As a golfer, you know that receiving golf gifts can be exciting, but also comical. For a non-golfer, every golf ball looks the same. Those gift boxes must be easy to wrap, but do you really need six tees, a towel too tiny to wipe a club clean, and the ball marker to join the other 35 ball markers jangling around in the bottom of your bag?
This year’s golf holiday gift guide is full of items big and small, all of them useful for real golfers. From a bucket list golf trip to Kauai or the Canadian Rockies, to stocking stuffers like Lamkin grips, let our list get your list-building going.
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1. 2016 Ryder Cup Packages
— Imagine gifting your favorite golfer with access to the biennial Ryder Cup — golf’s toughest ticket and most exciting event — where crowds chant for their team and elite players wear their emotions on their sleeves. With the 2016 Ryder Cup’s random ticket lottery already completed, the only way to obtain tickets to the Sept. 27-Oct. 2, 2016, event now is through Premier Golf
, an upscale travel company licensed by the PGA of America.
Premier Golf sells Ryder Cup tickets as part of its luxury packages that include everything a golfer could want and more. Packages start at $2,895 and include four nights' worth of accommodations, season tickets to the competition (Thursday to Sunday), a welcome reception, a Ryder Cup gift, daily breakfast, and round-trip transportation between Hazeltine National Golf Club (pictured). Premier also offers a private hospitality VIP chalet and other trip add-ons (practice round tickets, additional nights’ accommodations, International Pavilion upgrade, and more). Located just off the 16th hole, Premier Golf’s VIP chalet offers comfortable seating in an air-conditioned private area, a full bar, wide-screen televisions, all-day buffets, executive restrooms, and on-site staff.
2. VPAR app
— With golfers unwrapping expensive new
clubs and dream trip tickets this holiday season, consider VPAR as an uber-affordable yet exceptionally value-laden gift. VPAR acts as your caddy, distance finder, stats tracker, and is enabled to connect via social media — all free of charge. But what really wows users is VPAR’s live-scoring feature. It allows golfers to score matches with friends via iPhone or Android and know where they stand vs. different players and groups in real-time. Now your favorite golfers can know when they need a clutch putt to win. A premium version of the VPAR app with additional features is available for $8.99/year.
3. Canadian Rockies Golf
“Pins and Thrills” Package — Located in western Alberta near the Continental Divide, this historic, dramatic, and untamed destination draws nature-loving golfers from throughout the world. Lushly forested mountains with snow-capped peaks soaring to thousands of feet provide jaw-dropping scenery, and upscale resorts with amenities galore await to pamper after a day of outdoor adventure — both on the course and off.
For $979 per golfer (based on double occupancy), guests enjoy four nights in a one-bedroom suite at the Blackstone Mountain Lodge, two rounds of golf — one each at Canmore Golf & Curling Club and the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel Golf Course (pictured) — and a 25-minute Royal Canadian Helicopter Tour with Alpine Helicopters.
4. ARCCOS System
— For players looking to start the 2016 season on a strong note, the Arccos system is the game-improvement system of choice. Arccos features 14 sensors that attach to the grip-end of a club and pair via Bluetooth with the company’s free iPhone app. Once the user begins a round of golf, the system maps, measures, and records every shot taken, automatically capturing critical data on club distances, putts per round, greens hit in regulation, driving accuracy, and more to help players identify patterns and refine strategies.
The free Arccos app is among the first golf-specific offerings available for the new Apple Watch and features GPS distances at more than 20,000 courses, as well as club recommendations and much more. Endorsed by FedEx Cup Champion Billy Horschel and World Long Drive Champion Jamie Sadlowski, Arccos instantly tracks shots in real-time so golfers can see specific stats and review performance during or after each round. MSRP: $299 (app is free).
5. Kauai Golf Trail Card
Home to unfathomably gorgeous courses and beaches, the Garden Isle offers championship golf with stunning mountain and waterfall views, oceanfront holes, and spectacular natural beauty. Golfers can purchase the card and receive three rounds for more than 15 percent off at a choice of four participating courses — Princeville Makai Golf Club (pictured), Poipu Bay Golf Course, The Ocean Course at Hokuala, and Puakea Golf Course (adjacent to where Steven Spielberg filmed “Jurassic Park”). The deal is great for players looking to play several rounds at their convenience while enjoying all Kauai has to offer. The trail card is available for purchase at any of the four participating clubs for $450 (price adjusts to $475 on Dec. 1, 2015).
6. GolfTEC's Holiday Offer
From November through December, GolfTEC is offering two special improvement packages to help players of all skill levels improve and enjoy the game more. For $195, players receive one of the company’s famous diagnostic swing evaluations, one 30-minute lesson with a certified personal coach, and one 30-minute practice session. For just $100 more ($295), GolfTEC will bring the total to three 30-minute lessons and three practice sessions. Instructors work with each individual to create a comprehensive game plan tailored to their specific needs that builds skills faster and provides lasting results. Instructors combine motion-measurement with launch monitors and video analysis for a clear understanding of what needs to be done to improve each player’s swing. GolfTEC is the leading provider of lessons worldwide and is a convenient and effective one-stop-shop for every game-improvement need.
7. Golf Ball Holiday Combo Packages
— What could be better than getting a great deal on good-as-new golf balls? Every year millions of golf balls are lost, but ultimately found and returned to play by companies like Lostgolfballs.com
. The savings offered on practically brand new ProV1, Bridgestone, Callaway, and Nike golf balls would make anybody playing Santa this year very, very happy. This year’s holiday combos, which start as low as $13.99, include a bucket of golf balls, tees, ball markers, and a glove, making this a gift of great value at a great price, suitable for players of all skill levels.
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8. Donate to Youth on Course
— The holidays are a time to give back, and there’s no better way to pay the game of golf forward than by contributing to the quickly expanding Youth on Course organization. Youth on Course provides access to golf for those who need it most — children and teens — by ensuring none of its 10,000+ members ever pays more than $5 per round at any one of the hundreds of courses across the country. The non-profit also provides paid internship and caddie programs that serve as valuable sources of income and career-development skills. YOC members have gone on to play in college and professionally, and they also simply become integral parts of golf’s future because of their experiences with the program.
9. Lamkin Grips
For the golf player looking to sink more putts in 2016, the new SINK line offers more consistency, accuracy, and co
nfidence thanks to ergonomically curved grips that promote correct wrist alignment, resulting in a more consistent pendulum-like putting motion guided by the upper body. The pronounced pistol-shaped profile ensures that the upper hand is positioned in a relaxed, stress-reducing angle that helps stabilize hands. Offered in two distinct shapes, the blue-green round, wide paddle-shape style minimizes excessive wrist and hand movement, while the orange-yellow flat-top features pronounced corners for a more secure connection with the palms of the hands and a traditional taper profile ideal for a feel-based putting stroke. Both shapes are available in 11-inch and 13-inch lengths. Available starting in mid-December. MSRP: $12.99 to $14.99.
10. CHAMP Zarma My Hite FLYTee
With the makings of a perfect stocking stuffer, CHAMP’s “My Hite” FLYtee features a unique colored band around the stem to routinely place the ball at a consistent height and promote optimum contact on every swing. Constructed from materials five times more durable than traditional wood, it allows players to use far fewer tees per round. FLYtees are available in a variety of heights and colors and are one of the most inexpensive ways to boost performance. MRSP: 30 piece pack, $7.99.
11. DST Golf Compressor Warm-up Club
— For the golfer who dedicates the winter months to practice sessions on the range, the DST Compressor becomes the ultimate golf gift. The Compressor is a warm-up club with a scientifically curved shaft that replicates the shape of a normal shaft under maximum load.
This gives golfers a set-up position that closely replicates the optimal impact position and helps builds muscle memory of the optimal swing movement through impact. Mastering these mechanics improves accuracy and consistency, ultimately lowering scores when it’s time to hit the links in the spring. MSRP: $99.
12. Branson/Lakes Area, Missouri, “Golf’s Ozark Mountain Oasis”
— Branson is a family
destination nestled in gorgeous southwest Missouri — and an incredible value — with dozens of live performance theaters, shopping, lakes, kid-friendly museums, a Historic Downtown district, dozens of dining options and attractions, an award-winning theme park, and many lodging options (hotels, resorts, RV parks, campgrounds).
Earning critical golf acclaim, it is home to three of Missouri’s five top-rated courses in Golfweek’s “2015 America’s Best Courses You Can Play by State." Area properties feature designs by Nicklaus, Player, Watson, Palmer, and others. Branson is less than one day's drive for one-third of America’s residents, and flights are easily accessible thanks to Branson Airport (BKG) and nearby Springfield-Branson National Airport (SGF). Call 1-800-296-0463 for help planning your next golf trip, family vacation, convention, or reunion. Packages range from an economical $109 per person per night, and the sky's the limit for a more luxurious experience.
13. Hilton Head Golf Island
Considered one of the premier golf destinations in the country, Hilton Head offers numerous stay-and-play packages with incentives that cater to every golf group this holiday season. The Birdies and Beer Package allows golfers to stay three nights in a two-bedroom villa at Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort and select three rounds of golf from the resort’s three championship courses. Starting at $135 per person per night (based on four-person occupancy), this package also includes breakfast and beers (available in the form of a resort gift card); two hours of court time per day at its world-class tennis center; complimentary range balls; dining and merchandise discounts; and priority access to resort activities and amenities.
14. Myrtle Beach Seaside Resorts
— Operator of the area’s premier oceanfront condo-hotel and vacation rental properties, Myrtle Beach Seaside Resorts has released its value-laden, customizable winter golf packages, perfect for holiday gifts this year. All feature accommodations at Grande Shores Oceanfront Resort
, six rounds of championship golf, and a $200 gift card redeemable for food, beverages, merchandise, and same-day replays. Rates start at $362 per golfer for hotel rooms and $475 for condos ideally suited for larger groups. Guests are invited to build customized golf itineraries, with participating courses separated into four tiers based on price points. A wide selection of the Grand Strand’s most popular layouts are available.
Along with six rounds of golf, guests are also offered a wide selection of resort activities and amenities. To book or for more information, visit myrtlebeachseasideresorts.com
or call 888-571-4104.
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