Gift Card Gift Guide: Post-Christmas Golf Ideas
There are some who think giving or receiving a gift card for holidays is lame. They think it shows a lack of personal insight — an admission that the giver doesn’t know the receiver well enough to pick an actual gift.
That’s all bollocks. The gift card offers the joys of freedom and honors personal choice. Over the coming days, I’ll be compelling some gift ideas that come off particularly wonderful because they’re for you. Yourself. Nobody else. Pick and play.
The first gift topic on deck? Golf. Below you’ll find a richly nuanced list of prime gift ideas from across the spectrum, including everything from clubs to educational tools to socks.
Taylormade RSi 1 Irons: These irons (top) were the big addition to the Taylormade line late in 2014, and they’re worth the hype. The RSi 1 line’s publicity push seems a little depressing at first, insisting that more than 75% of all amateur golf shots are miss-hits. So these RSi 1s are devoted to correcting that problem. Their design looks first to eliminate those miss-hits, or at least to minimize them.
These irons are the first product from the company to feature FaceSlot Technology. The system provides “uniform flexion across the face protecting ball speed and generating more consistent distance on off-center hits.” Face Slot Technology is featured in the 3-8 iron with two slots located near the hosel and toe of the club face. Even though the actual club heads are not oversized, the weight and balance of the RSi 1 lineup is very reassuring — allowing the club to life into the prime slot of the swing plain repeatedly.
Of all the clubs I tried out in 2014, the Taylormades are one of my two favorites of the year. Who made the other favorites? I won’t say. This is Taylormade’s moment right now.
“Gary Player: A Game for Life” DVD: This series is a holistic analysis of the Black Knight’s thought process both on and off the golf course. The set is comprised of three volumes: Sand Play, Scoring and Life. The first disc breaks down bunker play and efficient practice. Disc two focuses on chipping and putting and the final DVD includes a lesson on fitness, diet and a final interview with Player. Throughout the compilation Player’s personality is infectious showcasing his dry sense of humor.
Player focuses less on mechanical nuisances and more on pre-swing keys that are applicable for all schools of golf thought. As a viewer, one gets a glimpse inside the mind of a world-class competitor and a behind the scenes look at Player’s home regimen. Player covers a myriad of topics from short game drills to rotator cuff exercises to green juice recipes.
Player’s credibility and legendary impact on the game of golf is reason enough to listen to his expertise; but the beauty of this DVD set is how Player’s personality transcends generations and offers pertinent takeaways for all skill levels. “A Game for Life” DVD set is as great of a gift for a sixteen year old high school player as it is for a seventy-five year old grandparent.
LaGila Golf Wipes: I had a golf instructor that told me if I did not clean my clubs before the lesson he would refuse to teach me. Cleaning clubs is not a job I particularly enjoy doing. Let’s face it: That’s why professionals leave this pesky task up to the caddie. Very few people enjoy scrubbing the sod out of their grooves yet it is a necessary practice to maintaining properly functioning equipment. The package advertises increased “distance and accuracy” which could be considered a stretch. However, I would argue having clean grooves to be essential for the proper spin on shots and these LaGila Golf Wipes definitely make it easy to clean your club and ball on the go. The packaging of the pre-moistened wipes makes it a simple addition to the golf bag. With this product you can save some elbow grease and put your energy towards lowering your handicap.
AUR Apparel for Men and Women: After testing out the AUR brand I was impressed with both the ella dress in “kiss” and the classic pique polo in “nightfall.” Advertised for its “moisture wicking, fast drying and anti-odor properties,” I found the material to keep me cool and comfortable during practice sessions. I especially liked the design of the ella dress. As an active female it is difficult to find a dress that meets all my demands for when I am playing.
I liked how the waist was cinched the bottom had a hint of a-line cut and it was long enough to be appropriate at a variety of golf clubs. Aesthetically I liked the simplicity of both designs and as twenty-something golf professional I would wear this brand when teaching or out on the course. My only qualm is I found the brand to run slightly small to size so when ordering for your lady keep this mind. This line can appeal to a large market segment with its classic lines and offers both fashion and function.
Tom Watson’s “Lessons of a Lifetime II” DVD: The New Advanced Lessons” makes for a great gift to the intermediate amateur golfer and offers a lot of great instruction and drills to sharpen one’s game. The DVD is filmed at The Greenbrier and throughout the disc Watson demonstrates shots coupled with his pragmatic commentary.
Watson passes on advice he got from fellow players from Raymond Floyd to Greg Norman and discusses his competitive playing experience, which increases his level of credibility. For example, Watson tells the viewer to practice with a purpose and to practice the shots you fear. He then discusses how he would work on his seven iron and visualize the exact shot he needed on the 12th hole at Augusta National.
Another great topic Watson addresses is the importance of grip pressure. As a PGA professional, I constantly see amateurs squeezing their grips with all their might and this problem only exacerbates under pressure. Although Watson could not lead the American team to a Ryder Cup victory this year, I do believe this DVD will help the amateur player improve technique and shave off some strokes.
Shashi Socks: It is difficult to find a pair of socks that provides the right amount of comfort, function and breathability. But after testing out the Shashi Classic and Macho Cool Feet Grip socks I must give the nod to these slip resistant grippers. I wore the socks in a barre class, during a spin session and tried them out while hitting golf balls and I must say their utility held up in all three arenas. During the spin class and when golfing the socks did not bunch up and kept my feet cool. While practicing my pliés at the barre studio I was able to hold my planks without much sliding.
The “macho” style works as a unisex sock and I liked how that particular style kept my feet cozy during the warm-up of classes. However, during more intense cardio workouts I preferred the classic pair, which offered more breathability due to the “coolmax” fabric. As a traditionalist, I liked the regular toe compared to the split toe but found both styles to be functional and offer nice footing. Offered in black, white and nude, these socks looked and felt good on my tootsies.
Vice Personalized Golf Balls: Vice offers its high quality golf balls with personalization series that will put your name, logo or even a full color photo on every one of your golf balls. The balls themselves come in multiple distance designs and multiple colors. I personally recommend placing an ex-boss’ puss on your pellet and swing away.
– Marion Accola with John Scott Lewinski