As Christmas closed in on the calendar, the American midwest and east took a smack from a hefty winter storm. If that barrage of snow and ice got any of the golf lovers in your life down, remind them that sunny, warm days still exist somewhere with these last minute golf gifts.
Mizuno JPX 825 Irons: Selling for $699 (steel shafts) and $899 (graphite), the JPX 825 irons (above) are some of my favorite irons of 2012. I liked them so much I included them in previous big ticket gift guide. Mizuno claims they’re the most forgiving irons in its history, and they throw out a lot of science that most golfers won’t understand or really care about, if they’re honest. According to Mizuno, the JPX 825 offer the Highest Coefficient of Restitution (COR) allowed by USGA for forgiving distance.
Tin Cup Stencil: More of a stocking stuffer, the Tin Cup stencils allow the player to ink a design of their choosing onto their golf balls. Stencils include everything from general symbols like shamrocks and skulls to college and military emblems. It can serve as an affordable, personalized gift for between $10 and $20.
Sensoglove: This golf-teaching aid looks a bit like a pregnant batting glove with a pacemaker installed. While acting like the traditional skintight golf glove worn by most players on the forehand of their swing, the SensoGlove contains soft sensors in each of the fingertips. Those sensors detect how tightly the golfer is holding his or her club.
The idea is no successful golfer should grip a club too tightly. No matter how hard the players swings, they need a light touch. One of the first lessons I learned from my golf instructor was to hold the club as though I was holding a bird – or at least a bird I didn’t want to crush in my fist. The SensoGlove looks to train too strong a grip away.
If a student squeezes that club too tightly, the SensoGlove issues a an alarm beep. The pressure threshold is adjustable to allow a student to train their grip down in stages until he or she holds their driver like a painter holds a brush.
Nike Performance Hybrid Carry Bag: Another holdover from my general gift guide, Nike’s new hybrid bag is designed for both walking and riding with quick click removable straps, an insulated cooler pocket, the Nike EquaFlex max air curved revolving double strap system, ergonomic design for ease of use and even weight distribution for improved comfort. You get Stretch Fit pockets for your balls and tees and a ventilated die-cut air mesh back pad to provide increased air flow and reduce perspiration. It also helps that the bag is as stylish as it is effective.
Adams Golf Idea SUPER S Hybrid: This 19 degree loft hybrid fairway wood is just one of Adams' latest line of high tech clubs. A blend of stainless steel and graphite, the Idea is a perfect choice for those tweener drives off long par threes or long fairway approaches on brutal par fives. When I swing it, I can feel that lower center of gravity and nice sweet spot – a surprise for a club with a sleek club face.
Champ MyHite Tees: Another smaller gift to hide in the toe of your player's festive golf sock, these MyHite Tees qualify for that "Why the hell didn't someone come up with this before now?" category. Once a player figures out how high they're comfortable teeing up their drives, these elevation marked tees allow the golfer to make sure the ball sits at the proper height out of every box. You can grab a pack of them for about $7.
ECCO Mens BIOM Golf Hybrid Shoes: You might not associate ECCO with golf shoes, but the active fashion company is pushing its way into the market with products like these BIOM Hybrids. Comfortable and bolstered against the strains and twists a golf swing puts on a shoe, the BIOMs are also heavily waterproofed. They're not cheap – averaging around $200 a pair, but they're worth it when you slip inside a pair.