If you know someone that enjoys golf, you probably know there is an endless variety of clubs, gadgets, gifts, etc. that you can buy for the sport. When my husband first starting golfing, he got golf themed gifts from me and many other people for Christmas or his birthday and even as a Father's Day gift.
Some of them turned out to be really useful and others found their way into the back of the closet or garage to gather dust. I asked him to tell me which ones were his favorites from the last 10 years of golf gift baskets and gifts...
Below you'll find the list of our best gift ideas!
When my husband first started golfing, the first thing I got for him was a package of 10 group golf lessons. He has told me repeatedly that it's one of the best gifts I ever gave him. Getting the lessons when he was still learning was important, because it allowed him to learn the proper techniques, before too many bad habits were permanently ingrained. Lessons can be helpful at any point, but the longer they've been playing, the harder it will be for them to break old habits. You can usually get a discount when you buy a package of lessons, and group lessons are significantly cheaper than individual lessons.
My husband told me the group lessons were actually better because there were other people to watch and it was easier to see examples, both good and bad, of the techniques the instructor was trying to explain. He also highly recommends taking lessons that include some kind of video. The video really shows things that you can't see yourself while you are swinging, and helped him tremendously.
Contact the local golf courses in your area to find out what kinds of lessons they offer and pricing. There are also "resort" style lessons at golf schools in meccas like California (speaking of which, check out these awesome California wine gifts), the Carolinas, and Florida. These typically involve several consecutive days of teaching, combined with rounds of golf, gourmet food gifts, lodging, etc. Some even cater to couples, either with them both taking lessons, or with the spouse being treated to massages, games of tennis, shopping, and more. Golf school was way out of my budget, but my husband assures me it would be a fabulous once-in-a-lifetime experience.
There are some things you need to learn from a teacher firsthand, but others you can learn about by reading and trying them out for yourself. I looked at what was on my husband's bookshelf to see which books and magazines he owned and asked him about his favorites.
Golf Magazine - This is a monthly magazine that is filled with all things golf. It includes the latest information about the professionals on tour, news about new golf courses, the latest in equipment, and lots of tips from top teachers and professionals. The tips can be helpful because it may include things like strategy and other things to consider that don't necessarily have anything to do with the golf swing itself, but can have a big impact on your score.
Dave Pelz's Short Game Bible - This remains my husband's favorite golf book, and many of his friends now own it too based on his recommendation after playing a round or two of golf together. Dave is a former engineer that spent countless hours recording statistics on the most successful ways to lower your score while pitching and chipping. He then explains in great detail how to properly execute these shots. I'm told that with some practice, it actually works very well.
Dave Pelz's Putting Bible - Another book by the same short-game author guru, this one focuses only on putting. It includes everything from how to read greens to developing a repeatable swing, and even getting into a "routine." I was shocked to see it is almost 400 pages long, but my husband assures me that it is all useful information.
John Redman's Essentials of the Golf Swing - This is his favorite book for reading about the fundamentals of swinging a golf club. Apparently there are several schools of thought on the proper technique, but this one made the most sense to him and also worked the best, which of course means he's a big fan.
The Golfer's Book of Wisdom - Dr. Criswell Freeman - This is a little book of quotes my husband received as part of a golf gift basket that he got one year as his birthday gift from a friend. There are quotes from famous people that have played golf through the last hundred years, and includes everything from humorous lines ("I know I'm getting better at golf because I'm hitting fewer spectators" - Gerald Ford) to observations on life ("The most rewarding things you do in life are often the ones that look like they can't be done" - Arnold Palmer).
I put this one in here because a new golf club or set of clubs can be the perfect gift for him, but you have to be very careful to make sure you know exactly what your golfer wants before making such a big purchase. It isn't a simple as just going to the local golf shop and saying "I'd like to buy a putter please." Golf clubs are big business, and there are not only many different brands, but different club lengths, materials, sizes, designs, etc. Normally irons are sold in sets, but all the other clubs can be purchased individually.
The club my husband likes the best is the one he had "fitted" by going to the local golf course one day when they were having a demo from one of the big manufacturers. They had someone from the company there with every conceivable combination of shafts, sizes, lofts, etc. He hit several different configurations, with the pro watching and making recommendations. The one he ended up buying was not what he would have picked had he not tried them all, and it's turned out to be a great choice.
If your golfer is just starting out, your best bet is to find a used set of beginner clubs. The clubs can be very expensive and if they continue to play and enjoy the game, they'll want to buy new clubs later on once they've learned more about their likes and abilities.
The big manufacturers normally come out with new designs every year. You can get last year's designs at huge discounts (usually 50% off) if you're willing to wait, or are okay with last year's design. Check out eBay for great deals on new and used clubs.
There are no shortage of golf themed gifts and accessories on the market. These can be anything from actual golf products, like balls, tees, bags, head covers, etc., to actual golf theme items like picture frame favors, can koozies, pens, etc. The best golf themed gift I ever got for my husband was a golf ball display case. Most mount on the wall and have a glass front to proudly display the balls from memorable occasion. His is more empty than he would like, but he does have a few for his first birdie, longest drive in a tournament, plus a few from famous resort courses he's played or visited. He's still waiting for his first hole-in-one so he can put that ball in there!
His other favorite accessory is a hard-sided travel case with a sturdy leather luggage tag attached. Sometimes when we travel he likes to bring along his clubs to play, and the hard-sided travel case survives the airplane baggage handlers and everything arrives in one piece. He tells me it's far more enjoyable playing with his own clubs than having to rent them at the local course. So if you know a golfer that also plays while traveling, the hard sided case is a perfect golf gift!
They say the way to a man's heart is through his stomach so why not give a golf themed gift that you can enjoy bite by bite.
It comes filled with all the things the golfer in your life will enjoy including Titleist golf balls (3 packs of 3), snacks such as cheese, nuts, crackers and more, plus the awesome insulated golf cooler that will come in handy while golfing! They can use it for water, lunch, snacks, or maybe even a beer or two.
You can also find cookie gifts that are arranged on sticks with the same fun golf theme. They are great for birthdays, Father's Day, or just because!