Father’s Day always falls on the same point in the calendar as the U.S. Open. Fitting, isn’t it? Fix the old man breakfast, maybe drag him to church for a little spiritual sustenance, then clear the way for an epic TV feast as the year’s national champion is crowned.
But what happens when the dust clears, the trophy finds a home for another hear and Dad dives back into regular (golf) life?
New goodies, that’s what happens. And this year, that means loading Pops up with the golf gear he needs, wants or would just be plain happy to get.
Just about anything that ties into his golfing addiction will suffice, but here are some particularly tasty recommendations for that perfect last-minute Father’s Day gift.
For 2011, Mahan and Sundog Eyewear continue the evolution of golf eyewear with his dramatic new H EVO Series.
Reflecting Hunter “H” Mahan’s flair on and off the course, H EVO sets the new standard for cutting edge style with uncompromising Mela-Lens performance and protection.
Sundog Eyewear’s Mela-Lens Photochromic™ sunglasses offer superior performance with embedded halide technology that reacts to ultraviolet light intensity, gradually darkening in high levels of UV light and fading in low UV light surroundings. Mela-Lens features an “Eternity Hard Coat” for superior abrasion resistance.
Ain’t No Cowboy Lid
They’ve been around longer than golf has been played on U.S. soil — since 1865 — but western hat giant Stetson hasn’t gotten the golf cap bug until very recently. After donning a couple of their classic-styled linen caps during our inaugural “Essential” trip to Bandon Dunes — one “Nantucket” model done up in a tartan pattern of various shakes of red, blue and gold, the “Banderas” in solid black and light brown — we felt a certain kinship with tough guy cowboys-turned-golfers, Clint Eastwood included. And looked damned good doing it.
$35-$250 | www.dorfman-pacific.com
Keep a Cap on the Sun
Dorman-Pacific’s new “Cool Comfort” fabric takes the standard-looking golf hat into healthy new territory with its high-tech Discovery Expedition line. The “Boonie” is a Sahara-style cap with a handy neck flap that affords SPF50 protection from the relentless summer sun — we could have used it in the 90-degree, 90-percent humidity heat of Thailand during a golf trip there in 2009. Both it and the Scala ball cap keep the heat off in unique but simple way: You get them wet, wring them out and the special antimicrobial fabric does the rest, retaining the water’s cooling properties while avoiding any clammy feel against the hair and skull. Ingenious, stylish and way overdue.
$25-$45 | www.dorfman-pacific.com
Raising Some ’Cane
Not only is it a fine-looking Gore-Tex-finished specimen, SunIce’s Hurricane V3 rain jacket might be the best-engineered example of weatherproof golf gear we’ve come across in quite some time. A round of golf in some nasty spring weather at Utah’s Victory Ranch club, a killer Rees Jones course that sits at 6,500 feet above sea level, proved just how powerful this jacket is against the elements. It’s got all the right whistles and bells, from snug-fitting recessed interior cuffs to a Gore-Tex stretch shell insert to an in-pocket ball cleaner and bungee drawstring at the hem. And a built-in stretch panel across the back assures you can get a full turn behind the ball no matter how many layers you’ve got on underneath. Face fall golf with confidence with this jacket in your arsenal.
$370 | www.sunice.com
Used But Not Abused
Guaranteed Golf Balls, an online source of premium, hand-selected used golf balls at greatly discounted prices and a division of GolfBallBusters.com, offers a Father’s Day special of three free mint-grade golf balls with the purchase of specified products. The free golf balls will match the brand of balls purchased.
“Many fathers and sons play golf together on Father’s Day and throughout the year,” said Joshua Valliere, manager of Guaranteed Golf Balls. “We want to honor that tradition with our Father’s Day special.”
An increasing number of golfers are discovering the many brands of discounted used golf balls of exceptional quality and value offered by Guaranteed Golf Balls, delivered directly to each customer’s door.
Not Just Any Golf Shoe
For the first time ever, fathers across America can be honored with Allen Edmonds’ Honors Collection golf shoes. The Honors Collection will feature five new styles specific to golf, each suited to distinct performance and styling — all classics, all built by hand. The shoes feature the finest premium leathers with the Goodyear 360-degree welted construction for greater stability while maintaining flexibility. Part of the craftsmanship uses a layer of soft cork between the insole and outsole for custom-like orthotic comfort as only Allen Edmonds can do. Every shoe in the Honors Collection comes in multiple widths. So like the finest golf clubs, a golfer can now get golf shoes that feel custom fitted.
The Honors Collection is comprised of five shoe styles: the Links, a teaching shoe available in White Alpine Grain/Brown Trim and White Alpine Grain/Black Trim.
The new Allen Edmonds Honors Collection golf shoes features QR code technology on hang tags that can use mobile technology to access a special video showcasing the new line’s fine craftsmanship process, Ben Crenshaw’s commentary about the Honors Collection and the line’s five shoe styles.
$245-$345 | www.allenedmonds.com
Dad could use a new pair of shorts, right? Fila offers the complimentary Milos plaid Bermuda short made from wrinkle resistant, lightweight 100 percent cotton. There are two welt pockets and zip front closure with a modern flat front styling. The shorts also come in colors silver, black and navy and sizes 28-40.
$80 | www.filagolf.com
Staying in the Groove
Papa needn’t leave home to get in some range time. Grab him an OptiShot Infrared Golf Simulator, one of the most affordable home practice systems on the market. Buy online and receive free two-day shipping with coupon code GODAD11. Order by Wednesday, June 15, to help Dad improve his game with OptiShot’s accurate swing anlysis. All without ever leaving home. The simple plug-and-play set-up allows for hours of practice on the realistic driving range, or a full round on numerous award-winning layouts. Boasting jaw-dropping, life-like graphics, OptiShot’s patented technology uses infrared sensors on a durable swing pad to accurately record club head speed, face angle and swing path. And with several new courses just added, there’s no chance of boredom, either.
$400 | www.dancindogg.com
The Coast-to-Coast Golf Course
Golframes’ limited edition print of the “United Links of America” would look sweet in any golf collector’s shrine — and on the wall above the high-def screen. It’s patriotic and it’s large — two good descriptions of this whimsical print depicting a truly original American Links. Hand drawn by golf architect Forrest Richardson, this one-of-a-kind plan shows the 18-hole “United Links of America” with its routing of five par-3s, eight par-4s and five par-5s. There are seven ocean holes and four holes darting around and over some ‘great’ lakes. The course takes advantage of some great terrain, including a 14,155 ft. peak, a deep pit and several ditches. Each hole is named. (Note the bonus hole and turf nursery, inset in traditional map style). The print can be ordered framed or unframed. All are signed and numbered as part of a limited edition.
$39-$115 | www.golframes.com
Glove With a Brain
SensoGlove, the world’s first digital golf glove, has built-in digital sensors that continuously read the user’s grip pressure to ensure a consistently accurate, smooth and powerful golf swing. Made of the highest quality cabretta leather, SensoGlove is the perfect gift for fathers that love golf from beginners to advanced. With SensoGlove, golfers can quickly learn how to hold the club, avoiding bad habits and improving every part of their game, from backswing, downswing, impact, follow-through, to driving, putting, and chipping.
$89 | www.sensoglove.com
On the Straight and Narrow
The Polara Ultimate Straight Golf Balls reduce hooks and slices by up to 75 percent. That means your golfer can enjoy more time on the fairway instead of out of bounds. Make golf more fun for Father's Day with the golf ball that keeps on giving. ”After my first three rounds of the year I'm convinced that your golf balls are the best invention in golf history,” said one happy customer. “I have yet to slice a single ball and have dropped an amazing 12 strokes off my score.”
$29.99 | www.polaragolf.com
Grippin’ In Style
G/FORE, a new company from fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli, has released a new golf glove in time for Father’s Day to rescue us from those tragic gestures. But, this is not your Father's typical golf glove. We’re talking out-of-the-box colors: Lemon, Tangerine, Blush, Clover, Berry, Charcoal, and Onyx. Dad can redefine his own “style” on the green with a simple evolution of golf's essential accessory: What else would you expect from a popular and iconic fashion designer with tireless aesthetic and sensibility for trend and style?
Great Downtime Reads
Let There Be Pebble
A failed Division 1 walk-on golfer who’d heard on good authority that legendary Pebble Beach Golf Links was a “hellship” that just happened to occupy some of the most beautiful coastline in the world, author Zachary Michael Jack decided to head for the Monterey Peninsula himself, rent a room in storybook town Carmel-by-the-Sea, and spend a year soaking up the Pebble mystique — from the golf course itself and the world-class resort that surrounds it, to the various big-time events held there (including the 2010 U.S. Open), to the famous and not-so-famous names who parade through the gates of 17 Mile Drive on a regular basis, people who are in the end just like everybody else who cares even a little bit about the game’s shrines: We just want to get close to Pebble, caress it, worship it as it wrecks our scorecards.
The result? Zach becomes a Zelig-meets-Forest Gump type of reporter, describing in often hilarious detail his exploits on and off the golf courses in the Pebble Beach Company canon; interviewing pro golfers like Johnny Miller, Tom Watson and Phil Mickelson and plenty of celebrities, too, including AT&T stalwarts Bill Murray and Charles Schwab; getting some much-needed lessons from Pebble’s resident teaching guru, Laird Small; and generally throwing every name, experience and sensation he can into his day-by-day mix. He even spends some quality time with Pebble’s superintendent, Chris Dalhamer, who might have the toughest job of all — keeping a course that does 100,000 rounds each year as close to pristine, worthy-of-$495-green fee condition as possible.
$24.95 | University of Nebraska Press
Golfing With Dad
Last year David Barrett garnered several honors for Miracle at Merion, which recounts Ben Hogan’s return from a near-fatal car crash to win the U.S. Open. This time around he takes a lighter but just as engaging tack, employing the age-old father-and-son (or daughter) golf theme as he interviews 14 current and past PGA and LPGA Tour players about their relationships with their dads both within and outside the game they shared, or still share. Touching anecdotes from the likes of Ray Floyd, Peter Jacobsen, Christina Kim, Phil Mickelson, Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer turn this into a worthy read for that long plane trip to your next golf rendezvous, perhaps with pops waiting at the other end. Father’s Day 2011 might be in the rear-view mirror, but those familial connections through the fairways and 19th holes of life never fade.
$19.95 | Skyhorse Publishing
Ben Hogan’s Short Game Simplified
After finding paydirt as the author of Ben Hogan’s Magical Device, Ted Hunt goes back for more, delving into the Hawk’s vaunted and well-documented swing techniques and applying them to those tricky shots from 130 yards in. Copiously illustrated, intricately detailed and peppered with quick-reference drills that bring the geek narrative into simpler focus, this slim volume is a gold mine for swing students who just can’t dig deep enough into Hogan’s seemingly bottomless treasure trove of techniques.
$16.95 | Skyhorse Publishing
The Timeless Swing
Now that’s he’s the third oldest guy to win the Senior PGA Championship and came within a six-footer’s breadth of taking the Open Championship at age 59 just two years ago, Tom Watson is still very much in the “greatest shotmaker” conversation — perhaps not as much as Hogan, but pretty darned close. So it’s no wonder that Watson would want to chronicle his every thought about the golf swing into one volume. In The Timeless Swing he and co-author Nick Seitz leave no fundamental undiscussed and no tip to golf longevity unearthed, starting with the grip and ending with stretches and other tips to “keep playing young,” keeping your timing under pressure and training the mind for battle. It’s clear this guy has earned the right to tell us how to keep it simple with class. Guess we’d better listen.
$29.99 | Atria Books
One for the Ages
This year’s Masters turned out to be one of the most nail-biting in memory, which was fitting, since it also marked the 25th anniversary of Jack Nicklaus’ epochal sixth Masters victory over one of the most stellar fields imaginable. After some historical background on Augusta National, Bobby Jones and the genesis of America’s favorite golf tournament, Tom Clavin takes us on a round-by-round account of that 50th edition, spicing that fateful Sunday back nine with as much drama as he can muster.
$24.95 | Chicago Review Press
Tough Guys Always Play from the Tips
Besides breaking the record for the most Forewords of any book, golf-related or otherwise, in history — by author buddies Mike Leonard of the Today Show, “Caddyshack” director Harold Ramis and champion bullrider Gary Leffew — plus a contribution from Mike Ditka, this book takes on golf’s long-standing rep as a “weenie” game and shakes it by the neck until some testosterone falls out. Through an almost stream-of-consciousness series of rants, tough-guy tips (including when to cry, like during football flicks), historical asides and extended gags, author James Pomerantz reveals his obvious love for the game. He just wishes the guys who play it, from pesky private club snobs to helicopter dads, would nut up a little more often.
$9.95 | self-published