Apparel and accessories typically don’t receive the same amount of attention from consumers or focused coverage from media outlets as shiny new drivers or golf balls with off-center cores.
And getting golfers giddy about rain gear (waterproofs for our UK friends), though a necessity for any avid player, is a bit like pushing a rope.
Generally, you only wear it when you’d rather the weather was different. And like inclement weather, golfers would just as soon prefer not to have to deal with it.
That raingear has typically been some combination of a jacket and pants that golfers put on over whatever else they happened to be wearing. Wearing pants over your pants is no way to go through life, so in 2018, Galway Bay flipped the script by giving golfers an apparel option suitable for wear in a variety of conditions, including rain. It was a swiss-army knife type of solution to a problem the industry had more or less accepted as status quo. It’s at least part of the reason why Galway Bay claimed MyGolfSpy’s Most Wanted status as the “Best Rain Gear of 2018.”
For Galway Bay founder, Terry Prillaman, the impetus for Galway Bay was to give golfers a single jacket or pair of pants which does the work typically done by two or three.
As Galway Bay continues to expand, so too do its offerings. This summer Galway Bay added the Half-Sleeve Westport jacket and a ballistic-grade, executive-class backpack.
The Westport jacket offers the same jack-of-all-trades design philosophy of the full-sleeved rain jacket in a short-sleeved model. For versatility’s sake, two attachable Teflon-coated sleeves are included. The sleeve set can also be purchased separately ($29).
Unique to this jacket is an additional Teflon coating on top of the Hydro-Flex32 fabric, which already has two layers of DWR (Durable Water Repellant Coatings). Rubberized zippers and fully seam-sealed construction ensure a completely water-proof experience. I stopped short of running around in my sprinklers to test it out, but Galway Bay offers a 2-year warranty should something go awry.
A primary complaint of lower-end rain gear is that it can feel crunchy and clammy as a result of cheaper fabrics and an inner membrane layer which sits next to the skin. One benefit of the Hydro-Flex32 fabric is it feels more like a traditional wind jacket, and I suppose softer is the appropriate adjective.
The Westport Half Sleeve is available in two colorways – Grey/Black and Black/Grey. It is priced at $229 (includes a pair of Teflon coated thermal sleeves) and is currently available at GalwayBay.com
I’ll grant you that backpacks aren’t golf gear per se; however, golfers need backpacks like most anyone else, and so there ya go.
Prillaman doesn’t expect to sell massive quantities of the backpack. At $199, it’s a big ask. Furthermore, it’s purposefully over-engineered with a myriad of pockets, compartments, and indestructible ballistic nylon construction. It’s designed to withstand decades of use and abuse. There’s room for your laptop, iPad, and a full assortment of notepads, books, snacks, and anything one would reasonably want to carry to or from the office (or wherever else you need to go).
With that, Prillaman chose to go this route to have an option for reduced-price, bulk purchases (e.g., golf tournament gifts) and as a resume builder to give evidence of the quality and construction which is indicative of everything Galway Bay produces.
Being prepared to play in wind, rain, cold and whatever else Mother Nature might throw at you isn’t optional for the serious golfer and Galway Bay may not be the behemoth that Under Armour or Nike is, but then again, we don’t hand out awards to the biggest brands, just the best.