The Christmas/Holiday shopping season is officially under way (as opposed to its unofficial start which I think was back in June). This is the time of year when I'm ever so popular. Well, maybe popular isn't the right word - but I do field dozens of calls, texts, tweets, etc. from non-golfers asking what to purchase for the significant golfer in their life. Weird how they never ask what they can get me...but I digress.
This year, the options are more impressive and varied than ever. And so are the ways to acquire these coveted items. Our editorial team will present you a few great gift guides over the next few weeks - they will certainly help steer you in a good direction. You'll see some very popular and always well-received drivers, putters, iron sets, apparel items, etc. Virtually every golfer would be thrilled with anything off these lists that are forthcoming. But to start, I want to offer you a few non-traditional ideas that are aimed at the hardest to shop for golfer - the golfer that has everything. If you've seen some of these recommendations before, there's a reason - it's sincere. These are the five items I recommend to anyone and everyone who asks. And they are always a big hit.
THE PRO SHOPS
The PGA Trade-In Network has joined forces with ebay so that you can, "Buy directly from PGA Professionals. Experts in the game and business of golf." Every piece of equipment you find in The Pro Shops has been verified as authentic by the experts. In essence, you know exactly what you're buying. To visit The Pro Shops on ebay, click here.
5.) Travel cover / Travel bag: Golfers, by nature, love to travel. We love to go to top resorts, different types of courses, take buddy trips, etc. And when we do, we want to know our clubs will arrive in great shape. Of all the golf-related accessories that I would never "skimp" on - this may be it. There are a ton of great options out there. My personal favorite is the Club Glove Last Bag. Yes, it costs a little more up front. But it may be the only travel cover your favorite golfer will ever need.
4.) Colorful pants: Despite what many people think, I'm a pretty conservative dresser. I have several pairs of Nike Dri-fit Golf pants (and they are awesome by the way) and most of my shirts are basic solids. That said, I do love the occasional appearance of my Loudmouth Golf attire - and so apparently do scores of others whenever I wear them. They are not only fun and colorful, they are trendsetting! So many people ask me where I get them and then order some on their own. Also, more mainstream apparel designers seem to be coming out with designs that are bolder, brighter and louder. Whatever you personally think, find a pair of colorful pants for your favorite golfer. I will promise you they won't be the last pair they ask for.
3.) Comfort is king: I recently spent some time with a friend at Kentwool socks. When I first met them, I told them their idea for a premium sock, in a tough economy, with virtually no marketing budget and no real distribution, didn't seem like a strong idea. Just a couple of years later, they outfit a large number of Tour players (including Masters champ Bubba Watson) and now thousands of amateur golfers will not tee it up unless they have their Kentwool socks on. Last year for Christmas, I bought my mom (a non-golfer) 5 pairs. This year, she's asked for more. Good thing I know golf better than I know business. But I never really believed socks would make a difference. I do now.
2.) Display case: Golfers like to brag about where they've played. It's part of our nature and part of what bonds us together as golfers. What we collect varies from golfer to golfer but the most popular items include divot repair tools (logo'd of course), ball markers, flags, pencils, scorecards and probably the most popular item - logo'd golf balls. If your favorite golfer doesn't have a collection and you buy them a display case, they will start one. And then it will become important to them. No question. This is a great gift. Golfsmith has some nice ones at a good price right now.
1.) Golf instruction: The single best gift you can get any golfer - is a better golf game. Seriously. They'll love a new club, new shoes, a trip, etc...but the one gift that will really last will be a lesson plan from a local pro. Use our PGA.com Find a PGA Professional guide to find one near you. (Bonus: If they happen to enjoy a weekly game where wagering might occur, this gift can pay for itself in just a few months!)