Panic in the pandemic: Last-minute holiday golf gift guide

Listen up duffers and duffettes – Christmas 2020 is just one week away (and Hanukkah is already over!). If you haven’t secured gifts for the golfers on your list by now, you’re going to need to hit the shot of the year. Seriously, this is the holiday equivalent of stepping onto the 18th tee dormie: it’s now or never.

Baby Jesus knows I tried to help you with one of my most extensive gift guides ever. But I’ve got a few more ideas for the laggards out there.

The Clover Whiskey

Bobby Jones was not only a golf legend; he was a legendary connoisseur of fine bourbon. The Bobby Jones Clover Collection by The Clover Whiskey is a Jones family initiative to carry on the legacy and traditions of Bobby Jones. The collection includes several single-barrel aged bourbons and ryes (starting at about $60), along with a very classy selection of accessories, including tasting and low-ball glasses, and a signature gold clover lapel pin (just as Jones himself always wore). The 4-year old straight bourbon whiskey is 92-proof, but perhaps the smoothest I have ever drunk. I can only imagine how velvety the 10-yar-old is! The flavor profile is vanilla, smoked almonds, and cardamom. The Clover Whiskeys are available in about 20 states so far, and at some of the most exclusive golf resorts and clubs in America (see the website for a list). You can’t buy it online, but you can buy the gift boxes and accessories (starting around $35) if you’re lucky enough to track down a bottle and want to dress it up even further. I cannot stress enough how much any whiskey-loving golfer (or non-golfer!) on your list will love this stuff. Pair it with the golf-ball shaped ice cubes by Tovolo from my original gift guide

Club Champion Club Fitting

Club Champion is the nation’s premier club-fitter, with 75 centers throughout the country. They’ve made me a believer. I’ve gone through fittings there myself, as have several friends too, and the level of detail and the sheer amount of information you learn about your swing will astound you. Same goes for the vast array of equipment they can choose from—tens of thousands of head, shaft, and grip combinations. For the holidays, get 50% off fittings booked and completed from November 1, 2020 – January 31, 2021 when you purchase $500 in equipment. Golfers booking putter fittings will receive 50% off their fitting fee with the purchase of a new putter — no price minimum. My son just did a putter fitting, and he loved every second of it. You can also purchase gift cards to use with this deal, or later in 2021, at their website.

The Claw PRO Golf Glove by CaddyDaddy

If your favorite golfer wears old, torn, smelly golf gloves, do him or her a favor and restock their bag with a couple of Claw PRO gloves by CaddyDaddy ($25). These gloves are the grippiest, strongest, most breathable gloves you will find. The palms are coated with silicon webbing, and the fully synthetic suede and mesh back are durable and amply vented. The Claw PRO has added grip in the thumb and forefinger and is machine-washable. They will last 4x-5x longer than a traditional glove. I got my original model Claw glove over a year ago, and I still wear it nearly every round. I expect to be wearing the PRO for another couple years.

OnCore Online Gift Card

OnCore makes some of the best golf balls you’ve maybe never heard of. This Buffalo, NY, company has a new tour-level ball (see my ball round-up from earlier this year), the Vero X1, that can stand alongside any of the top-line big-company balls. Anyway, OnCore is having a big holiday sale on gift cards: Spend $50 on a gift card and get $65 in OnCore cash to spend.  Spend $75 and get $100. If you really want to impress, spend $100 and give a gift worth $140.

Annual Membership in the golf Heritage Society

Are there golfers on your list who have all the gadgets, gear, and gee-gaws they could ever need? Then give them the gift of history with a $50 annual membership in the Golf Heritage Society. The GHS exists to share stories, artifacts, and pure love of golf. In short, this is where golf collectors, writers, historians, and fanatics of all types satisfy their cravings and curiosity. Members gain access to a members-only section of the Society’s website, where they’ll find special and archived content and a shop full of cool GHS merchandise that your favorite golf geek cannot get anywhere else.

Ryder Cup Experience Package at Geneva National Resort & Club

Have you ever dreamed of holing the putt to win the Ryder Cup? I can’t help you live that dream, but I can point you toward a gift that will win both the holiday season AND get you closer to the Ryder Cup than you ever thought possible. Geneva National Resort and Club in Geneva, Wisconsin, has put together a dream package for golf fans who want to attend the Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits (Sept. 23-27) and play Geneva National’s championship courses. Packages include 54 holes of golf at Geneva National, four nights deluxe accommodations, two days of Ryder Cup tickets with transportation, and a Ryder Cup Watch Party ($3,000-$4,000, depending on occupancy; discounts for GN members). These packages will go fast, so contact them NOW if you want to be a Ryder Cup hero without actually qualifying for the team.

Well, that’s it. That’s all I can do for you this year. Even though the pandemic has made everything harder, I hope these ideas help make your 2020 holidays easier, and most memorable ever – for good reasons.

Be well, play good golf, and keep in touch. I’ll see you on the other side in 2021.

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