Archive: December, 2012

Holiday Gifts for Golfers

If you have a golfer on your holiday gift list, you are facing an important decision!  What the heck should I get this person who chases a little white ball around for fun?

If you have a golfer on your holiday gift list, you are facing an important decision!  What the heck should I get this person who chases a little white ball around for fun?

If you are a golfer yourself, you understand the game and will probably already know most of what I am about to say.  If you are not a golfer, this next 4 or 5 minutes could be life changing stuff!!

First, let’s look at what I think you should avoid. There are many seemingly good ideas that actually aren’t used by most golfers…

Golf Gifts to Avoid

—  Golf ball monogrammer  –  seems cool but they rarely actually work and cool golfers use a sharpie.

—  Any sort of stroke counting device, beads, clickers, calculators, etc.  –  They make sense but no golfers I know are willing to admit they hit the ball so many times they need help counting!

—  Putters, wedges, drivers, sets of clubs… –  Golfers can be quite picky with respect to what clubs they buy and use.  It is also important to get your clubs fitted to you so they will work best.  For these reasons, steer clear of actually buying a club or clubs unless you are using it to wrap up and set up a possible exchange after the holidays.

—  Golf balls are also dangerous as many golfers are very loyal to a certain brand or flavour.  Check your golfer’s golf bag and see if he or she has more than one type in the pocket…

—  Umbrella  – every golfer I know has 343 golf umbrellas somewhere in their house and car.

—  Pretty much anything on an infomercial airing after 2:00 AM on the golf channel.  It will not shave 12 strokes off your score.  It will only clutter your garage until the garage sale 4 years from now when your golfer finally admits it doesn’t work…

—  Golf boots  –  Seriously, golf boots are sooo 2000 and never!

Gifts that Your Golfer Will Like (and Use)

—  A book with photos of famous golf holes or courses.  Always nice to have on the coffee table or in “the office”

—  As much as some don’t like giving gift cards, a gift card at a golf course is a great gift.  It can be used for golf, equipment, clothing and even food or drinks.  Very versatile and sure to let your golfer find something he or she likes…

—  Golf Lessons  –  Clearly this is the best gift for anyone, even non-golfers!!  Okay, on a serious note, if a golfer asks for lessons specifically or is always complaining about their level of play, a lesson package is a great gift.

—  If your golfer plays all year round, things like:

  • – really good quality outerwear (as they say, there’s no bad weather, only bad clothing)
  • – golf mittens
  • – hot pockets (little packs that heat up and go in your pocket or mittens)
  • – a golf touque
  • – under garments that are thin, not limiting and keep the heat in

—  Instructional books or dvd’s.  While I think in-person lessons would be more helpful, lots of golfers enjoy reading about the game and watching videos from famous instructors.

—  The Golf Channel  –  In many areas, The Golf Channel is part of a premium cable package.  It shouldn’t be but is.  If your golfer doesn’t have the Golf Channel, they will love it when you set it up for them!

—  Golf related items with their favourite team logo on them.  Golf balls, towel, head covers, golf hat, ball marker, divot repair tool, etc…  Note, this does not include golf clubs or putters.

—  A distance range finder  –  hand-held device that tells the golfer how far it is to the flag or other target.  Good ones start at about $200.  Don’t get one cheaper than that as they are not accurate…  Bushnell and Sky Caddy are two good names in the business.

—  Golf Magazine Subscription  –  They will thank you every month!!

—  There are many gag gifts out there if you are only looking for a laugh. My two favourites are the explodung golf ball and the tee that will not allow the ball to stay on it.  Hours of fun!!  I once got a putting game you can play while sitting on the toilet!!  It took a while but I eventually got quite good…

 

Anyways, I hope this has been a little help to you on your quest.  I wish you and yours a great holiday season and all the best for 2013!!

 

PGA Tour Q-School – Last Year

If you are a true golf fan, you look forward to this week every year because it’s when the 6-round torture session, often referred to as Q-School, takes place and professionals can earn their way to the PGA Tour.

Well, not any more.  This is the last year entrants could earn their way to the show with one week of good golf. Starting in 2013, Q-School will only gain successful players access to the Web.com tour.  Access to the PGA Tour will be earned by finishing in the top 50 on the Web.com (up from 25 this year).

I, for one, think this makes sense.  I believe a player who proves his skill over an entire year is much more deserving of a key to the fun house than a player who makes it through the school.  Don’t get me wrong, we are talking about great players in both cases but stats support this new direction.

If I was more on top of things, I would rattle off exact percentages here but I do know that the players off the Web.com, Nationwide, Nike tours have been far more successful in keeping their PGA Tour status than their counterparts form the Q-School.  I just spent 27 minutes on Google trying to track down those stats and was unsuccessful.  Sorry about that. 

I did find a good resource for what PGA Tour School is all about – http://golf.about.com/od/progolftours/p/pga_q_school.htm and how the new system will work – http://golf.about.com/od/progolftours/a/web-com-tour-finals.htm.  I hope that makes up for a little of my Google fail!

I also really like that the top 5 players on the newly named “PGA Tour of Canada” will now earn exemptions straight onto the Web.com Tour and players 6 – 10 will earn exemptions to the Final Q-School where they can earn Web.com status.  I think this is a great increase in status for what was the Canadian Tour and all the great players who are presently on that tour.

A couple other things:

  1. Congrats to Brad Fritsch for his good play at Q-School.  He had already secured his PGA Tour Card with his great season on the Web.com Tour but his T-7 at Q-School will get him into more events early in the year and will give him a better chance of retaining his card for 2014!
  2. Congrats to Adam Hadwin who played some very solid golf over the final four rounds (68-68-68-68) and missed his PGA Tour card by 2 shots.  He will have a full year on the Web.com Tour to earn his card and my money is on him to be successful!!
  3. What was the Golf Channel thinking when they decided not to show the Q-School on TV this year?  I rank Q-School 3rd on my favourite tournaments to watch list, behind only the Masters and Players’ Championship.  Not impressed…

Let me know your thoughts and you’ll be hearing from next week!