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Golf gift guide: Tee up these golf gifts this holiday season

Kiel ChristiansonBy Kiel Christianson,
Senior Writer
ECCO Golf - Speed Hybrid shoes
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The Speed Hybrid Golf Shoe by ECCO is every bit as comfy as it looks. (Courtesy of ECCO Golf)

You've probably seen him: That guy rushing around the store on Christmas Eve day? That guy who, despite warnings since mid-October that "Christmas is coming!" figured he had a couple of weeks left to get his shopping done?

Yeah, that's me.

But not this year, dammit. Not. This. Year. I've been keeping a running list of needs, wants and whims, and I am ready to make this the best holiday season ever.

Heck, even this annual Golf Gift Guide story is early. I usually don't put pen to paper until the week after Thanksgiving -- the time when we used to begin Christmas shopping, before the "War on Christmas" forced us to start thinking about Christmas in September. (Ironic, that.)

Anyway, not only is this list plenty early, it's plenty long. So make yourself a hot toddy, settle in and gaze in wide wonder at the bounty of golf-related gifts for the players on your list.

Golf apparel

Let's start with the staple of golf gifts: apparel. Every golfer likes to hit the links in some new threads.

Sunice makes some of the best outerwear in the game, ranging from lightweight windshirts to insulated rainsuits. The Webster Half-zip Short-sleeved Windshirt ($90) combines maximum comfort and flexibility with staunch protection from chilling autumn winds. The zipper highlights on the chest are pretty sharp, too.

Layer the Sunice Webster on top of a golf polo from Carnoustie Sportswear ($80-$105; www.carnoustiesportswear.com). Carnoustie's motto is "Elegant Style, Timeless Appeal," and its polos, sweaters, shorts and slacks all look like they've been expertly tailored specifically for you. If it turns extra-chilly, Carnoustie's stylish merino wool sweaters and sweater vests ($167-$235) will keep you cozy on or off the course.

Speaking of cozy, everyone knows that the secret to keeping warm is keeping your feet toasty. And good circulation is the key to keeping warm. CEP Dynamic+ Run Compression Socks come in mid-length ($22.50; www.cepcompression.com) and no-show ($18.50) styles. They feel like a second skin -- a second toasty-warm skin -- and are perfect for those sometimes frosty shoulder-season rounds.

After you slip on the CEP Compression Socks, lace up the new ECCO Speed Hybrid golf shoes ($180), which blend high-performance golf features with a casual sneaker look. ECCO golf shoes are consistently the most comfortable straight out of the box. The leather outers are so soft they feel like you've been wearing them for years. And the waffle-style soles provide grip on turf and pavement alike.

Moving from toe to head, so to speak, golfers with flowing locks might appreciate the thoughtful design of the Hytail Ponytail Hat ($25; www.adactivewear.com). These baseball caps are designed with a higher gap in the back, specifically to allow for "high ponytails" to flow freely. Now, these are billed as "baseball caps for women," but, you know, the man-bun has become a thing recently, and the Hytail would accommodate even those coiffured abominations.

Finally, the piece of golf apparel that needs to be replaced most frequently is the golf glove. The new Footjoy StaSof glove ($25) is constructed with the softest, tackiest Cabretta leather on the market. The fit, comfort and all-weather performance cannot be beaten by any other glove on the market. They also last much longer than any other leather glove.


The only things most golfers go through more than gloves (and maybe tees -- or, in my case, frosty beverages) are balls. Of course, everyone likes to play those swanky Titleist ProV1/x balls, but it hurts to plunk a $45/doz. golf ball into a lake -- again.

If you're a fan of the Titleist brand and want soft feel around the greens combined with exceptional distance off the tee, the new Titleist DT TruSoft ($24/doz.) is for you. I began playing these new pearls as soon as they came out earlier this year, and, frankly, I can tell zero difference between them and their pricey cousins. Nil. Zip.

For globetrotting golfers, a tough, reliable travel bag is a must. Most travel bags are oversized covers to fit over your regular bag. The CaddyDaddy Co-Pilot XL Hybrid Golf Travel Bag ($149; www.caddydaddygolf.com) is a brilliantly simple alternative. It's a rigid-sided, six-bay cart bag (with wheels hidden in the bottom) with a hardcover top that straps on via heavy-duty Velcro for travel. When you get to your destination, you just take off the top and pop the bag onto a cart (motorized or pushcart). Talk about convenient!

Practice aids

Take a golf lesson, and one of the main things the instructor will look at is alignment. If the golfer on your list wants to work on his or her alignment, check out The Aiming ($149; www.theaiming.com/#!us/c1p7). The small device clips onto your belt or waistband. You press the one button and stand behind the ball. You're then guided into the correct position by tones and a voice so that you're aimed at your target. Very high-tech, very clever and very effective.

If you're in a cold-weather climate, and the golfer or golfers on your list get a little stir-crazy when they can't play, the Optishot2 Golf Simulator ($500; www.optishotgolf.com/simulator.html) is a swing monitor and golf simulator that fits in a backpack and connects to PC or Mac. Sixteen high-speed sensors track every club in your bag as you hit foam balls and play simulated rounds on dozens of computerized courses.

You can even compete against friends remotely via the Internet on Optishot Live. It comes complete with software, cables, hitting pad, cameras and foam balls. You can buy a net ($110) separately -- along with any number of other accessories. If you're looking for the ultimate gift for a tech-savvy golfer with the winter blues, this is it!


As great as simulated golf might be, nothing beats the real thing. GolfNow.com now has gift cards that can be used to pay for rounds at any of the more than 6,000 courses on GolfNow.com (giftcard.golfnow.com). Go play!

And go shop!

Or wait for a while. I'll probably see you out at the mall on Christmas Eve.

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The Aiming alignment aidCaddyDaddy Golf - Co-Pilot Hybrid Travel BagCEP Compression - golf socksSunice - Webster golf windshirtCarnoustie Golf apparel - shirtOptishot2 - golf simulatorGolfNow gift card

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, Ill. Read his golf blog here and follow him on Twitter @GolfWriterKiel.

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