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|The Sunice Hurricane Collection comes with a stay-dry guarantee. (Courtesy of Sunice)|
A large portion of the U.S. economy is driven by consumer consumption. This holiday season, we can boost the economy while also boosting the spirits of our beloved fellow golfers with spiffy new golf gifts.
When the weather turns wicked, fight wind and rain with the latest high-tech outerwear. The Sunice Hurricane Collection (www.sunice.com) features Gore-Tex protection from the elements and a waterproof guarantee. Great features like zip-off half-sleeves and water-tight, zippered pockets provide flexibility and comfort. The 2010 U.S. Ryder Cup Team could have used these on that first day.
Even if your upper body stays dry, you won't have any fun on the golf course if your feet are soggy. Nike Zoom Bandon golf shoes ($140, www.nikegolf.com) are simply the most weather-proof golf footwear on the planet. Magnetically sealed, water-tight zippers cover the laces, and the waterproof uppers extend over your ankles. The golf course will be declared unplayable long before any water gets into these shoes.
If the rain turns to snow, you can keep practicing indoors with two new portable putting greens.
The SKLZ Vari-Break Putting Green ($100, www.SKLZ.com) is a 3-foot by 11-foot mat with a "tru-roll" putting surface. Foam pads fit under the mat to create uphill, downhill and breaking putt lines.
SynLawn Golf, a company that builds artificial practice areas in your yard, also offers portable putting greens for $113 to $189. The 3-foot by 8-foot green feels a bit more substantial than the SKLZ mat, but the range of available putts is smaller, because of less surface area and lack of break. Nevertheless, a winter of putting practice will help your favorite golfer win an awful lot of wagers next season.
If the golfers on your gift list are bookworms in the off season, a wide selection of golf books are out this year.
For golfers who like to compete with their significant others, Nike Golf offers the perfect his-and-hers cart bags. For him, the Nike Tech Sport Cart bag, for $150, is lightweight yet designed specifically for use on carts. The 14-way divider system keeps golf clubs from bouncing and banging around, and the single strap folds nicely beneath the bag. Caddies also prefer single straps, by the way.
For her, the Nike Women's Brassie Cart II, a $250 product, features a pinpoint polka-dot pattern, peach accents, an external putter well and a cushy, padded 10-slot divider system. Like the men's bag, the women's bag includes a lined cooler pocket and a single strap, ideal for motorized or pull carts.
What is Christmas without stocking stuffers? AB Golf's Throwback Headcover collection ($24-$28 each, $75-$90 set, www.abgolfdesigns.com) consists of classic knit, tassled headcovers in a rainbow of colors. But don't let the old-time, woolen look of the collection fool you: These headcovers are knitted with polyester fiber made from recycled plastic bottles. You can almost hear the sheep rejoicing!
Golfdotz ($6 for two sheets, www.golfdotz.com) offers marking decals for your golf balls that apply in just five seconds. You simply press the decal to the ball with your thumb, and the ball is marked permanently and uniquely. The company offers dozens of designs from which to to choose. There's something perfect for every golfer on your list.
So happy holidays to all. And to all, a good economic recovery.
December 6, 2010
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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