By Matt Hombach
Holiday gift giving can be an exhilarating and exhausting process. The feeling of giving someone the perfect gift can’t be matched. But the time spent researching and tracking down that gift can be tedious and difficult.
There are probably dozens of golf-related items most golfers would love to receive as gifts in December. The tough thing is conveying those ideas to well-meaning givers who want to keep the surprise element at play.
You may pine for that brand new Callaway driver, but if you come right out and tell your spouse the exact make, model and price (much like Ralphie and his Red Ryder BB Gun), they may not follow through and get it, simply because they “want it to be a surprise.”
Starting at Thanksgiving dinner, family members chat behind backs and in hushed tones, lamenting the fact that they want to get a great unexpected golf gift, but have no idea what to buy.
GIFT CARDS A SURE BET
For holiday shoppers who aren’t golf savvy, there are plenty of options this season. Courtney Brett, assistant PGA professional at Greystone Golf Course in White Hall, has several ideas to help check some names off the list.
“If you’re doubtful about the exact type of club the golfer in your life is looking for, my best recommendation is to purchase a gift card and allow he or she to come into the shop, get fitted properly and get exactly what they want,” Brett said. “Our gift cards are hot sellers this time of year.”
ACCESSORIZE THE GOLFER IN YOUR LIFE
If something a little more tangible is desired, golf clothing or accessories are always a great idea.
“Most golfers are also big sports fanatics,” Brett said. “So a golf bag, head cover or even balls or a putter with their favorite pro or college team’s logo on it makes a great gift.”
In addition, a quick peek in the golf bag can tell what size glove and brand of balls the person you're shopping for wears and uses. Golfers are perpetually in need of new golf balls and an extra glove is always welcome.
HOT SELLERS THIS SEASON
Baltimore Washington Golf president Ben Choi says sales have been brisk this holiday season, and there are a number of items consumers are seeking frequently.
TaylorMade’s Burner driver and the Cobra Baffler DWS hybrid clubs are selling well. The Odyssey White Hot XG two-ball putter is another club that is very popular as a gift.
In terms of getting fitted and correct sizing for high dollar equipment, Choi offers a simple solution and friendly customer service policy to put gift givers at ease.
"If a customer knows they want to buy a driver for someone as a gift and has a general idea of what they’d like to spend, we can usually point them in the right direction to purchase something to actually give as a gift during the holidays,” said Choi. "This allows them to have something to actually give to the person as a gift. It may not be the right length or loft, but at least it is something to wrap and put under the tree.”
Baltimore Washington Golf allows customers to exchange any unused equipment for an equal dollar value. So if you buy your spouse that new Callaway driver and he actually wanted a Titleist driver, it can be exchanged easily right after the holidays.
CAN'T-MISS STOCKING STUFFERS
Choi adds that the golf ball serious players would most want to see under their tree is the Titleist Pro V1.
"The Pro V has been No. 1 in the market for five or six years,” he said. “They can be pricey, so a good lower-priced alternative is the new Titleist NXT Extreme.”
Another great stocking stuffer is a small suction cup-like contraption called the Backsaver. Choi sells hundreds of these throughout the holiday season. The suction cup attaches to the top of the putter grip and allows golfers to pick their balls out of the hole or off the ground without bending over and putting stress on backs.
“Similar devices have been around for years, but the difference was the suction cup was much larger and wouldn’t fit into the top of the golf bag as easily as the new Backsaver does,” Choi said.
There are many options for holiday shoppers seeking golfing gifts. You can play it safe and go for the gift card, but if you take the plunge and purchase equipment, be absolutely certain of what you’re after or do research and be sure the retailer has a lenient return and exchange policy.
Issue 2.51: December 20, 2007