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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Water in Lake Cowichan just fine, says acting mayor

Tim McGonigle said there is no truth to rumours of water advisories

Cowichan Caps help BCHL score commitment record

The BCHL saw 172 players commit to post-secondary institutions this past season

Murray Hatfield and Teresa present evening of magic and comedy streaming live May 29

The Duncan Volunteer Fire Department is inviting you to an evening of magic and comedy

Chemainus animal sanctuary needs your vote in nationwide contest

RASTA is up for $5,000 from Nutram; contest runs until May 31

Woman charged in fatal accident back in court on June 2

Sara Rosetta Thomas faces six charges in 2018 incident

B.C. legislature coming back June 22 as COVID-19 emergency hits record

Pandemic restrictions now longer than 2017 wildfire emergency

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

B.C.’s essential grocery, hardware store employees should get pandemic pay: retail group

Only B.C.’s social, health and corrections workers are eligible for top-ups

Edmonton, Vancouver and Toronto vying to be NHL hubs, but there’s a catch

The NHL unveiled a return-to-play plan that would feature 24 teams

As SD84 schools look to reopen, Kyuquot and Zeballos opt out

Schools in Tahsis and Gold River will open on June 1, with 30 per cent students expected to come in

B.C. sees 9 new COVID-19 cases, one death as officials watch for new cases amid Phase Two

Number of confirmed active cases is at 244, with 37 people in hospital

Illicit-drug deaths up in B.C. and remain highest in Canada: chief coroner

More than 4,700 people have died of overdoses since B.C. declared a public health emergency in early 2016

CMHC sees declines in home prices, sales, starts that will linger to end of 2022

CMHC said average housing prices could fall anywhere from nine to 18 per cent in its forecast

B.C. Paralympian named to Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame

Three-time world and Paralympic gold medalist Sonja Gaudet is part of 11-member class

Most Read