What's the biggest day on the calendar for golfers? Can't be Christmas. Round 1 of the Masters? Your first tee time of the year? Your club's member-guest tournament?
For those of us who are real golf junkies, it's the summer solstice. If you aren't at work, you can play as many holes as your locale allows. Some ambitious souls will do 100-hole hikes to celebrate the occasion and maybe raise a little money for a personal cause. Others will schedule trips to Alaska or Norway or Dornoch and play golf practically around the clock.
It's hard to play just 18 holes in a day when playing links in the U.K. Too much daylight for just one round. Furthermore, I've played 45 or 54 holes on numerous occasions in Michigan. The multi-course resorts and long, cool summer days make a compelling case for simply not putting the clubs away until you can see no longer.
So what do you need to play a lot of golf? Hydration. Protein. Stretching. Sunscreen! Lay off the range balls and practice swings. Pace yourself. Be generous giving putts.
How about comfort?
We talk a lot about the runaway train that is golf equipment, but we forget to recognize how much farther apparel and comfort has come, too. Shirts were once heavy and baggy. I still recall the first time I put on metal spikes and went to the local driving range. The click-clack made me feel like a real golfer. Doesn't mean they were comfortable.
My mind raced through all this when I recently opened up a pair of new golf shoes just in time for summer, the new Ecco Biom 3 Hybrid GTX (MSRP $200). It's been a few years since i've worn Ecco golf shoes (though I'm more recently a wearer of their dress and casual street shoes). Upon first inspection opening the box, I was expecting those round little nubs on the bottom that were on my previous pair. What I saw instead were waves. It's Ecco's new Tri-Fi-Grip, which has separate zones for comfort, stability and rotational support. The sole design also helps you transition from the course to off.
The Biom Hybrids are very light. The premium Yak leather looks sharp and feels soft. They're moldable with a low-to-ground construction and need virtually no time to break in compared to sportier shoes. Using Fluidform technology, Ecco promises a long-lasting shoe. They certainly feel strong and durable and are made with quality materials. They might not look as waterproof as other shoes with a firmer body, but a thin line of Gore-Tex membrane between the leather upper and lining provides moisture protection.
When the calendar turns to fall and wet fairways return, I'll probably break out a more rigid, athletic pair of golf shoes (Ecco does make the Biom G3 with soft spikes, by the way). But for the hot days of summer, where an afternoon on the course can blend into a long evening in the town or meeting up with the family at a park, I'll be wearing the Biom Hybrids. They came in especially handy on a recent buddies trip to San Diego where we walked 18 in the morning, had lunch, then walked an executive course in the afternoon, followed by dinner and drinks. Virtually no time to even change shoes. They fit the bill for summer, and in particular for the walking golfers amongst us who can't get enough of the game in one day.