GOLF PRESENTS TO GIVE YOURSELF (because nobody else will)
by Susan Fornoff
The nongolfers we love have the best intentions for us during gifting season. Unfortunately, they don’t always give the best gifts — please, no more cute flasks, funny hats or Broncos-logo golf balls. Of course, the golfers we love know we’re as picky about our golf as they are, so they’ll stick to socks and cologne.
Here are a few seasonal splurges worth giving to your favorite golfer. Yeah, you-know-who. Look in the mirror.
A “Sunday” golf bag. You don’t want to take your whole big bag to the simulator, the golf bar or Topgolf. That’s what a “Sunday” bag is for. I found one I liked at Sunday Golf, a new company specializing in bags for up to 10 clubs. But all the golf bag manufacturers are jumping onto this bandwagon, which seems to be riding the popular (especially in a Colorado winter) off-course golf trend. Sunday bags are also good for lightening your travel load. Check out the Caddy Daddy Ranger, which comes built for the range and the road.
A follow cart. Twenty years ago, I tested a robotic caddy that carried my clubs behind me, and it moved while I was trying to hit a ball out of a bunker. Freaky! But the technology has gone mainstream. Alphard has introduced the Sidekick to its remote-controlled V2 system, which motorizes the pushcart you already have and can be programmed to walk right of, left of or behind you. At the higher end of the splurge spectrum, Stewart Golf is making four-wheel units by hand in Great Britain that are built to last and to follow you everywhere.
Golf balls, but not just any golf balls. And certainly not the ones with the logo of the underperforming local NFL team! Big hitters might want to consider the Titleist –Pro V1x. Yes, did you notice the dash to the left of the name? This lower-flight ball has caught on with fast-swinging players wanting to reduce spin as they hit into the green, but Titleist says many other players have noticed increased distance with the “Left Dash,” as it’s called. Slower swingers may want to treat themselves to Srixon’s funky newcomer, the Divide. With half the ball made in one bright color and the other half in a different bright color, it’s instructive for players to see how their putts and chips spin.
Your own simulator. For $300 or so, you can gift yourself a portable unit about the size of a big smartphone that will tell you more than you might like to know about your golf swing. Its best use: Dialing in your yardages on every club in your bag. If you’re splurging on new clubs, this splurge is pretty much a no-brainer for shortening that learning curve.
Pebble Beach, in your living room. Innovations in virtual reality have made the technology affordable to many, at under $500 a headset, and Golf+ is the game wowing users of Facebook/Meta’s Quest 2 system. The company has added Pebble Beach and Pinehurst No. 2 to its virtual courses, and a new feature allows players to analyze more than 20 attributes of their swings. You can even get your buddies together and go to Topgolf, virtually. Beers not included.
Veteran journalist Susan Fornoff has written about golf for publications including the San Francisco Chronicle, ColoradoBiz magazine and her own GottaGoGolf.com. She became a CGA member when she moved from Oakland, CA, to Littleton in 2016, and ghost-writes as “Molly McMulligan,” the CGA’s on-course consultant on golf for fun. Email her at email@example.com.
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