If it’s U.S. Open week, it must be time for Father’s Day.
And that means it’s time to eschew the tired old tie and get into the golf mode for Dad this year. At Fairways + Greens we’d like to heartily endorse a father-son-or-daughter round at your favorite local track or perhaps a quick trip to a much-loved destination. Jump on the Web and you’ll find a slew of Father’s Day deals at courses across the nation — truly too many to mention here. Rest assured if you want to enjoy some quality time with Pops among the tees and greens of America, there’s ample value Out There via course specials from the desert Southwest to the leafy Northeast, and everywhere in between.
That’s if you can pry the old man from the couch and get him to DVR the Open’s final round, instead. Good luck with that.
But if a real live round isn’t in the cards, we’ve got some ideas of what to get Dad for his day instead.
At 400 bucks a copy, GolfBuddy’s new Platinum model isn’t the least expensive first GPS rangefinder out there, but its robust feature set — including excellent touch-screen graphics and 35,000 pre-loaded courses from around the world — plus the fact there’s no annual membership fee. Fairway + Greens tested the new unit at Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course recently and found it responsive and fun and easy to use. The pressure active sensitive touch screen makes usability easy and can be navigated while wearing a golf glove, or using a golf tee. A long lasting, built-in, rechargeable battery will allow up three rounds of play. Finally, an overall refined design makes the GolfBuddy Platinum II the sleek looking, must have golf accessory of this season. A 50 channel satellite reception allows the Platinum to quickly and automatically recognize the course and hole you are playing on. It also prevents you from losing signal during the middle of a round, even under trees or heavy cloud conditions. As for hole view and information displayed, the Platinum features a full layout view of each hole on the course that gives you an overhead view from the teebox to the green. Using the innovative Touch Point Technology, with a single touch of the screen you get an instant yardage reading to any point along the hole, and a second measurement from that point to the green. It also allows you to quickly zoom in and out to the fairway and gives you accurate measurements to all targets and hazards on the hole. Its digital scorecard feature allows you to enter and record scores for up to 4 players during each round. It also has a statistical analysis feature that allows you to keep track of your stats including your fairways hit, greens in regulation, average putts per round and sand saves.
GolfLogix Smartphone App
If Dad is packing one of today’s pocket computers — otherwise known as an iPhone, Android or Blackberry — he already has the means to put a killer app like GolfLogix to work and skip the separate gadget. For less than $20 a year you can download this full-featured bit of genius programming. It’s the No. 1 app for golf and a global leader in GPS and club-tracking technology, and its industry-best platform offers a wide range of features providing members additional tools to improve course management and play better golf, as we discovered during recent rounds in Las Vegas. Easily downloaded from iTunes, Android Marketplace and BlackBerry App World, the software is compatible with more than 60 smartphone models. New and current GolfLogix members get updates such as club tracking — exclusive rights to accurately capture club distances and locations of logged clubs, overlying shots on hole imagery to produce a mapped history of every round; aerial flyover — similar to what’s seen on TV, high-end birds-eye imagery provides a video tour of each hole from tee to green; pin position — (no need for lasers); and digital yardage book. In addition, the free GolfLogix app provides accurate distances to the center of the green, yardage book quality imagery, scorekeeping and in-round pro-level stat tracking for more than 30,000 courses worldwide. All GolfLogix levels include access to the Member Clubhouse, the No. 1 online golf community where millions interact through social forums, offer challenges to fellow golfers and maintain an indexed handicap. Personal web pages for each user also store performance statistics, so every round can be analyzed by fairways hit, greens in regulation, putting, shot trends and more.
Kentwool Tour Profile Socks
Kentwool golf socks are a Fairways + Greens favorite, and now the company gives us another reason to stock up: A limited-edition Tour Profile performance golf sock in red, white and blue.
Offered through July 15 and slated to be worn during the U.S. Open by 2012 Master’s champion Bubba Watson, the socks ($19.95) feature a navy base with red and white accents. From each sale, $5 will be donated to support Pendleton Place, which provides abused and neglected children with shelter and care in a nurturing environment.
Working with the “Bubba & Friends Drive to a Million,” Kentwool will help the organization reach its goal of raising $1 million for charity through Watson’s own efforts and the support of his partners and sponsors.
“Bubba is one of the most committed guys on Tour when it comes to raising money in support of worthy causes,” says Mark Kent. “He’s such a great ambassador and joining forces to raise money for a tremendous charity is something that means a lot to me and the Kentwool family.”
“Kentwool offers an amazing, American-made product that keeps my feet feeling great all the time,” says Watson. “I love rocking these socks and, with the support of my fans, am excited to help make a difference in the lives of some really deserving kids.”
Crafted from a proprietary blend of fine merino wool and high-tech fibers for superior moisture management, the socks come with a 100 percent blister-free guarantee. Featuring WINDspun technology that infuses the fibers with air, Kentwool Golf Socks have an innovative, micro-climate system that wick moisture and provide superior odor control. This creates unrivaled cushioning at micro-stress points along the foot, enhancing comfort and energy levels while reducing injury risk.
Retailing from $19.95 to $24.95, the socks are available in the ankle-length Tour and Low Profile models for both genders and mid-calf Tour Standard crafted exclusively for men.
A Cool Tee Package
Zero Friction’s Fancy Tees Combo Gift Pack will make a statement on and off the course and is sure to be loved by Dad. The unique and beautifully made gift set includes a stylish tin box with one repair tool in blue, ball marker and a variety of six fancy tees for $24.99. Zero Friction also carries a huge selection of NFL, MLB and NCAA licensed golf products — all Dad’s favorite teams imprinted on ZF Tees, towels, umbrellas, headcovers and much more.
GolfGym Fitness From Head to Toe
GolfGum, the leader in golf fitness since 1987, has developed a Father’s Day Promotion that addresses both the physical and mental aspects of the golf game.They’ver joined forces with Rick Sessinghaus, the author of “Golf: The Ultimate Mind Game.” He is the expert on the mindset principles that make or break performance on and off the course. His coaching has helped top junior, collegiate, and professional golfers reach new levels of performance. He is an Instructional Editor for Golf Tips magazine and can be seen on Fox Sports Network as a mental game contributor. Anyone who purchases a GolfGym PowerSwing Trainer, a training and conditioning tool designed to develop proper swing habits and muscle memory will receive Sessinghaus’s book, a $13.99. This exclusive offer teaches Dad, Grandad or even the pending Grad how to play better golf by integrating both the body and mind. The GolfGym PowerSwing Trainer will also improve club control and shot accuracy. It builds strength to add distance, and develop better balance and posture. It is available in either a Personal Edition or a Masters Edition. To take advantage of the Father’s Day Promotion, visit www.golfgym.com and use the code DAD2009. Be sure to choose right or left-handed grip and the correct resistance level. For an athletic golfer or low handicapper, order a medium resistance. If preferred, the book can be purchased separately on the GolfGym website.
PGA Tour Tickets
If you’re out Reno-Tahoe way this summer, take Dad to a full-blown Tour event. Buy one season pass to the 2012 Reno-Tahoe Open (July 30-August 5) and get Dad's ticket free — a $130 value for just $65. Purchase your tickets online today and look for the Father's Day special; this offer is only valid through June 18 and discounted with code DAD2012.
U.S. Open Golf Gear
What to make sure Dad carries this year’s U.S. Open with him with every new round? IJP Design has rolled out the second in its series of four specially designed limited edition putter covers to mark each of this season’s majors. Named “Golden State” after this year’s U.S. Open at The Olympic Club in San Francisco, IJP Design is offering only 500 of these limited edition covers each with their own individually signed and numbered silver tag. Designed by Ian Poulter, the “Golden State” cover is gold in color and features iconic graphics relating to San Francisco. Each cover comes with a red IJP Design ball marker and protective lined tote bag. Following the huge success of “The First Major” putter cover, IJP Design has introduced two choices to the series: mallet style covers and blade style covers for $69.95 each.
Meanwhile, Ahead’s U.S. Open cap is a structured silhouette, waffle-textured performance fabric that is 100 percent polyester and features a Velcro closure, allowing one size to fit most. The cap can be personalized with up to 15 letters on the back. The cap is available in three colors — gray, white and blue for a suggested retail of $29. It’s available at www.USGASHOP.com or finer golf shops.
Rockin’ the Caddyshack Swag
Every golfing Dad loves the movie “Caddyshack” and Devant Sport Towels takes care of him with a series of Caddyshack towels. Known for its innovative designs, Devant has taken two of renowned pop culture artist David O'Keefe's famous paintings from Caddyshack, “Bushwood — A Tribute to Caddyshack (pictured) and “A Cinderella Story” — and showcases them on Devant's popular Hi Def Edge™ towel. The Caddyshack artwork is reproduced in a high definition image on the 16-x-25 inch terry cloth towel. The process produces a sharp image of a piece of artwork or photograph while keeping the towel soft and fully functional. Each towel features a Lock Clip solid brass attachment for use on golf bag or cart. It’s available at selected golf shops for $24.95.
adidas’ Samba Shoe
First introduced in the 1950s and made famous for an indoor soccer shoe, the Samba has evolved into today’s classic styling and comfortable fit fueled into a modern-day essential for both on the field and casual wear. Celebrate Father’sDay with adidas Golf and give a gift reflective of your savvy dad's favorite pastime or new-found passion on the golf course. With colorful personality and its iconic three-stripe design, the adidas Golf Samba shoe is a perfect wardrobe staple that will remain a classic and lasting gift. Each pair goes for $100.
Get Fit, Part 2
Every Dad wants the best clubs in his bag. With a Personal Club Fitting, Dad will get a Tour-level experience from a GolfTEC Certified Club Fitter, with locations around the U.S. As a bonus, he'll get a free Swing Evaluation with every club fitting purchased. Looking to buy Dad some clubs this year? Great deals are available from many top brands. For example, from Adams Golf score a free “Lessons of a Lifetime” DVD by Tom Watson with purchase. Callaway and TaylorMade offer a $100 rebate on selected irons while Cleveland Golf has multiple rebates on wedges, irons, mashies, hybrids and drivers.
“Read” the Greens
Spring is always season for new golf books, and this year brings a bumper crop:
“Ang Tak” by Helen Yeomans ($12.95) provides a fascinating inside look at the world of professional golf, taking the reader inside the ropes at Augusta National and revealing the psychological stresses and strains between players, caddies and families. The story aims to capture the magic and ambiance of Augusta National and the Masters as well as the sportsmanship, camaraderie, intensity, civility and heartbreak that accompany the competition.
“The Big Miss” by Hank Haney ($26) is perhaps the year’s most-discussed tome, taking readers through the successful, mercurial and sometimes enlightening six years he spent as Tiger Woods' swing coach.
Golf instruction gets another go-round in two very different ways with “Great Golf” ($14.95), a compendium of top tips from Jack Nicklaus, Ben Hogan, Tom Watson, Tiger Woods, Nancy Lopez and others; and “Golf Foreplay” ($15.95), Ken Altshuler’s A-to-Z primers for rank beginners. If Pop is in that camp, it’s not a bad way to go, but if he’s a veteran, take a look at “Great Golf” instead.
Meanwhile, mental game guru Bob Rotella is back in the game with “The Unstoppable Golfer” ($24.99), which concentrates on the short game and how to turn focus into your friend, while in “Straight Down the Middle” ($18.95), Josh Karp goes the spiritual route to improve his game, riffing on the mysticism and Scotland magic put forth in “Golf in the Kingdom.”
New York Times golf writer Bill Pennington takes a similar stem-to-stern tack with his new book “On Par: The Everyday Golfer’s Survival Guide” ($26). Based on his Times column, it covers everything from how to get the most out of a caddy to surving a bad case of the shanks — plus some good stuff on bucket-list places to play.
Dad a history buff? James Dodson’s “American Triumvirate” ($28.95) delves into golf’s “golden age,” when three giants of the game — Sam Snead, Byron Nelson and Hogan — ruled the competitive landscape. And “King of Clubs” by Jim Ducibella ($24.95) deals with “the great golf marathon of 1938,”in which a guy named J. Smith Ferebee attempted to play 600 holes of golf in eight cities in just 96 hours, in a valiant attempt to save his home (echoes for today, anyone?).
Finally, just in time for the U.S. Open are two books that concentrate on Jack Fleck’s surprise victory over Hogan in the 1955 Open at the Olympic Club, which hosts the event this year for the sixth time. Both longtime journalist and author Al Barkow’s “The Upset” ($24.95) and Neil Sagebiel’s “The Longest Shot” ($25.99) show in great detail and with historical reverence how an unknown pro from Iowa took down the Hawk on the most pressure-packed playing field in American golf.