For the golfer in your life, there are Christmas gifts galore. From clothing to accessories, from books to technology you shouldn’t have any difficulty finding something that satisfies a golfer’s thirst for this beautiful game.
You can pop into the pro shop of any golf club and pick up a shirt, a sleeve of golf balls or a pair of shoes, or visit the big golf stores for more of the same. Shopping online has never been easier and there’s always that ‘novelty’ gift if you’re hard pressed.
Here’s a list of ideas to get you started.
Given the time of year, you can’t go far wrong buying a golfer a pair of winter mitts. Versatile, waterproof and, most of all, warm, these mitts come in a one- size-fits-all. Visit any Pro shop or golf retailer. Prices range from €20-€40.
Waterproofs just get better and better with lighter materials and smarter designs. If the golfer in your life has been using the same rainsuit for a decade, why not upgrade it? Galvin Green is one of the market leaders and, while not cheap, they are excellent quality and should last another 10 years. The Aston is one of the brand’s newest jackets. The Gore-Tex Stretch fabric with mesh lining provides exceptional breathability and comfort. Price is around €350.
Dating back to 1820, Dwyers and Co is an Irish clothing company. Today it is still a family business led by Peter and Alan Dwyer, who are based in Cork. The company focuses on golf trousers for the modern sportsman and, in 2014, the company was confirmed as the largest golf trouser brand in the UK and Ireland. Trousers cost between €50 and €90 and come in a variety of styles and colours. Buy online from www.dwyersandco.com or McGuirks, or try one of the Pro shops around Cork.
For lady golfers, look no further than Green Lamb for clothing. The company is based in Cork city and sells everything from waterproofs and sweaters to shorts and headwear. How about the Spice-Black Leslie Nylon Trim Top for €80, or a roll neck polo shirt for €50?
You can buy online at www.greenlamb.com or at a local golf retailer.
Rangefinder: Bushnell Tour V4
Rangefinders are becoming ever more popular among golfers and therefore make an excellent gift. Knowing exactly how far it is to the pin on any hole gives a huge advantage to golfers. The Bushnell Tour V4 Jolt is the latest from the most recognised brand in golf rangefinders and includes a vibrate function which tells the golfer when the exact distance to the flag has been acquired.
Available at McGuirks or www.progolf.ie for €349.
GPS watches/ devices are a versatile alternative to the rangefinder. The recently released Bushnell Neo Ion GPS Watch is preloaded with over 35,000 courses from more than 30 countries. It calculates its distances based on GPS co-ordinates, and automatically knows which hole the golfer is on. Available at McGuirks or www.progolf.ie for €199.
Video Game: Rory McIlroy PGA Tour
The Rory McIlroy PGA Tour game is an excellent choice for those with a love for video games. With versions for both Playstation and Xbox golfers can play on different courses against a variety of opponents, playing all manner of shots. What better way to keep someone — big or small, quiet on Christmas Day! Priced around €25 from www.shopireland.ie and other outlets.
There are plenty of devices around which allow golfers to analyse every shot and swing, helping them to improve their game. Game Golf does it better than most. Created by John McGuire, and started in Galway, the technology tracks a golfer’s game by inserting a tiny device into the handle of each club.
After the round, data can be downloaded to a computer/smartphone for analysis. Priced at €199, it is available from McGuirks.
Golfers, forever at the mercy of the Irish weather, will appreciate the appliance of science in the Fulton Performance range of umbrellas. The brand was tested in a wind tunnel at Imperial College, London, to speeds of 78mph… which sums up the Irish winter pretty well.
Prices range from €20-€45 at www.fultonumbrellas.com
And on the subject of umbrellas, you could always buy an umbrella holder which will fit onto almost any golf trolley, ensuring golfers stay dry as they navigate their way around the course. Prices range from €18-€30 at www.halpennygolf.com and other golf retailers.
The Taylormade Players Travel Cover ensures that whatever country a golfer visits, their clubs will arrive safe and sound every time. If you know a golfer who has a penchant for Portugal or a fancy for France, this well-padded travel bag provides golf clubs with protection.
The easy roll wheel system, external carry strap and easy-grab pull handle also make this travel cover extremely easy to handle.
RRP €250 but available from McGuirks at €170.
Pro Advanced Return Net
We all know a golfer who’s never happy unless they’re on the golf course. Well, this is the next best thing: The Pro Advanced Return Net is the most versatile and practical sports net out there. It even returns the balls to the golfer. The net pops up in seconds, and folds instantly.
It all comes in a durable carry case… making it easy to wrap.
Available at www.progolf.ie for €229.
These days it’s easy to buy golf balls and ball markers with someone’s name or initials on them… it’s a guaranteed winner. But how about some metallic coloured golf balls? Perfectly legal, too! Pink, golf, purple, green… you can buy them in packs of three or twelve from www.bestimpressions.co.uk. Prices start at £10 for three.
Ball Retriever 1
If the golfer in your life is of an age — and let’s face it a lot of us are — you could buy the Masters Green Gripper, which attaches to the end of a putter. This enables golfers to pick the ball out of the hole without having to bend over all the way. Priced at a mere €4.95 at Halpenny Golf.
Ball Retriever 2
If you’re tired of listening to yet another story about how a ball was swallowed by the pond on the 12th hole, you could get that golfer a ball retriever. They might keep complaining that the shot was too good to have ended up in the water but at least they’ll get their precious ball back. Prices from €15-€40. Try www.odwyersgolf.com (Clonmel, Kilkenny) or you local golf retailer.
Club Cleaning Brush
Most golfers like to keep their clubs neat and tidy, so why not pick up a handy little tool called the Masters Opti Club Cleaner Brush. Costing a mere €6 it also appeals to those on a Christmas budget.
Yes, who knew, Chewy has a handicap of four and tees it up against Yoda and Darth every Saturday morning. Star Wars and golf now go hand in hand with a whole range of products, from golf balls (Taylormade Burner Soft, €36 for a dozen), umbrellas (€60), putter headcovers (€35) and divot tools (€15). Whether or not Chewy would approve of his Pom Pom Headcover (€40) probably depends on how well he’s playing. If that special golfer has a sentimental attachment to Star Wars you’re spoiled for choice… although Princess Leia, Han Solo and Luke are far too busy saving the galaxy to worry about golf. Available from McGuirks.
Men in Green
If the golfer in your life enjoys the history of the game, pick up a copy of Men in Green by Michael Bamberger. This bestseller offers a tantalising insight into golf’s greatest legends, both on the course and behind the scenes.
The front cover, with Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer, says it all.
The Little White Ball
The Little White Ball by Colin Byrne and Karl McCullagh was published earlier this year. It is a pocket-sized book which offers a useful guide to helping golfers improve their scoring, focusing on the strategy of playing a round. Colin Byrne should know a thing or two about that, having caddied for the likes of Retief Goosen and Ernie Els. The book costs €12.99 and is available in bookstores and from www.golfinthemind.com
The Match, by Mark Frost, is often cited as one of the greatest golf stories ever written. It is the tale of a foursome match in 1956, when Harvie Ward and Ken Venturi took on Ben Hogan and Byron Nelson. The book was written in 2008, but remains a favourite among golfers. €13.99 from Eason.
Hooked (3rd Edition, 2015), written by yours truly, reviews and rates every 18- hole golf course in Ireland — all 340 of them. The objective is to steer golfers to some undiscovered gems and to give honest opinions from an amateur golfer’s point of view.
Price €11.99 from www.collinspress.ie and bookstores.
Vouchers and Tickets
Destination Golf Premier Golf Card
This new golf reward card, launched by Destination Golf, offers exclusive 2017 deals to many of Destination Golf’s top 150 ranked courses in Ireland. There are 50 courses in all, including Headfort, Powerscourt, Doonbeg, Dromoland Castle, Castlerock, Fota Island and Killarney. Offers range from four for the price of two, a free buggy and a free pint, as well as two for ones and four for threes. The card costs €49.99 and can be purchased online at www.destinationgolf.travel/premiercard or at McGuirks Golf Stores.
Regardless of the talents of that special golfer in your life, MyGolfPro will help them improve even further. You simply buy a voucher (valued €50 to €500) and let the recipient decide which of the more than 50 Professionals nationwide they want to visit.
These days it’s easy to send someone away for golf and relaxation as there are dozens of deals around the country. Portmarnock Links have a one night Bed and Breakfast with golf package starting at €185 for two people.
For €150 you can get a one night midweek special at Ballykisteen Hotel, in Tipperary, including breakfast, dinner and a round of golf. Or send a couple to mullet to play the explosive Carne, where two nights B&B with one dinner and two rounds of golf can cost just €189 per person sharing. Castlemartyr Resort is offering a one-night midweek Winter break for just €99 per person. Package includes Deluxe room, breakfast and a two-course meal in the exceptional Bell Tower restaurant. Guests can also enjoy €20 credit towards a 50-minute treatment in the resort’s award-winning Spa! Or try the five-star Lough Erne and Galgorm Castle resorts in Northern Ireland.
Green Fee Voucher
You’ll never go wrong with green fee vouchers. Every club will happily sell you a two/three/four ball green fee so why not send that golfer somewhere a little bit special in 2017. Alternatively, buy them a voucher at www.mygolfdeals.ie
Irish Open Tickets
The 2017 Dubai Duty Free Irish Open will be held at Portstewart Golf Club, in July. This will be the biggest Irish Open ever, with a €7 million prize fund and Rory McIlroy’s influence guaranteed to attract the biggest names in golf. Tickets start at €40 with a season ticket for the entire event costing €100. U16s go free. There’s also a One Day Festive Fan Pack (€119) which includes a pair of tickets, £50 store voucher, 2 drinks vouchers, the official programme and drawsheet.
Irish Golfer Magazine
Take out an annual subscription to Irish Golfer Magazine for €40 and receive a box of 12 Srixon golf balls absolutely free. So that’s two presents for the price of one.
That’s Christmas, all wrapped up!
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