Boobs and birdies: In search of the perfect golf bra

You’re invited to help GottaGoGolf design the perfect golf bra! Read on — and take the survey.

Image of a golf braBEN WRIGHT famously lost his broadcasting job 20 years ago for saying, among other things, that breasts get in the way of the golf swing. “Women,” he said in an interview, “are handicapped by having boobs.”

I’ve since played golf with Ben. Not only is he a lovely man, he made a good point. “It’s not easy for (women) to keep their left arm straight, and that’s one of the tenets of the game,” he elaborated. “Their boobs get in the way.” There have been many days when my golf swing felt awkward because it seemed my boobs were getting in the way. One day, while warming up for a media event, I even said this to the teaching pro on the scene. He said, “Well, do you swing over or under?” I had never thought about this before. Unfortunately, it seems that most teaching pros haven’t either. This one advised me to make a choice and stick with it.

I chose “over,” and here’s a video that might help women pondering the same quandary.

Unsurprisingly, golf being a male bastion and all, no one has published research on how, or even whether, breast size impacts the full swing, chipping and putting. With the importance of the backswing and full turn, however, it’s reasonable to think that the bigger the breasts, the bigger the, uh, “handicap,” as Ben would say.

And the logic that follows would be that bras and clothes that minimize the breasts would be useful golf equipment for women. So, the classic compression sports bra should rate as the perfect golf bra.

However, these bras tend to run only in sizes S-M-L-XL, and they can be terribly uncomfortable over the course of 18 holes of golf. They smush not only the boobs, but everything around them.

Smushed boobs are not terribly flattering in those golf clothes on which you spent this year’s pro shop money. Lift, not smush, makes women look thinner and shapelier. But many of the comfortable bras with lift — Playtex bras come to mind — create a sort of unibreast look without separation.

My favorite golf bra is made of polyester, cotton and all-important Spandex to provide distinct separation and strong support. Alas, Cacique seems to have discontinued this model. Other uplifting bras with wires and push-up demi-cups don’t seem terribly practical for golf. Years ago a girlfriend and I took on some guys in a match. I kept moving my underwire around to keep it from poking me.

At the turn, things weren’t going well for us and we popped into the ladies’ room.

“My bra is pinching me,” I said. “I’m taking it off.”

“My panties are chafing,” Lynn said in the next stall. “I’m taking them off.”

We discreetly balled our undergarments into our fists and stashed them in our golf bags. Thus liberated, we kicked ass on the back nine. It was, by the way, a chilly spring afternoon so we were well-bundled.

But it seems there should be some golf bra and golf panties that actually improve on the state of no bra and no panties. So, GottaGoGolf presents the Boobs and Birdies Survey. Please participate: It has just five questions, and entries are anonymous.

We’ll share the results with companies who care about what women wear. Maybe one of them will finally invent the perfect golf bra.

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