduce the tonnage of the gear you have to lug from place to place, and to make the most efficient use of the storage space in whatever vehicle you’re traveling in. Packing light also leaves space for all the overpriced golf stuff that you are almost certainly going to buy and lug home.

Because linksland weather is highly unpredictable but within a relatively narrow range—I’ve played in shirtsleeves in Northern Ireland in November and been hailed on in Scotland in June—my list doesn’t change a whole lot from month to month. Think in terms of layers, and be prepared to allow time for wet items to dry out—especially shoes. Mike B. took his plug-in ski-boot driers on our most recent trip to Ireland. He never needed them, because our shoes never really got wet, but taking them wasn’t a terrible idea. On a golf trip to eastern Ireland twenty years ago, I took two rainsuits and needed them both.

It’s possible to pack more than this, of course. It’s also possible to pack less. My friend Tony gets by with just his rain pants and one pair of chef pants, and some people believe that he never changes his shirt. A few years ago, Golf Digest sent me to play all fourteen courses where the British Open has ever been held, and I realized toward the end of the trip, which lasted two weeks, that although I’d brought two pairs of pants I could have gotten by with one. The great thing about microfiber is that you can launder it with a hotel wash cloth, even if you’ve gotten chocolate on it. I recommend black.

Tony in chef pants, North Berwick, Scotland, May, 2008.

Tony in chef pants, North Berwick, Scotland, May, 2008.

On my first golf trip to the British Isles, twenty years ago, I took a full-size suitcase. Now I take just a carry-on bag: a Mother Lode TLS Mini 21-inch rolling duffel, by eBags, which is currently selling for $190, shipping included (see photo at the top of this post). This is my favorite suitcase ever, even for non-golf trips. No matter what kind of suitcase you use, I recommend buying a selection of eBags Packing Cubes, which are soft, box-shaped modules that simplify intra-suitcase organization and make it easy to use your golf bag’s travel case for overflow packing.

Here’s what I take:

In the carry-on bag:

1 pair dark polyester microfiber pants (and a second pair worn on the plane—and I recommend black for both, because they never look dirty and you can remove stains, even chocolate, with a hotel wash cloth)
1 golf shirt (and a second one worn on the plane—and in cooler months I would make one or both of these shirts long-sleeved)
1 sweater (worn or packed, depending on the weather
1 pair of Under Armour-type long johns
1 long-sleeve Under Armour-type undershirt or turtleneck
1 tee shirt (to sleep in and serve in a pinch as an extra layer)
1 pair of “house pants”—fleece pants or nylon hiking pants or something similar (for lounging around, and for emergency duty under rain pants if the weather turns really foul, and for wearing on the trip home)
1 pair of shorts, maybe (something I’d never thought about before 2016, when sunburn was a bigger threat than rain in western Ireland)
Lots of cotton handkerchiefs (my new favorite golf accessory, useful for nose-wiping during wet, cold, windy, or allergen-dense rounds)
As many pairs of underpants and (wool) socks as I can cram into the remaining space

In the golf bag or golf-bag travel case (along with my golf clubs):

2 pairs of waterproof golf shoes
1 rain suit (the jacket of which, in combination with an undershirt, shirt, sweater, vest, etc., should be plenty of cold-weather protection, even for winter)
2 regular golf gloves and 2 pairs of rain gloves
1 Seattle Sombrero (or other truly good rain hat)
1 regular golf hat
1 knit cap
1 super-lightweight down vest, in its little stuff sack (weighs nothing, and is easy to cram into a golf bag; mine is by Uniqlo and is a recent addition to my packing)
As many golf balls as you think you’re going to need, because they’re cheaper here (a reasonable number is two balls a round; a couple of guys lost more, but some lost almost none)
A full box of Band-Aid or Compeed “blister cushions.” You won’t need them if you’re careful about the golf shoes you take, but if you have them in your bag you’ll be a hero to someone on your trip
Toiletry-type crap (if you put your toiletry kit in your checked bag you won’t need to worry about decanting your gels and liquids into tiny bottles and setting them aside in a Ziploc bag)

Other stuff:

1 or 2 twenty-four-inch bungee cords, for strapping your golf bag onto a pushcart (known abroad as a trolley), to keep the bag from falling off when you drag it into the dunes
1 water bottle (because on-course water isn’t common outside the United States; you can fill your bottle each day in your hotel room or in a golf-club locker room)
1 UK-and-Ireland-type plug adapter. Household current is 230 volts, but all your electronics will run on that with just the plug adapter—no need for a voltage converter. If all you’re going to need to charge is your phone, you can probably find a 110-volt shaver outlet (for an American-type plug) in the bathroom of your hotel room
1 mini-power strip (if, like me, you have a lot of stuff to plug in—mine’s made by Belkin—because no hotel room on earth has enough outlets, especially in other countries)
1 sleep mask (for creating darkness where there is none)
Earplugs (doubly useful if the locals are holding a Dallas-themed “Oil Barons’ Ball” in the main dining room—as happened to me in England a few years ago)

Travel clothes:

If you are going straight from the plane to a golf course—and that’s what you should be planning to do, in my opinion—you should wear golf clothes on the plane. For the trip home, it’s nice to have clean stuff. In my case, I flew home in a bought shirt, a bought sweater, and a pair of lightweight nylon pants that I hadn’t worn during golf.
If your golf shoes have nubs on the soles instead of spikes, you probably don’t need any other shoes—although you may be required to strip down to your socks in some parts of some golf clubs. On a recent trip to Ireland, I took a pair of “après-golf” shoes—which were actually just non-waterproof golf shoes—but wore them only a couple of times, because my two pairs of “working” golf shoes were just as comfortable and never really got wet. Tim brought two pairs of golf shoes plus a pair of Merrell Jungle Mocs, which he wore on the plane, on the bus, and when we weren’t playing golf—an idea I intend to steal next time

If you prefer to receive your packing instructions in video form, you can do so here:

For many years, I’ve accessorized my rain paints with farmer-type suspenders, my first pair of which I ordered from the Vermont Country Store. (I now use a different kind, which you can order here.) Suspenders eliminate the main problem of rain paints, which is that they creep down every time you put wet hands into the pockets. I also own, and sometimes use, a pair of Velcro bicycle clips, which are handy if the legs of your rain pants are so long they drag on the ground, as many are.

Vermont Country Store suspenders with rain pants, Scotland, 2004.

Vermont Country Store suspenders with rain pants, Scotland, 2004.

On a golf trip to England in 2010, my friends and I had to take sports coats so that we could eat dinner in the clubhouse at Royal Lytham & St. Annes. Hacker (real name) took a crummy old one, intending to abandon it there—a plan I foiled by spotting it in a closet on the day we left and returning it to him at the airport. But the concept is brilliant: clothes you can wear to extinction, then leave behind.

My bedroom in the Dormy House at Royal Lytham & St. Annes, May, 2010. My sports coat is in that pile somewhere.

My bedroom in the Dormy House at Royal Lytham & St. Annes, May, 2010. My sports coat is in that pile somewhere.

On our trip to Scotland and Ireland in 2014, Peter A. brought many pairs of super-cheap socks, and threw away each pair after a single use. This seemed smart in the abstract, but he ended up being the only person on the trip who got blisters. For this most recent trip, he brought more expensive throwaway socks (roughly a dollar a pair versus roughly fifteen cents) and didn’t have a problem. My personal preference is to pack the best wool socks I feel I can afford, and lots of them.

I’ve always thought it was crazy to take shorts on a golf trip to the U.K. or Ireland, because indigenous golfers hardly ever wear them and some golf clubs have semi-ridiculous rules about them—like Hillside, in England, which allows shorts only if they’re worn with knee-height socks. (Dress codes abroad are kind of unpredictable. In 2016, the starter at Lahinch asked Matt to roll down the cuffs of his pants, which he had turned up maybe an inch, but let a local kid tee off in surfer shorts and an untucked tee shirt.)

It’s possible to pack more than this, of course. It’s also possible to pack less. On a non-golf trip to Europe a few years ago, my wife surprised me by packing lighter than I did. You don’t need to plan a lot of different “looks.”

My Sixth Pair of True Linkswear Golf Shoes!

True Linkswear Chukka.

True Linkswear Chukka.

My one reservation about my beloved True Linkswear golf shoes is that, even though almost all the models are waterproof, the shoes’ low profile makes them vulnerable in wet grass. The company’s new Chukkas, shown above, have eliminated that issue, by lifting their gunwales to ankle-bone height. If you’re the sort of middle-aged male golfer who dreams of seducing the beverage-cart girl, don’t wear them with shorts. But, if you own long pants and don’t stay home when the weather turns lousy, they’re great, as I proved to myself in Brooklyn last weekend. And they bring my personal True collection to six pairs.


More About My Awesome Golf Shoes

In recognition of my services as an unpaid shill for their products, True Linkswear sent me a pair of their newest golf shoes, which are shown in the photo above and will be available to the world at large on November 4. I subjected them to the severest shoe test I know: wearing them in front of my wife. She said, “Those are nice.” (Her No. 1 golf-related footwear rule is “no saddle shoes on overweight middle-aged men.” Her No. 2 rule is “no red laces.”) I then took them for a test walk with the dog. They passed.

I now own five pairs of True golf shoes. I also still own three or four pairs of non-True golf shoes, which I wear occasionally so that I can use them up and get rid of them without feeling guilty about throwing them away. On Wednesday, the course was so muddy that I wore an old pair of Nike shoes, which I used to love, and halfway through the round I noticed that the sole of one of them was starting to come loose: Out they went as soon as I got home.

Six or seven members of my club now own True shoes—including our superintendent. Over the summer, I got to play a round at Quaker Ridge, in Scarsdale, New York, as the guest of the father of the husband of a friend. One of our caddies, a young woman from Germany, was wearing Trues. She said she was worried they looked dorky—and they do, generally, although they didn’t on her—but that she was going to keep wearing them anyway, because they were so comfortable.

Angela the caddie, Quaker Ridge, summer, 2012.

Comfortable shoes are going to take over the game the way spikeless shoes did. There are more choices all the time, from FootJoy, Ecco, Nike, and others. There is no reason, anymore, to own golf shoes that don’t feel good the moment you put them on, or to walk for miles over uneven ground in what are essentially wingtips. My friend Hacker (real name) has a pair of golf shoes that he says he’s been breaking in for four years. Enough!