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.


How to Dress for Sub-freezing Golf

In shorts, obviously. (The Sunday Morning Group gives two extra strokes if you wear them after December 1.) One great thing about shorts is that they complement any outfit:


Last year, because of Addison, we had to add a rule about sock height. He arrived one Sunday in unusually tall socks, which he pulled up almost to his knees and fastened with rubber bands that he’d found in his mother’s refrigerator, on two bunches of broccoli:


Those socks are virtually pants! The new rule is “crew height or shorter”—demonstrated here by Fritz:


On Sunday, Fritz and I got to wondering whether there might not be a non-sock, non-pant, non-cheating solution to the exposed-skin problem (the wind was straight from the North Pole). After the round, I did some research and found this post, on the Fox Sports website. It was written two years ago by Brendon Ayanbadejo, who played linebacker for several NFL teams:

“What allowed me to wear so little in cold games was a cocktail Brian Urlacher and Muhsin Muhammad revealed to me. There is a cream called Warm Skin that we would mix with Vaseline and Tiger Balm. We would mix all these topicals together and rub them into our arms, legs, back … pretty much over our entire body. Make sure you put your jock on before you do this or you will get extremely uncomfortably hot in some of the wrong places.”


So I ordered some Warm Skin and began working on my own leg recipe, using stuff I found in various closets and medicine cabinets in my house. The best combination, so far, is Warm Skin, Musher’s Secret (which my wife bought to protect our dog’s feet from road salt), and capsaicin creme (which is hot, like Tiger Balm, and is usually sold as a topical analgesic for arthritis). I stirred in some Aquaphor, too—what the hell.