• Greg Carey

Nike Polo Review

Does fabric make the polo? Well here at oncoursestyle, it certainly plays a major factor. In the second part of our review series, I take a look at Nike Golf, and their Dri-FIT fabric(s). Dri-FIT technology is the major tech in all of Nike’s polo, but what exactly is it?

Nike describes Dri-Fit as “an innovative polyester fabric designed to help keep you dry so you can more comfortably work harder, longer. Dri-FIT's unique high-performance microfiber construction supports the body’s natural cooling system by wicking away sweat and dispersing.”

During a deep dive into Nike.com I took a look into all of Nike’s Dri-FIT selection. There are several variations of Victory, Vapor, and Player polos along with The Nike Polo and TW Dri-FIT ADV. The polos range from 100% to Poly/Nylon blends. There’s a lot of options. But at Oncourstyle, we try to make your choice easier.


Various iterations of Nike’s Dri-Fit



Price


Mainstream or big brand polos as I like to refer to them are generally much cheaper than luxury golf wear. At 65 dollars new, Nike has several serviceable options for the weekend golfer. Are they ugly? Well, that’s a different story. The polos range up to about 90 dollars for anything branded with TW, which is fair because it’s Tiger Woods. I would be remiss to say I didn’t own at least a few red polos. The price is very reasonable. Whether it’s a gift for your partner, a family member, or A friend, Nike clocks in right in the everyman zone


I’ll score it: 8/10


Quality


Now here is where the chickens come to roost. “Dri-FIT is life!” This is what I think they scream during design meetings at Nike HQ. Dri-FIT is an evolution of Zonal Cooling, but I’m pretty sure it’s mostly the same tech. It’s polyester. They didn’t invent the stuff. Now what they do with that poly is the real story.



The Lowdown


Nike has several types of polo, with varying combinations of fabrics under the Dri-FIT mantle. They also have their “Nike Polo,” which for me is a no go zone. Their Victory polo is 100% poly, while their Vapor line comes in either 100% poly, 87/13 poly-spandex split, or 61/39 poly- nylon. They has have a Player polo, which is either 87/13 poly-spandex or 59/42 cotton-poly. Tiger has his own Dri-FIT but the fabrics aren’t disclosed, other than “Made to the exact specifications of Tiger Woods.” I’m pretty certain they are either 100% poly, or a similar blend, but can’t be certain.


Too Many Choices


We don’t love having all these choices and believe polo buying should be simpler. So we can choose for you. The Nike Polo, which is their eco-friendly polo, is worthless. Absolutely do not buy. Anything 100% Poly is perfectly fine. The Player polos with their Polo/Spandex blends are an excellent choice. But we do avoid anything nylon or cotton. Either they don't breathe well which is anti- Dri-FIT, or wrinkle easily. TW branded are the front runners for us.


I’ll score it: 5/10




Comfort


I have worn or owned plenty of Nike polos but have moved away from the brand the past few years. TW Zonal Cooling polos along with the Dri-FIT Camo Jacquard and TW Vapor have been my favorites. I can’t seem to get rid of them. Tiger prefers looser-fitting clothing, that lets him move freely throughout the golf swing. Unlike Brooks, or Rory, or J Days, Tigers clothing line skews a little bigger. I found that to be true. The polos don’t pull or grab the shoulders. The silhouette is flattering if a little baggy. Definitely comfortable wear.


Now when we move onto their other polos, especially Brooks’ line, the fabrics feel a little cheaper. They wear tighter, hugging the arms, and pulling at the shoulders. The last time I played in my Zonal Cooling or Dri-Fit Vapor, I was reminded how tight the polos actually are. Feeling the clothing while I play, is a big minus. But the pros play in it! Well, they don’t pay for it. We do. Again, not a deal-breaker, but if you are leaning towards one or the other, I’d definitely lean Tiger.


I never did wear the Cotton/Poly Player polo. I put it on with every intention to. But standing there it was scratchy, it felt hot (in A/C), and it felt tight. If cotton is for you, go for it. But in terms of comfort on the golf course, maybe save it for cooler days.


I’ll score it: 5/10


Style


When Nike left the club manufacturing business in 2016, they decided to reallocate their resources into apparel, specifically shoes. Air Max, Jordans, Victory Tours, Air Zooms, Roche Gs. They have made some pretty great shoes, in some very fun and playful colorways. Their apparel was always attractive, especially their Tiger branded polos.


With the expansion of their clothing line, players like Brooks Koepka, Rory McIlroy, Tommy Fleetwood, and, all got style upgrades. Over the past few years though, Nike has seemingly left their design team to a grade school art class. The blocky, chunky colorways, the weird patterns. Their emphasis is on neons. It’s awful. Simply awful. Over the past two golf seasons, Nike has missed the mark and missed it horribly.


If you need the next Nike release, pick anything muted. Their stripes are fine. Their plain polos are fine. Steer clear of the patterns. Don’t be afraid to look on eBay or a discount golf store. There is plenty of older Nike stuff out there, most of which is great. Tiger’s stuff is still solid, and I think anything with his name on it will always be.


I’ll score it 4/10


Conclusion


I hope I’ve given you enough information to make an informed decision. Checking tags doesn’t make you silly at the golf store, and it's a simple click on the website. Makes sure you know what you are getting when you make your purchase. And just because Nike’s pros are wearing the latest styles on Tour, doesn’t mean you need them. There are better Nike polos. Especially Tiger’s stuff. If that is too pricy, lean into your Poly, or Poly-Spandex blended polos. And never wear neon. If we don’t buy it, they’ll stop making it.


Overall Score: 22/40

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