Well, it’s that time of year again, when we try to make shopping for the golfer you know a little less stressful.
By Tony Dear
Here’s a selection of items ranging in price from less than 20 bucks to a few hundred that the lucky recipient will love. How do we know? We own or have tried and tested all of them, and can vouch for their quality. There should still be plenty of time to order online but don’t hang about too long because we’ve all heard about shrinking inventory, supply chain issues , etc.
Club Champion Driver Fitting
The last time we featured Club Champion (November, 2017), the company offered over 35,000 hittable club/shaft/grip combinations. Now there are over 50,000 and for Christmas this year, it is offering a package of a Driver fitting, plus the driver and some logoed tees/ball-markers, for $1,000. Putter fitting is available too at $500. Locations in Westminster and Highlands Ranch. clubchampiongolf.com.
PING Punch Foam Practice Balls
Made from rigid foam and designed to mimic the flight of a real golf ball, Ping’s dual-tone foam balls limit distance enabling you to practice in restricted areas. With the Divide coloring (see Gear post from April 7th), spin behavior can be seen providing you with important feedback. $18/dozen, ping.com.
TheraBody Wave Roller
Originally known as Theragun, Therabody set out making percussive massage devices that help golfers (all athletes really) improve flexibility, ease muscle pain, reduce the likelihood of injury and improve posture. The Wave Roller is a full-body roller that combines a unique wave texture and five customizable vibration frequencies for an effective and personalized foam-rolling experience. Three-hour battery life and two-year limited warranty. $150, therabody.com.
G-Tech Heated Hand-Warmer Pouch
Winter golf isn’t much fun if it’s so cold out you can barely feel the club in your hands let alone release it properly. Oversized golf Mittens have been available for ages and do a decent job of facilitating winter play, but G-Tech Apparel’s Heated Hand-Warmer Pouch is next level. Founded in Calgary, Alberta in 2014, G-Tech Apparel makes heating clothing for the outdoor workforce as well as athletes (NFL, CFL, MLB, NBA, PGA, LPGA, NCAA) enabling them to perform close to their best despite the weather. A lithium polymer battery inside the water-resistant pouch, which is lined with a down-alternative, polyfill material, provides the heat which when passed to your hands can help spread warmth throughout the entire body. $155, gtechapparel.com.
Rapsodo Mobile Launch Monitor
Of all the hi-tech gadgets the industry has created in the last decade or so, could the mobile launch monitor and accompanying phone app be the most impressive? Conceiving of, and actually making, a launch monitor of any size is fairly outstanding, but squeezing all the tech into so small a device able to provide you so much information really is extraordinary.
You can set up the Rapsodo MLM either outside or in (just make sure there is an 8ft gap between ball and net) and, using the app, your phone will give you a mountain of stats – overall distance, clubhead speed, ballspeed, launch angle, launch direction, smash factor and so much else besides like video playback, audible feedback, a GPS unit, gapping suggestions, the ability to compete against other MLM users, and a shot library. It is fun and incredibly useful and, best of all, on sale right now. $400, rapsodo.com.
Blue Tees S3Max
We featured Blue Tees and its impressive Series 3 Max Rangefinder last month, drawing attention to the quality of the build, the impressive range (900 yards) and accuracy (+/- one yard), the advanced flag lock and pulse vibration, how clear the screen was and, perhaps most importantly, how good a rangefinder it was for the price. Available in Blue, Pink and Black. $240, blueteesgolf.com.
Vessel Player III Stand Bag
Ronnie Shaw’s father made golf bags for OEMs (Titleist, TaylorMade, Nike, etc.) in Taiwan during the 1980s. After growing up working for his dad and earning a degree in Electrical Engineering, Shaw set up Vessel in Carlsbad, CA in 2012 and built bags for Tour pros – Michelle Wie and Jordan Spieth among them. Made from synthetic micro-fiber, Vessel golf bags seek to be lightweight and durable. The Player III debuted at the end of last year and came with a long list of features:
- Patented Rotator Stand System with new, low-profile base for maximum stability
- Patented self-adjusting Equilibrium 2.0 Double Strap
- Magnetic velour-lined range-finder pocket with vertical pull
- Thermal-lined side water bottle sleeves with magnetic closure
- Antimicrobial, microfiber-lined valuables pocket
- Large garment compartment
- Interior valuables pocket with combination lock
- Ball pocket with 2 internal pockets
- Dual-purpose bottle opener / towel ring
- Premium waterproof zippers throughout with genuine leather pulls
- Matching body material rain hood
- Modern hook & loop umbrella holder
- Pen sleeve
- Compression molded neoprene back panel
- Carbon fiber legs
- Removable ball pocket panel for personalization
Zero Friction Supertubes
In 2005, Excel Golf introduced the first ‘performance’ tee – Zero Friction – and the company soon changed its name. Zero Friction went from strength to strength adding new products to its line-up – balls, rangefinders, gloves, bags and wallets. Its new Spectra Supertube gifts sets (in a tube) are perfect for Christmas gifting, and hold one men’s universal compression-fit glove, three Spectra matte-finish balls (two-piece construction), and ten ZFT Maxx 2 ¾” 3-prong tees. Available in six neon colors (lime, red, orange, fuchsia, white and yellow). $25, zerofriction.com.
Caddy Daddy First Class Travel Bag
Caddy Daddy, like Zero Friction, started from humble beginnings making portable coolers for the golf course. Initial success led to rapid growth with the company adding multiple products to its inventory with gloves, micro-fiber towels, shoe bags, Sunday walking bags, the Travel Support Arm which you fit into your golf bag and extend above the height of your driver to prevent damage to your clubs while in transit, and a number of quality travel bags. The top-of-the-line travel case is the First Class which is made from 1000D Ballistic Nylon, Military-Grade hardware and a foam-padded top, and which features large, durable wheels. $180, caddydaddygolf.com
Tour Edge Exotics 721 Hybrid
Regular readers will know how highly we’ve thought of Illinois’s Tour Edge for a very long time. Constantly producing quality clubs at fair prices, the company carved out a niche in the ultra-competitive golf equipment market that other companies are now filling. The Exotics 721 Series must count among its very best clubs, and the hybrid is one of the best we hit all year. A lightweight carbon crown, Hypersteel face and rear backweight combine to make it powerful and forgiving – a pretty handy combination. $220, touredge.com.
Tom Coyne – A Course Called America
Coyne’s fifth book was published in May, but there might be a few golfers out there that haven’t bought it yet. The New York Times best-selling author journeys throughout all 50 states of his home country, playing over 200 courses to discover the essence of the game in America. $24 on Amazon
Bob Rotella – Make Your Next Shot Your Best Shot
With his words of wisdom, insight and experience, Dr. Bob Rotella could inspire the most timid, unassertive and self-critical golfer to personal bests. $24 on Amazon
Dave Cannon/Robert Green – Seve; His Life Through the Lens
Much of Seve Ballesteros’s career was caught on camera by the great Dave Cannon whose tribute to his favorite golfer is packed with amazing, and poignant, images of the brilliant Spaniard. Eloquent commentary from writer Robert Green. $34 on Amazon
For more on the latest and greatest gear in golf, visit our GEAR PAGE.
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