Now comes Paul Azinger on video, urging me to try a golf shirt that promises to make me run faster and jump higher … no, no, that’s PF Flyers, still making cool sneakers in throwback styles with a modern vibe …
It all begins to run together, out there in the socialsphere, but what I think Azinger means to say is the shirt will make me stronger and last longer and thereby help me play better golf in stylish moisture-wicking comfort.
The company is Energy Athletic (EA), and you can read for yourself at Energy Athletic Golf [2017 note: dead link] to get the gloss on the science behind the enterprise. Because, you see, this is no ordinary shirt … it’s charged with negative ions.
If you take it on faith that the shirt really is infused with negative ions, then the next step is accepting the advertised benefits, the main one being increased power in “repetitive, short-duration, high-intensity exercise, very similar to movements used throughout the golf swing.”
First off, the IonX shirts are attractive, comfortable and apparently well-constructed, and at $49.95 (short sleeves) and $59.95 (long), they are not overpriced at all by golf-shirt standards and a damn bargain, as you’ll see, in the universe of negative-ion apparel.
Azinger is a veteran PGA Tour pro, Ryder Cup captain, television analyst and, now, if not an expert, at least a believer in negative-ion electromagnetics.
If there’s not much (any) real science in Azinger’s vid, neither is there in the jargon-rich text that talks the talk.
There are side-by-side photos of the Rothschild Static-Voltmeter readings that “prove” negative ions are conclusively present in EA’s 95/5 polyester/Spandex blend vs. some low-tech regular golf shirt.
So far, I’ve worn the shirt for a football game, as a spectator on a cold day, and one round of golf.
Does negative-ion technology work? The shirt I was sent to try out didn’t come with an owner’s manual, so I didn’t find quick answers to questions such as:
“Do you have to wear it next to your skin to realize its benefits?”
“Does the negative ionic field wash out in the laundry?” (EA says no, but it also says you can put the garment in a dryer, which, you will hear, might or might not be a no-no if you want the full negative-ion effect ).
These and other cosmic dilemmas are kicked around to no verifiable conclusion on retail sites like NegativeIonClothing.com and Dress for Health [note: another dead link] and on forums where professional skeptics and woo-woo true believers insult each other.
After I finally played a round of golf in the shirt, I was most interested in an answer to the question, “Why didn’t it knock 10 strokes off my score?”
That, there, is the unanswerable, after one round, but you’ll never hear me say this handsome, comfortable Energy shirt will never improve my game. And who’s to say those PF Flyers didn’t make me run faster and jump higher?
So: Wear this shirt, think good thoughts, practice your short game, and one day you too will play better golf. You might owe it all to negative ions.