Golf Gifts for Father’s Day 2021: Vax-up & gear-up

Father’s Day 2021 feels much more hopeful than Father’s Day 2020. We have vaccines, and we now know that outdoor activities – like golf – are extremely safe. So the best thing you can do for Old Dad this Father’s Day is make sure he’s fully vaccinated. The second-best thing you can do for him is shower him with golf gifts. Here’s a selection of our favorite gear this year!

Arnold Palmer Umbrellas by Weatherman

The Arnold Palmer Umbrella Collection by Weatherman offers shelter from the rain for golfers and non-golfers alike. The Arnold Palmer Classic Golf Umbrella ($89) has Arnie’s trademark color pattern and measures 68”. That’s big enough to keep a threesome dry, if you like each other well enough and don’t need to socially distance anymore.

PUMA Arnold Palmer Collection

Speaking of Arnie, PUMA has come out with its second collaboration with Arnold Palmer Enterprises, a collection of apparel and accessories that embodies The King’s timeless style as it would come to life today. The PUMA Golf x Arnold Palmer Collection celebrates the life and excellence of golf’s global icon through nostalgic pastel colors, unique prints, and personal detailing on each piece. Caps run $35, polos around $85, and quarter-zips around $140.

Ocean Tees

Plastics may be necessary for some things, but golf tees ain’t one of them. And chopping down hardwood timber for tees doesn’t seem quite right, either. Enter Ocean Tees, made from Moso bamboo farmed exclusively in the company’s 100-hectare plot in Jiangxi Provence, China, under strict environmental controls. This kind of bamboo is 4x stronger than hardwood. The packaging is even made from recycled (and recyclable) material. The tees come in short, long, mixed, and “castle” versions (4 British pounds per box online, and they accept PayPal). I’ve found the castle tees to be most durable in dry turf conditions where even my previous plastic tees snapped every few drives—and the height is ideal for my driver. If you feel like exploring the Ocean Tees website further, you’ll find that they also sell golf apparel. Their polos, sweaters, and other apparel (from 49 British pounds) are produced in the only factory in Europe that meets Greenpeace’s textile procurement standards. The apparel is woven from blends of organic cotton and proprietary degradable elastane. None of the process or packaging contains any virgin plastic, either.

BIG MAX Blade IP Push Cart and Dri Lite Sport Bag

With walking rounds more popular than ever, Europe’s #1 push cart and golf bag brand BIG MAX is ready to make this Father’s Day memorable for golfing Dads across the country with the Fold Flat Blade IP push cart and Dri Lite Sport Golf Bag. The Blade IP has won multiple awards for its compact folding mechanism. Perfect for a Dad who needs their push cart to take up as little room as possible in the trunk of the car or when packed away. The IP’s ultra-flat design leaves it less than 5” deep when folded and features a host of practical features, stylish looks and a 5-year manufacturer warranty ($349.99). The Dri Lite Sport is a water-resistant cart bag that constructed from 100% waterproof fabric with specially designed waterproof zippers. The Dri Lite Sport boasts a 14-way 9.5” organizer top with oversize putter well, 9 water-resistant pockets, and an oversized cooler pocket all in a 4.85 lb. bag ($249.99).

Bushnell Wingman GPS and Bluetooth Speaker

If Dad’s gone all-in on technology and all the ways it’s changing golf, the Bushnell Wingman ($150) is for him. Essentially the Wingman is a top-notch Bluetooth stereo speaker combined with one of the best GPS systems in golf. Integrated into the speaker is a powerful magnet so you can stick it on your golf cart (or on your pushcart), and there’s a detachable remote control you can keep in your pocket to click for audible yardages to the front, middle, and back of the green.

But wait – there’s more!

Pair the Wingman with your phone to play music from your own library or streaming service, if the gentle strains of birdsong and the breeze in the leaves are not soothing enough. Then download the Bushnell app onto your smartphone to display detailed maps and yardages of 36,000 courses, keep score, and more all on your phone.

High Camp Fairway Flask

Since the Dri Lite Sport has such a convenient cooler pocket, maybe toss in something classy to fill that pocket. The High Camp Fairway Flask is brilliantly crafted and ruggedly built for the course. It keeps half a bottle of your favorite spirit at the perfect temperature all day long and comes with the Ultimate Fairway Bar Glass: the 6-Shooter design pays homage to the traditional American West, and it holds 11oz (325ml) of your favorite beverage. The cleverest part is the Integrated Magnetic Locking System, which allows you to seamlessly attach your tumbler to your flask. It fits perfectly in the cart drink holder, and the magnetized cup keeps it from tipping over. It’s constructed from durable 18/8 surgical steel, has a no-drip lip, requires no funnel to fill, and keeps Dad’s libation hot or cold 24 hours. Get your flask either in the standard version ($85) or custom engraved ($109). High Camp offers a wide range of other flasks and barware, too.

Bardstown Bourbon

Bardstown Bourbon Company produces unique bourbons of the highest quality. Steve Nally, the Master Distiller, had the same role at Maker’s Mark for 18 years before leaving to found Bardstown. Their mashbills are fascinating to read, and the Fusion Series (around $55) offers blends that are proposed by everyone in the company and go through a March Madness-style taste-off to find the best one. Ask about engraving a bottle to commemorate Dad’s ace or low round (like in the photo below, engraved to recall my first sub-80 round of this season).

Callaway and Bridgestone Golf Balls

You know, if Dad loads his High Camp Flask with Bardstown Bourbon, he might need some help lining up his putts. Callaway’s new ERC Soft and Supersoft golf balls ($35) feature “triple-track technology”—three lines that might look like six lines when that flask is empty. These balls are arguably the softest on the market, yet they have succeeded in squeezing every possible bit of distance out of a design optimized for feel.

Some extra visibility might be useful, too, given Dad’s condition. Bridgestone has recently introduced a high-contrast yellow version of its TOUR B XS—the ball Tiger played before his accident. The yellow version ($45), like the white, features REACTIV cover technology, which employs an “impact modifier,” to allow the urethane to behave differently based on swing speed.  For example, when struck with a driver or any longer club, the REACTIV urethane cover “reacts,” as a firmer, more resilient material, providing more speed and distance. However, on slower swings with a wedge or short iron, the cover performs like a softer material, creating more shot-stopping spin and control. I wonder if the cover is made of cornstartch…but that might be the Bardstown talking…

Club Champion Fitting

If Dad’s clubs need a tune-up or an upgrade, now’s a great time to lock in some savings on the fitting process. The #1 clubfitter in the U.S., Club Champion, has a limited-time offer from now through Father’s Day. Buy Dad a gift card for $150 or more and get $75 toward an equipment purchase.

Stix Golf Clubs

Now, if Dad doesn’t want to go through a fitting, or if you’re just leading him to the game, a new budget-friend equipment option is Stix Golf. Never heard of Stix Golf? Well imagine if Dollar Shave Club made golf clubs – same idea, sort of. Stix makes high-quality golf clubs – entire sets, bags, apparel, etc. – and offers them directly to consumers in the same sort of marketing model as Vice Golf Balls (with whom Stix partners). The result is affordable, solid equipment with minimalist design and consistent performance. At the Stix website, you can find all combinations of gear for Dad, including a full 14-club set plus golf bag for $924. If he doesn’t need that much stuff, 11-piece and 9-piece sets are available, or just wedges or woods – basically whatever he needs or wants.

PrecisionPro Golf R1 Smart Rangefinder

PrecisionPro’s new Smart Rangefinder ($320) has more features packed into it than any other rangefinder on the market. Pre-orders for the official July release are closed already, but maybe give Dad an IOU. The Smart Rangefinder is “smart” because you can pair it to your phone with the PrecisionPro app, and it will provide a list of information including your personalized slope (based on your stock club yardages, elevation, and real-time wind and weather conditions). It even has a “Find My Rangefinder” function to allow you to track it in case Dad leaves it lying on a teebox in his Bardstown fog.

Over-the-top Pebble Beach Getaway

In 2008, I took my father-in-law with me to cover the US Open at Torrey Pines over Father’s Day. Now that he’s gone, I am more grateful every year that we had that time together. If you’re looking for a bucket list gift and escape with Old Dad, what better place is there than up the California coast a ways — Pebble Beach Resorts? At Pebble Beach, you and Dad can savor five legendary golf courses, including The Hay, the resort’s brand-new short course designed by Tiger Woods, world-class accommodations, and seemingly endless dining options – that’s the way to Dad’s heart. Here’s how to treat Dad to the ultimate Father’s Day or guy’s getaway trip: A round on Pebble Beach Golf Links – the number one public golf course in America – is a must. Post-golf, spots like The Bench and STICKS provide options for casual drinks or a celebratory meal. When it’s time to call it a night, the guys can retreat to one of two four-bedroom cottages located at Fairway One at The Lodge. Cottages feature a luxurious living room flanked by big screen TVs, a stacked-stone fireplace, and an open kitchen and wet bar. An outdoor terrace overlooking the famed first fairway at Pebble Beach Golf Links is ideal for post-round cigars.

Want to dial up the experience a notch higher? Check out the  Lexus Performance Driving School. Lexus, the official vehicle of Pebble Beach Resorts (and the company that sent me and my late father-in-law to Torrey Pines in 2008), is offering a full-day racing experience at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca. Dad can drive this thrilling, iconic circuit while building his driving skills and confidence – on and off the track. Summer school dates include June 25, 26 or 27, and Aug. 20, 21 or 22, 2021. Fall and winter dates are also available. The experience is $995. To order a gift certificate or to register a participant as a gift, contact the Lexus Concierge at 888-211-8522 or Concierge@LexusPerformanceDrivingSchool.com.

I know my father-in-law never forgot that trip to watch Tiger win his final U.S. Open. And I’m positive that your father will never forget a trip to Pebble Beach. None of us will forget 2020, but we can pile some amazing memories on top of it. This Father’s Day is a great time to begin!

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