Fascinating Holiday Golf Gifts for 2008
By: Dr. Barry Lotz
|This year’s new golf products are innovative, useful and beneficial.
What more do you need to give yourself a reason to buy a great gift for your circle of influence, family and friends? Even for yourself! It’s been a tough year!
The following products give value-added a new meaning to the pursuit of better golf.
For improving your game and staying on the cutting edge of equipment, these products fit the bill:
Two new devices incorporating GPS for measuring distances on the golf course have just become available. Each performs admirably as to measurements but the bells and whistles have different tunes:
Bushnell Yardage Pro GPS Handheld Device
Bushnell, experts in the field of telescopes, binoculars, spotting scopes, riflescopes and laser range finders, has unveiled their first GPS offering for golf. The Yardage Pro is designed to provide golfers with the top quality and performance they expect from Bushnell laser rangefinders, in a GPS device. The weather resistant Yardage Pro is quick and easy to use. It gauges distances to the front, center, and back of the green. Bushnell will offer downloadable courses on their website that are stored on your PC hard drive with no expiration.
This GPS unit also offers a LCD screen with backlight, a rechargeable battery with a 14 + life, and its one handed ergonomic design can be clipped to your bag or belt.
uPro Hand-Held Golf GPS Device
The stylish, compact and easy-to-use uPro features an unparalleled highly developed combination of GPS and laser-range capabilities, providing hi-resolution aerial photography and satellite imagery of thousands of courses worldwide.
Their new software’s download speed is up to 50 percent faster than the previous software, allowing users to spend less time downloading and more time on the golf course.
The new, improved auto hole advance allows the uPro to automatically detect the user’s location anywhere on the hole the user is playing. Users have the option of being prompted to change holes or advance with no interaction.
More intuitive shot marking is another new software feature. Once the user starts the mark shot feature, the distance will update in real time as the user advances towards the ball’s location. This allows users to check distances quickly and easily for everyone else in the group.
The uPro’s ProMode download, for a minimal cost of ownership, adds video flyovers and aerial imagery to the detailed data contained within Basic Mode, allowing the user to actually see the course and measure to AnyPoint™ on the course, unlike other golf GPS devices.
There are no yearly membership fees for uPro, while annual fees for uPro’s competitors range from $29.95 per year to $59.95 per year. If these fees are not paid at the start of the year, previously downloaded courses are disabled so the device will no longer work – not the case with uPro.
The USP (Unique Selling Proposition) is that uPro users will get for FREE what competitors charge for.
Accessories such as a belt clip, soft case and car charger are also available.
ProPlay 640 Personal Video Training Tool
Another technological masterpiece that EVERY golfer should have is the ProPlay 640 GPS Video (GPS stands for Golf Performance System). What a great, useful and worthwhile product! And a desirable gift every golfer would love to have!
Noted instructor, Jim Flick, thinks this practical device is the best thing since apple pie! With this device you can take your practice range game to the course!
ProPlay allows you to instantly review your swing while playing golf. Video frame by frame playback, video analysis and markup, one button operation, variable speed playback and side by side playback, are just a few of this tool’s features.
This rugged and well-designed unit is compact enough to fit in a pocket and can be taken anywhere.
For my money, this is the product that should have been chosen as the winner of the Golf Channel’s “Fore Inventors Only” golf show, instead of that unoriginal golf club stand, which won first prize,
which has already been marketed for the past ten years!
The Net Return Pro Series – For the Golfing Family
With the ProPlay GPS above and this Net Return Pro Series,, you now can have your own driving range and teacher in your own backyard!
The Net Return Pro Series net stand 7’ 5” tall, 8’ wide and 3’6” deep and is made of a lightweight 1.5” tubular aluminum frame and weighs approximately 28 pounds, making it very easy to transport.
The sleeved net is made of heavyweight polyester and the entire structure can be easily assembled, without tools, thanks to the Push Button Quick Color Connect System. This System ensures assembly, by one person, in less than five minutes.
The Net Return Pro Series Package includes one Net Return Pro Series
Purchasers can choose to upgrade the turf mat for an additional cost that varies depending on the material and weight. All turf comes with a 1 year UV warranty. Other accessories, such as an EZ TEE Fringe Hitting Surface or a cup and flag for putting, may also be purchased for a nominal charge.
MSRP: $495.00 www.thenetreturn.com
More on a low tech level, but are just as functional, are Daphne’s head covers – ideal for either the female or male golfer or Scotty Cameron’s new ball marker.
Daphne’s Head Covers
Seen those cute animals on top of clubs, especially the driver? Daphne’s selection is outstanding. The Black Panther and the Black Lab are my personal favorites, while ladies gravitate to the Pink Calico cat, the Peacock and the Puffin.
This 25-year-old family business is doing a rip-roaring business in the custom head cover arena. These head covers are not only well designed, but also their quality and attention to detail is superb.
Each animal is fully lined and elasticized to ensure a secure fit on your clubs. Each animal is guaranteed for life. Inside the label you will find their factory phone number. Rest assured that if you should have any problems with your head cover, the manufacturer will fix it pronto.
Hybrid, utility and putter covers are also available.
The Scotty Cameron Ball Tool
This useful gadget is appearing on the Tour to enhance putting prowess. Officially known as an “Alignment Integrated Marking” device, it simply lets you use a line, either drawn or manufacturer produced on your golf ball, to dial in the line you see to the cup, using its milled hash mark sight lines.
Then, after stepping back, any minor corrections are made by moving the ball, rather than the marker, either to the left or right. Remember that right-handers tend to miss putts to the left, whilst the opposite is true for left-handers. It also serves as a snazzy ball marker.
MSRP: $44.00 www.scottycameron.com
Of course, having a Scotty Cameron Square Back putter completes an ideal gift.
This Newport head-style putter is a precision milled 303 Stainless Steel head with a high toe profile and circular heel and toe sole weights that provide more stability, by reducing twisting on off-center hits. It has a Double bend shaft with 1/2 shaft offset, so players can get a nearly face-balanced mallet, a clean look at address and a silky smooth feel at impact .
This model contains the same head weight as other Newport models but has a slightly thicker topline and a milled sight line in the flange.
The high toe profile helps reduce the tendency to raise the toe at address for better accuracy. The factory adjustable weights are set to provide the proper head weight to shaft ratio for the perfect feel. The Tour-inspired cherry dot graphics are very visible and look extremely good on this Scotty production.
Aldila Voodoo shaft
WOW! What a wonderful feeling one gets using this shaft. It is the talk of Tour players on all Tours. Made for use in woods and hybrids and for the better player who’s seeking optimum low-to-mid launch angle and low spin.
The entire length of the shaft is specially designed with a patented, one-piece carbon-fiber rib system. This hoop keeps the shaft more concentric during the swing, preventing shaft ovaling, deformation and wasted energy.
This not only keeps the shaft’s structure stable, but it also maintains the shaft’s symmetry to play the same each swing, transferring the maximum energy a golfer can deliver to the ball. The Voodoo simply helps generate consistently straight and long shots.
It is available in both 60g and 75g versions.
Aldila’s new Voodoo shaft is going to be one of the most desired and popular shafts for 2008 and 2009.
MSRP: $299.95 www.aldila.com
Bridgestone B330-RX Ball
Paula Creamer won with this ball at this year’s Samsung World Championship and it is currently the hottest and fastest selling ball at most retailers.
This multilayer urethane ball features a very soft gradational compression core with Tour-level spin, feel and control around the greens, but optimized for moderate swing speeds (85 to 105 mph) off the tee.
The B330-RX utilizes the same industry leading Seamless Cover Technology that Bridgestone balls have become known for, and features a 330-dimple pattern for optimal trajectory and consistency of ball flight.
It definitely is a ball that offers both distance and exceptional feel around the greens.
The B330-RX features a street price of $42.99 per dozen (suggested retail price of $56 per dozen)
PeakVision Golf Sunglasses
If you are looking for the finest golf sun glasses available look no further than PeakVision’s range.
TS3.14 Golf Sunglass – Carbon
The TS3 half-rimmed frame is crafted from magnesium/aluminum alloy. The narrow profile frame geometry is designed for narrow width faces and the younger set. The TS3 weighs in at an amazingly lightweight 19 grams and features PeakVision’s Dual-Zone Amber NXT unbreakable lenses that deliver perfect light management for both the sky and turf with remarkable optical glass-like clarity.This purchase comes with a microfiber lens care bag, a durable zippered hard case with clip, and a one-year warranty.
For those who prefer a less slim and sleek pair of sunglasses, PeakVision’s GR4.02 Golf Sunglasses with a polished Tortoise frame should be perfect.
This model, as well as being PeakVision’s most popular, is my personal favorite. It features a sleek nylon Grilamid (microcrystalline nylon) frame which rides easy with an excellent 8-base curve lens wrap and vertical depth for great coverage.
Known for its lightweight, comfortable fit for medium to large face shapes, (recommended for a hat size of approximately 7 1/4 – 7 7/8) the GR4 has interchangeable lens capability and can accommodate lenses for nearly every sport. The NXT unbreakable lenses deliver perfect light management for both the sky and turf with amazing optical glass-like clarity.
Aside from being well designed and distortion free, all PeakVision’s models are simply the most comfortable pair of sunglasses we have ever tested. They are easy on the eyes and lightweight and can also be worn all day. It’s simply difficult to leave home without these – I never do!.
MSRP: $149.00 to $189.00 www.peakvisionsports.com
SeeMore SB 1 Mallet Putter
SeeMore’s new SB 1 100% milled aluminum Black Satin Mallet putter as precise, as it is beautiful.
The best feature of the SeeMore range of putters is that their RST (RifleScope Technology) alignment system allows the golfer to set up the putter perfectly square to the intended target line each and every time, by lining up the black bottom portion of the shaft between two white lines and covering a signature red dot on the heel of the top line. It is like locking radar onto a target.
SeeMore putters with RST also help the golfer establish a system for continuous improvement with visual feedback.
The pedigree of this brand continues unabated with Major winners and top Tour players singing SeeMore’s praises. Payne Stewart, Zach Johnson, Vaughn Taylor and Briny Baird are proponents and winners using SeeMore.
If your putting needs a boost or meaningful improvement, this is the tool to get you to where you want to go.
TaylorMade’s Itsy Bitsy Monza Spider Putter
The TaylorMade Itsy Bitsy Monza Spider putter is already becoming a cause celebre on Tour. Following the initial success of the larger Rossa Spider, a 20% smaller and lighter version has been brought to market.
Simply put, the Spider has a high MOI (Moment of Inertia), similar to the PING Doc 13, but also has TaylorMade’s famous MWT (Moveable Weight Technology) and the AGSI + Titallium Insert.
The Itsy Bitsy rolls the ball superbly, especially well with the AGSI + Titallium insert. The Spider’s two MWT ports give the player the option to easily change weight in the rear for customized control and feel.
The Itsy Bitsy’s high MOI, steel wire-frame head construction with light aluminum core, pushes increased weight to the perimeter which in turn helps it to deliver extremely consistent distance results on off-center hits, so
that instead of coming up short, often times the ball reaches the hole.
For looking stylish, sexy and well dressed, the following soft goods products are definitely worth considering:
With the exception of Fairway & Greene, every golf shirt manufacturer has a soft collar which invariably curls and takes away the fresh and smart look of a shirt.
Wouldn’t it be great to see not only Tour players, but everyday golfers, male and female, look well groomed and immaculately attired? Solution – CollarSTYX – easy to use and ideal in all weather conditions. They are also reusable.
MSRP: 12 clear -$14.95 or 24 clear -$21.95 www.collarstyx.com
This powerfully designed men’s luxury performance shirt incorporates Tehama’s “Hang Em Dry” moisture wicking pima cotton/micro polyester knit polo.
Tehama, the line of high-end contemporary sportswear for men and women that was co-founded by Clint Eastwood and Nancy Haley, has introced the evolution of its Hang’em Dry category with two signature groupings each for men and women. Staying true to Tehama’s Luxury Performance focus, and the namesake for the movie ‘Hang’em High” – the supreme fabrication blend has been established as an industry leader with its moisture-wicking qualities.
For the active golfer, Tehama Hang’em Dry offers polyester and pima cotton/polyester blend fabrications that are lightweight, moisture wicking, antibacterial, and have UPF 30+ protection. Within the new Hang’em Dry collections, golfers and consumers will see body mapping, color blocking, mechanical stretch and new innovative details.
Tehama also offers a full line of ladies’ apparel.
Top – TEHÀMA Hang’em Dry “Luther Colorblock Polo” in Oriental Red.
Cool Plus with Antibacterial Finish $64 Bottom- Orbit Flat Front Short – Cotton Madras Shades of Black with Oriental Red $56 www.tehamainc.com
Q-Link – Titanium Bracelet – Black Ceramic
Q-Link, the leaders in personal energy systems, has introduced their new Unisex Titanium Q-Link Bracelet with Gloss Black Ceramic Finish and crafted of solid, ultra light Titanium with a spring steel core.
Q-Link is a technology that amplifies and clarifies the body’s energies. By reducing the noise in any energy field, this technology strengthens and purifies the body’s own energies
This unique new bracelet is precision crafted with exceptional quality and attention to detail. The Ceramic Black Titanium Bracelet features flexible sides for an exceptional fit, a laser etched serial number and new dual SRT-3 wafer design for maximum performance.
The bracelet is elegant and aside from offering the Q-Link magic, is also very dressy and very comfortable. Available in S/M/L/XL
MSRP: $199.95 www.qlinkgolf.com
adidas ClimaProof Storm 3-Way Convertible Jacket
Addidas has continued to dominate both the airways and Tour players with their highly recognizable and accepted brand. Their designs and fabrics keep them in the top three performance brands of golfing attire. From footwear to headwear and outerwear, addidas outperforms the competition both in the marketplace and with golfers’ style of clothing.
One of their most popular introductions has been the ClimaProof Storm 3-Way Convertible Jacket. This waterproof jacket features a shell that is 100% polyester laminated twill and a lining that is 100% polyester mesh.
Undeniably elegant and a real ”head turner”, it is also so very comfortable and functional. And, depending on your personal preference, the inner lining is easily removable to allow a looser fit. Matching pants are also available, an all include a two-year warranty.
TaylorMade Performance Labs
Want to treat somebody really special? Try TaylorMade Performance Labs.
The TaylorMade Performance Lab’s certified professionals will fit men, women and junior golfers of all ages and abilities to a custom set of TaylorMade golf clubs, using an exclusive technology called Motion Analysis Technology by TaylorMade (MAT-T) which was previously available only to Tour professionals. This is the best two and one half hours any golfer can spend.
Locations are available at the Desert Springs Marriott in Palm Desert, CA, The Four Seasons Resort in North San Diego, the Hyatt Grand Cypress Resort in Orlando, Florida, Reynolds Plantation in Greensboro, Georgia and The Olympia Fields Country Club in Olympia Fields, Illinois.
The cost of the fitting ranges from $150-400 depending on the location, the season and extensiveness of the fitting. Custom-built TaylorMade Golf clubs can be purchased at competitive prices and shipped in a matter of days.
Pete Dye Golf Courses
Many magnificent course photographs, many made especially for this volume by Ken E. May, Dye’s photographer of choice, enhance a witty and irreverent text by golf writer Joel Zuckerman.
Have a great time shopping and a marvelous holiday season with your family and friends to whom you have given these gifts.
Barry Lotz, J.D., Ph.D. is the director of the Professional Golf Teachers Association of America. He is a member of the Golf Writers Association of America, the California Golf Writers Association, and serves both as a Consultant and Mediator to the golf industry. He is also the author of numerous books, including “333 Best Web Sites for Golfers” and his current book, “How to Build Business Relationships Through Golf” is in the Top Ten Golf Business Book’s best seller list.