Gift Guide: Spreading Some Holiday Gear
You’ve never had so many excellent holiday gift choices for the golfers in your life as you do this year. The market is loaded with affordable, state-of-the-art technology, brand-new clubs and unique accessories. Here are some of the more intriguing options.
STAND AND DELIVER
The moment your golfer picks up Ogio’s Shadow Fuse stand bag, he or she will notice it’s different. The “Fit Disc” system automatically balances weight across both shoulders. Four strap adjustment points can be made to perfectly fit any frame, with enough support to help him or her walk 18 holes without pain. The bag weighs just 4.2 pounds and has dense foam-padded straps that are wide and more cushioned in the middle. It won’t sag or droop when it’s full of clubs, and it’s made of premium anti-abrasion ripstop fabric that’s commonly found in mountaineering backpacks and tents. The fabric itself is lightweight and water-resistant, and its weave is extra durable. ($200)
WATCH YOU GONNA DO?
Garmin’s Approach S40 GPS golf watch ($300) is lightweight and comfortable. It clearly displays exact yardages to the front, center and back of the green in real time — updating with each step. And it comes pre-loaded with 41,000 course maps and immediately recognizes which course and hole it’s on. It also has a clever way of displaying the current hole: The bevel around the watch display has slots numbered one through 18 — for each hole on the course. It lights up a bright orange marker below the hole you’re standing on. All the while, it performs smartwatch functions.
SPIN IT TO WIN IT
Many average golfers have trouble generating backspin. One solution: Callaway’s JAWS MD5 wedge ($160 each), which has golf’s most aggressive grooves. Their edges are sharper than ever, for maximum grip and spin from all lies, generating one-hop-and-stop trajectory from 80 yards and in, where you want it. Plus, milled MicroPositive grooves are placed in the flat parts of the face for even more surface roughness and grip. This wedge comes in nine lofts and four sole grinds — there’s a set for golfers of every skill level.
PLAY THAT FUNKY MUSIC GOLF BOY…
Listening to tunes on the golf course is commonplace these days, which is why golfers are turning to Puma’s SoundChuck Mini Bluetooth Speaker ($80). It’s wireless, weatherproof, adjustable and portable. The acoustics and sound are huge, yet the unit is relatively small. A flexible silicone cord and metal carabiner clip can attach to a cart or golf bag. And it will withstand many conditions, as it’s both weather- and shock-resistant. The included, powerful magnet will secure the speaker in place when needed. Its rechargeable battery gives eight hours of juice.
Bushnell’s Pro XE laser rangefinder ($550) zeros in on exact yardages from more than 500 yards away and is accurate to within one yard. That makes it the market’s most powerful golf laser. It seamlessly factors in ground slope, providing precise compensated distances. Plus, it factors in temperature and altitude. What’s especially impressive: It vibrates when it locks in the distance and shows a flashing red ring. The exclusive BITE magnetic mount allows it to easily mount to a golf cart’s metal frame bar. The unit is fully waterproof, has a rubber armored metal housing, and comes with a carry case and battery.
TaylorMade’s Milled Grind 2 Wedge features a new Tour Preferred raw clubface that’s designed for optimal spin and precision performance. Each leading edge and sole grind is individually CNC milled to exact specs, so golfers get accuracy and consistency from club to club and grind to grind. ZTP Raw Grooves offer sharp, deep and narrow grooves and a sharp radius. Rough surface from the laser etching between the grooves helps create more greenside spin. There are 11 unique loft-bounce combinations available. ($170 each)
JUST FOR KICKS
Nike Golf’s Roche G shoe sports a mesh upper for breathability and comfort, plus an athletic look.
To enhance comfort, there’s a soft, flexible Phylon foam midsole that softly cushions every step. The shoe’s cleatless, pressure-mapped outsole provides traction in key places so you can wear it on or off the course with solid support. An elastic gusset on the tongue helps keep out debris, and pull tabs on both the heel and tongue help ease and quicken the process of putting the shoes on or taking them off. ($80)