The new Rain Rooster rain golf glove is the answer to a question you only think about when it’s raining. And even then you might not think to ask it.
And that question is: Why the hell can’t anyone make a rain glove that, you know, works?
The answer, courtesy of the gang at Red Rooster, is you can make a rain glove that works.
But you have to want to.
The problem is, however, that making a rain glove that works isn’t as simple as it may seem.
Started during the height of the pandemic by two Canadians—one a serial entrepreneur, the other a PGA TOUR pro—Red Rooster was a surprise top finisher in last year’s MyGolfSpy Performance Glove Buyer’s Guide. Co-founders Kerry Moher and Brad Fritsch think they cracked the code and have delivered a rain glove you won’t hate.
In fact, it might even be one you like.
The Rain Glove Quandary
Rain gloves are the kind of thing that, when you buy them, you hope you never have to use them. First, no one really likes playing in the rain. And second, by and large, rain gloves suck.
“We wanted to make a rain glove that people will buy and use, not just buy,” says cofounder Brad Fritsch. “I always had a pair of rain gloves in my bag but I never used them. They weren’t great.”
Fritsch says he used his rain gloves exactly one time on Tour and had just a miserable day. “It went about as bad as it could go for a golfer. After I made a double bogey on a 300-yard par-4, I said, ‘Never again.’”
Rain gloves seem to be almost an afterthought for mainstream glove companies. They’re usually made from a thick suede-like material and need to be wet to actually provide you with any tackiness. Fritsch and Red Rooster co-founder Kerry Moher figured they could do better. They soon understood why the whole “afterthought” thing.
“There isn’t a rain glove on the market that a pro wears,” says Moher. “They just rotate through leather gloves because they’re not going to sacrifice feel just to keep their hands dry.”
And therein lies the quandary. If you want feel, you give up dry. If you want dry, you give up feel.
“There are gloves on the market that do keep water out but you won’t be able to play golf in them,” says Moher. “There isn’t any feel. You’re just going to have dry hands and will play shitty golf.”
The Rain Rooster Accommodation
To make the Rain Rooster work, Fritsch and Moher had to come up with something thin enough so you could actually feel the club but thick enough to keep your hands dry. That took some doing.
“There’s always some sort of tradeoff,” says Moher. “Most rain gloves do a really good job with grip but you really can’t feel it. That’s where we tried to go with the thinnest possible material in the palm and a thicker material where we needed it.”
Oh, and one more thing. It has to look like a golf glove someone would want to wear.
“We tried several different materials on every spot on the glove,” says Moher. “We had a lot of iterations where the glove was bomb-proof but you couldn’t close your fingers and you couldn’t feel the club in your hands.”
That’s why the Rain Rooster has the thinnest material Moher and Fritsch could find that could also keep the water out.
“We’re a little bit thicker on the top where we can protect your hands and keep the elements out but the palm is super, super thin,” says Moher.
That delivers the feel, but to keep the tack when wet, Moher and Fritsch added the most Red Rooster touch imaginable: an entire barnyard worth of red silicone roosters on the palm and fingers.
“We had to do that for the tack you need to keep your grip in the rain,” explains Moher.
Waterproof Versus Water-Resistant
When would you actually need a really good pair of rain gloves? Well, maybe on that bucket list trip to Bandon or St Andrews. You’re playing come hell or high water, so all of a sudden a good rain glove comes in handy.
“We call them water-resistant,” says Moher. “We did have a version that was literally waterproof but we had too much material between the fingers. Eventually, we went with a sort of Spandex for a bit of stretch and breathability.”
Water-resistant means that, in a downpour, your hands probably will get damp. But in most conditions, you’ll stay dry. And don’t discount the importance of breathability. Moher and Fritsch learned that while testing the Rain Rooster in Indonesia, where most golf gloves are made.
“We went there during the rainy season and it rains every day and it’s hot,” says Moher. “We learned some of the early prototypes couldn’t breathe. The rain wasn’t getting in but our hands were sweating like crazy.”
Red Rooster started the Rain Rooster project two years ago and wanted to have it ready for last spring. After three iterations, Moher and Fritsch were confident they had a winner. But on-course testing on a particularly rainy day sent them back to the drawing board.
“It was a crappy, crappy day and we found a couple of flaws we hadn’t foreseen,” says Moher. “We had to make changes and missed the 2022 season because of it. We could have released a version of the glove that was probably 80 percent of the way there. But we also knew if we made the necessary changes, the Rain Rooster would be 100 percent there.”
The Rain Rooster was released that fall. And despite missing the entire season, it’s sold well over the winter.
Little Things Matter
The Rain Rooster went through a total of five iterations before coming to market. To make sure their glove passed all the tests, Fritsch and Moher paid attention to all the details, no matter how small.
“We tried different things on the thumb,” says Moher. “The thumb is actually an important piece. We ultimately came back with a thinner material. We tried lots of different things between the fingers, too, and settled on something that allowed for a bit of stretch and breathability.”
“Like everything else we’ve done, we set out to solve a problem,” adds Fritsch.
That attention to detail even spreads to the glove’s cuff, where they took inspiration from scuba-diving gloves. The wrist is where water comes in and, if you’re wearing the glove all day, it can chafe. The Rain Rooster features a soft enclosure that not only keeps water out but stays comfy for a full round.
From a chafe-free, watertight cuff and silicone roosters on the palm to an ultra-thin palm and Spandex between the fingers, it’s safe to say very, very few put this much thought into a freaking rain glove. Fortunately for Red Rooster, it had no status quo to get in the way.
“We started from zero,” says Fritsch. “So we put more thought in than maybe companies that have been doing it for a long time.”
The Rain Rooster: Two Important Questions
Have you ever wondered why rain gloves are always black and always sold in pairs? Or did those questions just occur to you?
The Rain Rooster is sold in pairs on the theory that it’s better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it.
“I’ve never worn two gloves except when it’s a torrential downpour and it’s battle golf. You’re just trying to get back to the clubhouse,” says Moher. “We asked our customers and it was pretty split between one and two gloves. It was a dead heat so we decided to sell them in pairs.”
As for why rain gloves are always black, neither Fritsch nor Moher could answer.
“That’s something we looked at,” says Moher. “We wanted something different that would stand out.”
“I think it’s the weather and maybe the mud,” adds Fritsch. “Maybe there’s a concern they’d get all muddy and stained.”
Moher does think it might be a material issue. They tried finding waterproof and water-resistant materials in red but couldn’t find them in the quantities they needed.
Red Rooster’s Rain Rooster: Final Thoughts, Price and Availability
As both Moher and Fritsch readily admit, rain gloves are traditionally something we golfers really don’t want to use. Part of the reason is we don’t want to play in the rain. And the other part is rain gloves usually, well, suck.
We’ll be testing the Rain Rooster throughout the season. But if Red Rooster’s other gloves are any indication, we can expect solid performance and a remarkably long life.
And it’ll be something that stands out. I mean, who else has rain gloves with black palms and red silicone chickens on the palm? Don’t know about you but I can’t wait for the first monsoon of the season.
The Rain Rooster is available on the Red Rooster website. They go for $31 per pair or $27.90 as part of Red Rooster’s unique subscription program.
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