When someone becomes a golfer, as opposed to a person who only occasionally plays golf, it can quickly become an all-consuming interest. Family and friends see the change happen. Such players not only play more golf, they watch more golf, talk about golf more often (like, all the time), and tend to spend more of their disposable income on golf gear. Okay, it can become an obsession. But there are worse things, right?
If one of your friends or loved ones is a golfer who fits this description, you may be tempted to choose a golf-related gift for him or her this holiday season. And well you should! Here are some ideas for golfer gifts that are sure to elicit smiles when the wrapping paper is torn off. And if you use this list to choose a gift for yourself, well then you are definitely a golfer!
Custom Club-Fitting Session
If your giftees are still using 10-year-old clubs, the fastest way they can make golf more enjoyable is to upgrade their sticks to ones that fit their swings and builds. Many local PGA professionals offer custom club-fitting services, as do companies like Club Champion, True Spec, and GOLFTEC, who have studios all around the country. Retailers like Golf Galaxy and PGA Tour Superstore will be happy to sell you certificates for club-fitting sessions, too.
Maybe your golfer loves his/her clubs and would rather five-putt than replace them. But how about upgrading to a new set of grips? Experts recommend replacing grips once a year—or every 40–50 rounds. The winter months are the perfect time to regrip clubs, and you have a host of good choices, including Golf Pride’s MCC and Tour Velvet lines, SuperStroke’s Cross Comfort, and Lamkin’s Sonar Tour models. Then there’s the brand-new X1-Grip from BRD, whose two-layer construction promises a softer feel and more stability. Again, grips can be sized to best fit your golfer’s hands and preference. You could also consider a certificate for a new putter grip to help rekindle their flat stick’s magic. Jumbo grips like those from SuperStroke get high marks.
Speaking of putters, every real golfer knows that you can never have too many wands. You’ll need to do some snooping, though, as every player has different preferences—and again, choosing one that has the right length, loft, and lie is important. There are literally hundreds of choices. PING has a new line for 2023 that includes updated versions of some of its famous designs, like its Anser and Kushin models. TaylorMade’s MySpider Tour and MySpider GT are customizable versions from their popular Spider line. And of course there are Scotty Cameron putters, including its new Monoblok mallets and its My Girl putter, which debuted in a limited edition in November and sports colorful floral engravings.
Drivers aren’t cheap. Premium drivers can cost up to $700 these days. And again, proper fitting is important. But if your golfer hasn’t upgraded his or her big stick in a while, the performance gains can be substantial. Titleist’s new TSR line offers clubhead options tuned for different levels of players, all of which promise improved aerodynamics and maximum performance. PING drivers are known for their forgiveness and performance, too, and its new G430 drivers with their variable-thickness forged faces are no exception. Callaway calls its new ultra-lightweight version of the Great Big Bertha its most technologically advanced driver ever. (With a retail price of $699, it better be.) TaylorMade’s Stealth drivers introduced carbon fiber faces to drivers in 2021, and their high energy-transfer properties have made them favorites, too. Put any one of these under the tree and you’ll be a holiday hero.
Golf shoes have changed a lot since the days when kilties were in vogue. Today’s shoes are lighter, come in a wider variety of styles, and offer performance features unheard of before athletic shoes became science experiments. Among America’s favorites are FootJoy’s Tour Alpha, Pro SL, and Premiere series shoes; the classic, three-stripe adidas Tour360 model; ECCO GOLF’s latest sneaker-style shoe, the BIOM C4; and Under Armour’s UA HOVR and UA Charged shoes. Looking for something a little different? Check out Cole Haan’s Men’s ØriginalGrand Tour and Women’s Grand PrøAM Golf Sneaker.
With the advent of quick-dry performance fabrics, the world of golf slacks, shirts/blouses, and shorts/skorts made a quantum leap forward. Suddenly, what you wore could affect what you’d shoot—or at least that’s what golf clothing marketers would have you believe. You’ll have to be the judge of whether that’s true or not, but it’s undeniably true that the range of colors and styles on the market today has made golf not only more fashionable, but more appealing to a wider range of people. All the big golf brands are in the clothing business today—FootJoy, Nike, Callaway, and the others. But golf togs from other upscale brands have emerged, too, including Peter Millar, TravisMathew, Ralph Lauren—even lululemon. Then there’s smaller brands that are big in quality, like Turtleson, Rhoback, Holderness & Bourne, and B. Draddy. Visit any golf retailer or online shop and you’ll find dozens of gift-worthy options.
Having a good-looking golf bag is another way to make a fashion statement on the links. But modern golf bags are as much about function as style. Players who walk want a stand bag with sturdy legs, just enough storage, and a strap system that makes it easy to tote for 18 holes. Sun Mountain’s Boom Stand Bag, new for 2023, fits that bill perfectly and comes in five different color combinations. Vessel’s new VLX 2.0 bags are another good choice thanks to their sleek design and patented rotator stand system. If your golfer is a rider, you’ll want to look at cart bags. Again, Sun Mountain and Vessel have nice offerings, along with PING’s Pioneer model. And the TaylorMade Cart Lite bag weighs just five pounds, so it’s easy to heave around.
Knowing the precise distance to the target isn’t something that most GPS units can do—that’s the purview of the rangefinder. Having one can cut strokes and increase confidence, so if your golfer doesn’t have one, they can be a great (if not inexpensive) gift. Among the models to consider: the Leupold GX-4iA2, the Bushnell Pro X3, the Nikon COOLSHOT PROII, Garmin’s Approach Z82, and Voice Caddie’s SL2 Active Hybrid GPS Laser Rangefinder, the official rangefinder of the LPGA.
Every serious golfer should have some golf art hanging around, whether in a living room, powder room, or man cave. Lee Wybranski’s custom prints and posters feature iconic major championship venues, including Augusta National, the Old Course at St. Andrews, and many others. They’re colorful and have a vintage, timeless feel. At Art.com you’ll find prints of images from across golf history, including golf arcania like club patent drawings and black and white photos of golf’s pantheon through the ages. For traditional images, the world’s best golf photographers sell prints of golf courses across the continents in various sizes and styles—the collection of prints in the LINKS Shop is a great place to start.
Perhaps the most thoughtful gift you could give to any golfer would be a series of lessons with a good instructor. It truly is the gift that keeps on giving. Every PGA professional has been trained to instruct players of all abilities—and some of the better ones do nothing else. The PGA of America has a “Find a Coach” section on its website that can help you choose one in your area. Another option, GOLFTEC, has built its business on helping players improve and has locations all around the country. Dave Pelz offers two- and three-day Scoring Game Schools that focus on wedge play, chip and bunker shots, and putting. Again, there’s likely to be a location close to you.
What is the greatest golf gift you’ve ever received?