AT THE TURN: Need to give a golf gift but don’t get the game? Help is here

AT THE TURN: Need to give a golf gift but don’t get the game? Help is here

Buying a gift for a golfer can be a stressful ordeal to the point that people won’t bother

For anyone unfamiliar with the game, buying a gift for a golfer can be a stressful and intimidating ordeal — so much so that many people won’t bother, reasoning that the links-obsessed loved one in question can just get what they want themselves.

Sound logic, that. A Golf Town gift card always works for me.

But here’s the thing: it’s not that tough. With just a little advice, it’s easy to ace buying a golf gift, even if you don’t know a fairway from a Ferrari. So if you’re under the gun with just days to go until Christmas, keep reading. We’ll get through this together.

Clubs and balls

Default position: don’t bother, especially if your player is an experienced one. There’s a dizzying array of options available out there, and few golf components are as personal and player-particular as golf balls and the clubs they use to hit them.

That said, if you’re bound and determined to give a driver, a wedge, a putter or a complete set, contact his or her club pro shop or the nearest Golf Town, GolfTec or boutique outfit and tell them you want to give a custom fitting for Christmas. www.golftown.com, www.golftec.com

Golf balls are a little easier, if you follow a simple rule: the better the player, the more expensive the ball. Top-tier spheres like Titleist’s Pro V1, TaylorMade TP5 or Callaway Chrome Soft are always a safe bet — even the pickiest golfer will tee up any of them. Cheaper, lower-tier balls that offer low spin and put a premium on distance are for higher handicappers.

Golf-bag swag

Sneak a peek at your beneficiary’s golf bag. What do you see? Ratty, dirty headcovers or anything resembling Garfield, a beer can or a “Family Guy” character? A sleek leather replacement from Dormie Workshop would fit the bill — just make sure you know which club you’re looking to protect (driver, fairway wood or hybrid). Halifax-based Dormie also makes customized yardage book covers, valuables pouches and alignment stick covers to trick out that pair of plastic rods you might see jutting out the top of the bag. www.dormieworkshop.com

Game and swing trackers

If your golfer is the analytical, DIY student-of-the-game type and keeps one eye on a smartphone all the time, consider putting one of the hottest game-improvement gadgets on the market under the tree. Here’s three to take a close look at.

For the golfer who wants to keep hands-free tabs on scores, statistics like greens in regulation, average driving distance and miss percentages, the second-generation Arccos 360 system is a can’t-miss winner. Low-profile sensors attach to each club and sync with a smartphone, tracking each stroke and mapping them on an overhead, Google Maps-style view of the course. For an extra $63 a year, the Arccos Caddie feature uses all that data to recommend the best club selections and strategies on the fly, even when playing a course for the first time. www.arccos.com

For someone who’s constantly looking to improve their putting, the Blast Motion system offers the best combination of value and sophistication. While it can assess full-swing shots, it really shines on the practice green, tracking stroke speed, face rotation, lie angle and myriad other data points, matching it all up with video for a detailed, real-time lesson. www.blastmotion.com

And for a range rat with a social side, the latest generation of Zepp swing sensor offers a 3D simulation that tracks swing path, clubhead speed and hip turn, all from your smartphone. A new on-course mode lets players use Zepp while playing, for an enlightening look at how one’s swing changes from the practice tee to the first tee. www.zeppgolf.com.

More golf shirts? Really?

Yes, really. We never have enough. Look at it this way: It’s a safe bet that no matter their age or gender, your golfer has left the house at some point looking like something out of “Caddyshack.” Here’s your chance to exact some of your own sartorial influence. U.S. manufacturer Antigua offers a wide array of men’s and women’s golf attire, including authentic Solheim Cup gear, that boasts high-tech, moisture-wicking Desert Dry Xtra Lite fabric — the go-to material of choice for golf garb these days, and the perfect replacement for that pit-stained, puce-yellow polo in Dad’s closet. www.antiguashop.com

On-course treats

You probably already know golfers are, by and large, a few balls shy of a full bucket when it comes to the game. But that doesn’t mean we don’t love stocking stuffers — and stuffing our faces. Here’s a couple of golf-specific goodies perfect for sticking in that sock.

Beef jerky is big in pro golf these days, for a bunch of reasons: it keeps well, it’s low-carb and low-mess, and easy to gnaw on between shots. It’s even better when it tastes good, not like a hunk of road tar. Enter Chef’s Cut Real Jerky, which is not only delicious, it’s got golf in its DNA: Chef’s Cut was co-founded by former pro Dennis Riedel and graces the pro-shop shelves at iconic courses like Pebble Beach and Pinehurst. www.chefscutrealjerky.com

Hydration is important, too. Consider the way PGA Tour superstar Jason Day does it — with a tasty packet of SwingOil, a “dietary supplement for golf” loaded with stuff like swing-easy glucosamine and chondroitin, inflammation-fighting turmeric and taurine for energy.

SwingOil comes in three flavours: lemon-lime, orange and strawberry-banana. Toss the single-serving pouches in the freezer overnight and they’ll be nice and slushy by the 10th tee. www.swingoil.com

James McCarten, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Search and rescue crews from all over Vancouver Island responded to calls to assist with the search for a 19 year-old man with medical issues who got lost on trails in the south end of Duncan on Nov. 21. The man was found Sunday morning and taken to hospital for assessment. (Submitted photo)
Duncan man rescued after getting lost on local trails

19-year-old taken to hospital for assessment

New estimated figures from Elections BC peg the number of registered voters in 2020 at 54.4 per cent. (Black Press Media File)
2020 provincial election sets historical low turnout

Just over 1.9 million registered voters cast ballots in 2020

Firefighters try to put out a structure fire on the Island Highway in Nanoose Bay early Saturday morning. (Nanoose Bay Volunteer Fire Department photo)
Horses in nearby stable saved as building burns down in Nanoose Bay

Firefighters called out in the early-morning hours Saturday

A sign outside Ucluelet’s Blue Room on Monday morning advises patrons that the restaurant has gone back to take-out only. (Andrew Bailey photo)
Some Ucluelet restaurants heading back to take-out only as COVID-19 concerns rise

Ucluelet mayor Mayco Noel urges residents to be respectul of business owners’ decisions.

A sign at the entrance to Ty-Histanis asks visitors to stay out of the community during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Andrew Bailey photo)
Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation announces lockdown after member tests positive for COVID-19

Essential travel only and restricted to Tofino and Ucluelet.

People wearing face masks to help curb the spread of COVID-19 cross a street in downtown Vancouver, on Sunday, November 22, 2020. The use of masks is mandatory in indoor public and retail spaces in the province. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. reports 17 COVID deaths, 1,933 new cases as hospitalizations surge over the weekend

There are 277 people in hospital, of whom 59 are in ICU or critical care

An aerial shot of Cedar Valley Lodge this past August, LNG Canada’s newest accommodation for workers at the project site in Kitimat. This is where several employees are isolating after a COVID-19 outbreak was declared last Thursday (Nov. 19). (Photo courtesy of LNG Canada)
Forty-one positive COVID-19 cases associated with the LNG Canada site outbreak in Kitimat

Thirty-four of the 41 cases remain active, according to Northern Health

Kwalikum Secondary School. (SD69 photo)
COVID-19 case confirmed at Qualicum Beach high school

Public health staff are completing contact tracing

Cumberland resident Lorna Clark says she's going to treat herself to a roast beef dinner with all the trimmings, after winning $50,000 on a Bingo Blast scratch ticket. Photo supplied
Cumberland lottery winner says first purchase will be a roast beef dinner

Meanwhile, Victoria woman set to share her $100,000 Season’s Greetings lottery win

Workers arrive at the Lynn Valley Care Centre seniors home, in North Vancouver, B.C., on Saturday, March 14, 2020. It was the site of Canada’s first COVID-19 outbreak in a long-term care facility. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Rapid tests ‘not a panacea’ for care homes, Dr. Bonnie Henry says

B.C. lacks capacity for daily tests of thousands of workers

Capital Regional District Animal Control say an eight-month-old Rottweiler bit a Langford mother and her child near Glen Lake on Nov. 19. (Black Press Media file photo)
Large dog menaces mother and child in Langford

Mother puts three-year-old on top of car to protect him when friendly encounter turns scary

The Victoria Police Department headquarters. (Black Press Media file photo)
Investigation launched into man’s death after arrest in Victoria

IIO investigation to determine if police actions or inaction played a role in the man’s death

(Village of Sayward)
Sayward elects new mayor and two council members

New mayor-elect Mark Baker to end 2020’s revolving door in North Island village

A woman being arrested at a Kelowna Value Village after refusing to wear a mask on Nov. 22.(@Jules50278750/Twitter)
VIDEO: Woman arrested for refusing to wear mask at Kelowna Value Village

RCMP claims the woman was uncooperative with officers, striking them a number of times and screaming

Most Read