Top 10 Holiday Gifts
15 NOV 2018
By Peter Mumford
One would think that buying a gift for a golfer would be a pretty easy undertaking. After all, there are thousands of golf related items available – everything from equipment and apparel to gizmos and gadgets.
But the thing is, most avid golfers are pretty picky about what they play and what they wear, so it is always best to check ahead of time to see if the proposed gift would be welcomed or not. If you’re going to be on the receiving end, it’s always best to have a list that you can surreptitiously slip to a spouse or relative to let them know what items have been pre-approved. That saves everyone a lot of hassle and takes the guessing work out of shopping, while you don’t end up with polka dot shorts or another wedge you don’t need.
It’s important to be very specific with the list, too. One year, a non-golfing friend of mine decided to get me a 3-pack of golf gloves. Knowing that I’m right-handed, he got me gloves for my right hand, never realizing, and still not understanding to this day, that right-handed golfers wear a glove on their left hand.
Another reason for the list is to minimize as much as possible, the knick-knack, which I’m pretty sure is never anyone’s first intention, but due to frustration or fatigue at not being able to find the right thing, they buy something golf related on the assumption that because you’re a golfer, you’ll appreciate it.
Case in point: I have a box in the storage room full of small golf knick-knacks that were given to me as desk ornaments, mostly by non-golfers with good intentions. I can’t throw them out, can’t display them and certainly can’t re-gift them. Does anybody need a golfing Santa? Or is it a Santa golfer? I have three of them.
Unless someone is a collector of odds and sods, the knick-knack should never appear on anyone’s list.
Golf shirts, sweaters, jackets and shoes are popular gifts, provided you get the size correct. Pants, skirts and shorts are tougher to do and often require some tailoring. Golf balls are always gratefully accepted and anything in the equipment genre, as long as it can be exchanged for the right specs, is pure gold. Golf bags, travel bags and athletic bags always come in handy. And nobody can ever have enough golf socks. They make great stocking stuffers.
Now as you probably know, all that stuff is available in ClubLink’s online store, but if you’re looking for something that can take your game to the next level, either as a gift for someone else or to add to your own list, here are my Top 10 Holiday Gifts for 2018:
Lessons with the Pro
I know, it’s pretty basic, but even touring professionals need someone to look at their swing. One of the best ways to use this type of gift is to have your pro make a video of your swing and explain it to you. Better understanding of your mechanics is necessary for improvement. Another bonus is that sometime in the future when you’re off-kilter, you can look at that video and say, “Oh ya, that’s how it’s supposed to be.”
Arccos Caddie Smart Sensors
The Arccos folks keep coming up with great new products at affordable prices. These Smart Sensors fit on the end of each club to let you record every shot, then provide valuable stats to help understand your game better. Ideal for golf geeks and anybody interested in improving their game.
The Swing Caddie
The Swing Caddie is a portable launch monitor that uses the same technology (Doppler radar) that teaching professionals use. The big difference is that while a Trackman can cost upwards of $20,000, the Swing Caddie sells for just a few hundred dollars. It’s a great tool to track every facet of your swing and measure swing speed, ball speed, carry distance and smash factor.
A Golf Book
There’s no better way to engage with the game than learning about the history and colourful personalities that have dominated the sport. Amazon has a seemingly limitless selection of golf books but here are half a dozen that are unique and very entertaining:
A Course Called Ireland by Tom Coyne.
Missing Links by Rick Reilly
The Big Miss: My Years Coaching Tiger Woods by Hank Haney
A Life Well Played: My Stories by Arnold Palmer
The Match by Mark Frost
Dream Golf by Stephen Goodwin
The PuttOUT Pressure Putt Trainer
The scientifically shaped parabolic ramp returns missed putts the same distance they would have rolled past the hole, while perfect putts are held in the micro-target. The key to great putting is practice and you can take the PuttOUT anywhere.
A Custom Fitting Session
A couple of weeks ago, we spoke to Cameron Jacobs at TaylorMade about custom fitting. If you missed it, you can read the interview here. Whether you’re looking to buy new clubs in 2019 or just want a better appreciation for all the moving parts in your golf swing, a custom fitting at the TaylorMade Performance Lab is the answer. It’s the most fun you’ll ever have with sensors attached to your body.
The Impact Snap
The biggest difference between good golfers and not-so-good golfers is at the point of impact. If you’re flipping, scooping or chicken-winging, you’ve got a problem. The Impact Snap helps you achieve the perfect impact position every time. It’s small so you can use it indoors all winter and be ready to kick some butt in the Spring.
The Orange Whip Wedge
The Orange Whip Wedge is the result of a collaboration between the developer of the Orange Whip, Jim Hackenberg, and world-renowned short game expert Stan Utley. The Wedge will develop the ability to swing the club and impact the ball with consistency and improve your margin for error. The wedge combines the Orange Whip counter-weighted flexible shaft system with a Stan Utley inspired wedge head to help you maximize your short game around the greens and lower your scores.
A Golf Print
A framed print of your favourite course or some Bucket List destination that you can only dream about makes a great gift and provides inspiration for your next game or next trip. Tony Harris is Canada’s best golf artist and he’s painted a number of ClubLink courses plus top courses around the world.
Golf Ball Whisky Chillers
This is treading dangerously close to the knick-knack category, but everyone needs a last-minute stocking stuffer. The Golf Ball Whisky Chillers won’t break the bank and come in handy when your game is suffering, and you need a boost. (Caution: Do NOT mix GLASS Whisky Chillers with regular golf balls.)
Peter Mumford is the Editor of Fairways Magazine. Follow him on Twitter @FairwaysMag