Galvin Green is coming to America! No, this isn’t a sequel to that classic 1988 movie with Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall. Rather, Galvin Green is the latest Swedish golf apparel brand to land on U.S. shores with a range of stylish and functional high-performance gear.
If you live in Europe, you probably already know about the goodness that is Galvin Green. For those of you in the U.S. who are hearing about the brand for the first time, let this serve as your introduction to the
Mercedes-Benz Bentley of golf outerwear.
Galvin Green has been one of those brands that has intrigued me over the years. Stories of its exemplary performance can be found all over golf discussion forums. Flip on a European Tour event, and you will likely find several players sporting the brand’s sleek and trendy designs. However, due to its lack of distribution in the U.S. until recently, Galvin Green has taken on a mythical existence. Heck, you were more likely to see Bigfoot and the Lochness Monster co-piloting a UFO than finding Galvin Green in a U.S. pro shop.
My first Galvin Green ‘sighting’ was at Bandon Dunes a couple of years ago. My caddie for my four rounds wore a Galvin Green jacket and pants under his caddie suit. He said he had owned them for 10 years and wouldn’t set foot on one of Bandon’s courses without them. He also mentioned that another brand gave all the caddies rain suits, but he gave his away.
A few things struck me about this that speak volumes about Galvin Green’s performance. (1) If anyone knows cold, wet and blustery conditions, it’s caddies at Bandon Dunes. (2) A FREE rain suit from another brand? No, thanks. He didn’t want it. (3) After 10 years, the Galvin Green jacket and pants were still going strong.
Layering It On Thin
Over the years, Galvin Green has perfected a layering system for golf that works from the inside out. This multilayer concept consists of thin, interchangeable layers that are fabricated from various cutting-edge materials. Each layer works in concert with the others to provide warmth, breathability and moisture management.
Depending on conditions, a player could choose from the brand’s range of SKINTIGHT™ compression base layers that are designed to move moisture away from the skin for comfort. Then a player can choose between a warm or cool mid-layer that regulates body temperature and provides a high level of breathability. In cool and wet weather, a shell layer fabricated from GORE-TEX® or WINDSTOPPER® can be worn on top of this intermediate layer to protect against rain and wind, while allowing excess heat and moisture to escape.
Galvin Green Duke Jacket
Now that Galvin Green has arrived in the U.S., I recently had the chance to delve into the brand’s high-performance apparel with the Duke jacket. The Duke is one of the brand’s highly versatile mid-layer pieces. Over the last few weeks, I’ve worn it both as an outer layer piece over a polo in cool conditions and as a mid-layer piece under a rain jacket in cold and wet conditions.
One look at the Duke and your eyes will be immediately drawn to the bold, color blocked design. The contrasting red zipper, piping across the chest and down the sleeves, and Galvin Green logos add some serious pop to the Duke. The Galvin Green designers did a great job of balancing these colorful, yet subtle details against the white and navy color blocking. The result is an aggressive and athletic look that is sure to appeal to a wide range of golfers.
That being said, it is easy to get caught up in the fashion-forward stylings of the Duke, but this jacket is more than a pretty face. The sleek and modern design is the perfect package for the high performance technology that is housed within the Duke. Galvin Green’s designers chose to fabricate the Duke from the brand’s INSULA™ fabric. INSULA is a highly advanced textile that provides a thin, lightweight layer of warmth. It is so advanced, I’m not sure it is actually from this planet.
The waffle-like texture of the INSULA fabric is soft, light and airy. The fibers have built-in air chambers, which are warmed by body heat. They lock in heat and provide long-lasting thermal insulation. At the same time, these space-age fibers allow excess heat and moisture to be released. The result is a warm and comfortable round of golf.
The performance and playability of the Duke is superb. The thin, lightweight characteristics of the INSULA fabric eliminate the need for multiple bulky layers. I comfortably wore the Duke over a short-sleeve polo a few weeks ago when temperatures where in the high 40s. Normally, this California guy would require a base layer, wool sweater and jacket in those temps. The stretchiness of the fabric not only allows for a snug fit and clean silhouette, but it also allows for it to be layered under a thin rain jacket, as I did the other day. Plus the t-neck design protects the neck against blustery winds and the fabric tab at the top of the zipper prevents it from irritating the chin.
Galvin Green’s quality really shines through in the construction of the Duke. While other brands are cutting corners and saving money with sublimated graphics and designs, Galvin Green has used a cut-and-sew technique with the Duke where each of the color blocked panels are sewn together to create the design. That piping I mentioned on the chest and shoulders of the Duke is actually rolled fabric, not the screen-printed attempt at piping that other brands are using.
I find that most people don’t try new brands because they are unsure about the fit and sizing. I had a bit of an internal debate about ordering my normal medium or sizing up to a large on the Duke. Most of the discussions on forums only added to my confusion, as some people said order your normal size, while others said to size up. I sized up to a large (when in doubt, order up) and I’m glad I did. I still get the snug fit through the chest and shoulders that I like, and the stretch of the fabric allows for a full range of motion when I reach for a little extra on the driver swing. The sleeves are trim through the forearms and hit perfectly just above the wrists. It is easy to see that the Duke was designed specifically for golfers by golfers at Galvin Green.
With all of this style and technology, it is not surprising that Galvin Green outerwear is some of the most expensive on the market. The Duke jacket retails for about $190 and it is not uncommon for the brand’s rain jackets to top out anywhere from $300 – $500 USD. Too expensive? That’s for you to decide, but just remember that my caddie at Bandon Dunes hasn’t hit the links without his Galvin Green gear for 10 years. What I do know is that the Duke is just the first of Galvin Green’s top-shelf apparel that I’ll be adding to my wardrobe.