I just returned from an annual 3-day golf trip with a group of guys who’ve been playing together once a year for 33 years. We don’t all go every year, and sometimes we don’t see someone for a half-dozen years. Yet somehow, I feel like I recognize these guys better than my own neighbors, and I am certain I know more about their lives than I do most of my co-workers. Nearly all of us are fathers—except for some of the yearly new crop of “rookies”—and we particularly revel in stories of deep discomfort and profound privation we often faced in the early years of the trip, when we had more stamina, fewer health concerns, and less money. Today, we all agree that tops on our list for the trip is COMFORT. We’re getting up there – many of the group are retired – so we’re willing to pay more if need be to sleep in an actual bed, find cabins with new furniture and full amenities, and not have to wake up before sunrise to snag discount rates.
I bet your dad would appreciate a little comfort, too. So here’s a list of golf gift ideas focused on the theme of making Pop’s life a little more comfortable.
ASICS GEL-KAYANO ACE Golf Shoes
You know who knows comfortable shoes? Runners. So ASICS took the design features of their widely acclaimed running shoes and adapted them to golf shoes. The GEL-KAYANO ACE Golf Shoe ($170) is a spikeless, waterproof golf shoe offering comfort with every move. The lightweight frame and flexibility of the GEL-KAYANO ACE is aided by ASICS FlyteFoam Technology, providing lightweight shock absorption and plenty of support. An improved upper mesh and PU film coating help keep golfer’s feet dry in wet conditions, while its TPU Heel Cradle helps maintain stability while walking and throughout the swing. If Dad happens to be into speed-golf, these are definitely the shoes for him!
PUMA x Volition America Collection
Ol’ Pops needs comfort on the rest of his body, too. The PUMA x Volition America Collection brings red, white, and blue to the course in the form of patriotic patterns, hi-tech materials, and innovative designs, all of which are aimed at honoring US military veterans. A portion of the proceeds from the Volition line will go directly to Folds of Honor Foundation to support the families of American military heroes. The designs run from splashy to subtle, but all are stylish and comfortable. There’s also a Volition America Golf Bag ($350), various accessories, and a special edition AEROJET Driver ($599), if you want to set Dad up with a full-blown tribute to America.
Sun Mountain Mid-Stripe Dual Strap Stand Bag
Hopefully Dad still walks a few holes now and then, but even if not, he deserves a lightweight stand bag with cushy shoulder straps, maybe to encourage more walking. Perfect for either walking rounds or riding rounds, the Sun Mountain Mid-Stripe Dual Strap Stand Bag ($370) is a retro-cool beauty. Weighing in at just 5.6 lbs., the Mid-Stripe features loads of spiffy detailing (like leather external tee holders), a 9” top with 4 dividers, and 7 functional, spacious pockets. I just love the way this bag looks and feels on my shoulders. I have received more compliments on this bag than any I’ve ever owned, both from Dads AND from their children.
Stewart Golf Apex Remote Trolley
If your goal is to provide Dad with the ultimate in comfort, you need to get him a remote-controlled trolley so he can stroll the links leisurely without having to lug or push his clubs around. World-renowned golf trolley manufacturer Stewart Golf has announced a brand-new model to join its award-winning electric cart fleet—the APEX Remote ($1899)—what the company is calling the “ultimate remote machine,” giving golfers total control of their trolleys from up to 100 yards away. Stewart Golf manufactures the world’s most advanced, remote-controlled golf carts and is a pioneer in follow technologies, many of which have been incorporated into the APEX Remote. A world first in golf—Active Terrain Control (ATC)—is a sophisticated operating system that gives the user ultimate control of their trolley on any course, no matter how challenging its landscape and is the hallmark of the APEX.
ATC allows APEX to automatically redistribute power independently between twin super-charged motors depending on elevation grades. Unlike basic downhill braking, ATC keeps the APEX travelling at a desired speed and direction—uphill, downhill, and on side slopes. The innovative ATC system is powered by the new AP1 Cortex Microchip, which monitors power requirements from each motor up to 1,000 times per second. This new system also adjusts to different golf bags, allowing smoother response when holding a lightweight bag. In the APEX, Stewart Golf debuts the longest range in the trolley market. Its second-generation SmartPower Lithium battery now provides enough power for 27 or 45 holes of operation. The plug-and-play battery offers users the ability to monitor usage and capacity in real time using the free Stewart Golf smartphone app.
SuperStroke Putter Grips
Perhaps the best feeling in golf is feeling comfortable – and confident – on the greens. An essential part of achieving this blessed nirvana-like state is your putter grip. Your putter should feel so natural in your hands, that it’s like an extension of your body. SuperStroke Putter Grips ($30-$40) have in a very short time become ubiquitous on greens everywhere from local municipal courses to the PGA Tour. Two recent Tour winners, Davis Riley and Wyndham Clark, play SuperStrokes, in fact. SuperStroke’s stroke of genius is widening the lower part of the grip, removing the taper and thereby minimizing the tendency for the lower hand to get over-involved and inappropriately manipulate the putter face. These grips come in several different sizes and designs, not to mention color combinations, and they work – just ask Tour winners.
Bridgestone e12 Contact Golf Balls
Another great feeling in golf is being comfortably in the fairway off the tee. The key to finding the short grass is contact: contact between the clubface and the ball. Bridgestone has drawn from its long history as a manufacturer of racecar tires to bring golfers the e12 Contact. The fourth iteration of the e12 creates 46% more surface contact at impact over competitor balls. Borrowed from Bridgestone Tire, Contact Science optimizes the moment of impact, yielding faster speeds on more powerful contact and higher spin rates on less powerful contact. Designed for players looking for a combination of maximum distance, straighter overall shots, exceptionally soft feel, and enhanced short game performance, the new e12 CONTACT golf balls are loaded with technology, highlighted by the brand new FLEXATIV Surlyn cover.
The new FLEXATIV cover is designed using impact modifiers that allow it to react to the amount of force applied at impact. When struck with a driver the cover behaves like a firmer material for faster ball speed and more distance, and also less sidespin for straighter shots and enhanced forgiveness on off-center hits. When struck with a wedge or short iron, however, it behaves like a softer, slower material.
High Camp Fairway Flasks
Finally, for me, peak relaxation can be achieved with a nice adult beverage, whether it be on the course, after the round, or watching golf on TV on a rainy day. The High Camp Fairway Flask (standard 375 ml with tumbler, $85; Custom-engraved 375 ml with tumbler, $109) is brilliantly crafted for your bar top and at the same time ruggedly built for the rough and tumble of the course. The Integrated Magnetic Locking System allows you to seamlessly attach your tumblers to your flask (and even create a goblet for refined tippling). It fits perfectly in the cart drink holder and the magnetized cup keeps it from tipping over. The Firelight 375 is built for your longest rounds—it’ll keep half a bottle of your favorite spirit at the perfect temperature all day long.
There you have it. This Father’s Day, resist Dr. Suess’s call to “Hop on Pop!” Instead, shop for pop, and give the gift of comfort on the golf course. He’s earned it!