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|A trip to the U.S. Open at Torrey Pines might be the best gift for Father's Day. (Chris Baldwin/WorldGolf.com)|
It's so easy to shop for moms on Mother's Day. Show up with jewelry or a spa treatment, and voila!, you're golden.
Dads, on the other hand, can be tricky. If the Old Man wants something, well, he'll just go get it for himself. If he doesn't have it already, he doesn't want it. And he's sure not going to ask.
Speaking as a man, and a father, I know that as much as I appreciate thoughtful gifts, I also always feel sort of bad knowing that I'd be just as happy with a few hugs followed by some peace and quiet.
Nevertheless, we really should get something for dear old Dad, just to show him we care. So this year, we'll look to "FATHER" himself for inspiration.
"F" stands for fun, foursome, and that word Dad says when he three-putts. It also stands for Fairway & Greene. Long known as one of the classiest and well-made lines of golf apparel, Fairway and Greene is also one of the most widely available brands in pro shops around the country. The 2008 Spring line is full of bright but tasteful colors that'll make Dad feel sharp on the links, even if his game isn't.
"A" is for action, the sort of action a lot of dads like on the course. Almost nothing is as much fun as getting into the wallet of your buddies. The Golfer's Game Book ($19, Reston Ventures) is a comprehensive manual of golf games and side bets. After Dad fleeces his foursome in "Lone Ranger" or "Criers and Whiners," he'll buy you a beer with his winnings after the round for giving him the book.
"T" is for Torrey Pines, site of the 2008 U.S. Open, which takes place every year on Father's Day Weekend. If you haven't done so by now, it's too late to plan a golf trip to La Jolla, Calif., to watch the Open in person. However, you can still plan a surprise trip to the Torrey Pines Instructional Center (www.torreypinesgolfcourse.com/school.htm), where half-day golf clinics start at just $263/person. Or just stay at home and have a little of Torrey Pines delivered to Dad from the online golf shop (www.torreypinesgolfcourse.com/golfshop.html). At the very least, stock up the fridge with cold beer, turn on the TV for Dad and watch the Open with him.
"H" is for Heavy Putter. As you get older, your nerve starts to fail on those three-footers. The Heavy Putter G3-DF putter ($169) is extremely efficient at reducing wristy, yippy strokes. And it's too heavy for him to throw it too far if he does miss.
"E" is Etonic. There are a lot of funky golf shoes on the market today, but the Etonic R Series ($120) blends tradition and fashion into the sort of shoe Dad will feel comfortable wearing. The spikeless "nubby" soles are great in all but the wettest conditions, while still gentle enough for the grillroom carpet.
"R" is for "Rip it!" Hippo Golf's new Hex TX driver offers the highest MOI for under $200 on the market. (OK, so this is another H word - so sue us.) The Hex TX is, in a world of crazy-looking drivers, perhaps the craziest, with its semi-hexagonal clubhead and colorful paint job. When Dad unzips the headcover, his playing partners will utter another H-word ("Huh?"), and when he blasts a drive past the rest of them, yet another ("Holy ... !").
May 30, 2008
Kiel Christianson has lived, worked, traveled and golfed extensively on three continents. As senior writer and equipment editor for WorldGolf.com, he has reviewed courses, resorts, and golf academies from California to Ireland, including his home course, Lake of the Woods G.C. in Mahomet, Illinois. Read his golf blog here.
Finding a golf course to play in the Sarasota/Bradenton area 45 miles south of Tampa is easy. World-ranked beaches, European-style boutique shopping and al fresco dining, and a fantastic circus museum are just a few of the choices available for off-course entertainment.
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