June is always a joyous month in New England, and Father’s Day is right in the middle of it. June ushers in those five months of celebratory weather that make this region a special place, and Father’s Day recognizes those dads who have given their families a special spirit.
Finally, the miserable winter is only a memory, and, finally, the golf courses are green and lush and wanting wear. Golfing dads and their wives and children can play a round any time from the early dawn until the late dusk.
And these golfing dads deserve something a little special themselves. Therefore, I have scoured the press releases that flood my desk, and I have compiled a special list of golf gifts that are sure to bring a smile to golfing dads everywhere in New England.
Personalize His Favorite Titleists
How about presenting dad with a dozen or three of his favorite Titleists emblazoned with such phrases as “Happy Father’s Day,” “World’s Best Dad,” or any unique message you can create with up to three lines of block text and 17 characters per line? Until June 15, personalization charges will be waived on all custom orders of Pro V1, Pro V1x, NXT Tour, NXT Tour S, Velocity and DT SoLo golf balls. Free personalization is also available on orders of Pro V1 and Pro V1x with double-digit play numbers (00 and 11-99).
On Pro V1 and Pro V1x models, the combination of a single- or double-digit play number with personalization is often used to commemorate a holiday, birthday, anniversary or other significant date or event. The minimum order for free personalization is just one dozen. Orders can be placed by visiting any authorized Titleist golf shop. To locate a local Titleist golf shop, please visit the Titleist golf shop locator at http://www.titleist.com/find-a-golf-shop.
Next, to plan on where those golf balls are going to go, the brand new GolfBuddy PT4 GPS unit (www.golfbuddyglobal.com), available in stores only since April, is definitely the way to go. Featuring the slimmest design, highest resolution and largest screen in its class, the PT4 boasts a 4” LCD enhanced touchscreen with a more responsive interface and a replaceable battery that lasts up to 10 hours.
The PT4 precisely measures the distance to any target, and the proprietary dynamic green view technology provides precise distances to the front, center and back of the green, directly from the player’s angle of approach. Comprehensive target and hazard information are also included.
Along with automatic course recognition, moveable pin placement, and 37,000 pre-loaded global courses, the PT4 can track the distance walked during the round and keep score for up to four players at once. As with all GolfBuddy GPS products, the PT4 is 100% fee-free with no annual subscriptions. MSRP is $449.99.
TaylorMade SLDR Driver for Distance
Now that the balls are singularly ID’d and the PT4 can plan their journey, let’s get those balls airborne. Maybe it’s time for dad to try the TaylorMade SLDR driver, one of the most popular big sticks in the universe. SLDR’s Center of Gravity location is both low and forward, due in large part to the large, 20-gram sliding weight on the sole. The easy-to-adjust movable weight shifts the clubhead’s CG horizontally toward either the heel, to promote a draw, or toward the toe, to promote a fade.
SLDR’s sliding weight allows you to shift the CG far enough to promote a side-to-side trajectory change of up to 30 yards. SLDR also incorporates TM’s Loft-sleeve Technology, which allows you to adjust the loft. You can choose from 12 positions within a range of plus-or-minus 1.5 degrees of loft change. SLDR is available in three lofts – 9.5°, 10.5° and HL. All those enhancements make SLDR TM’s longest driver ever. And now the extra distance comes guaranteed. Trust your new distance, or TM will give you your MSRP of $399.99 back. Such a deal!
I’ve been partial to the performance of the Exotics (www.touredge.com) line of clubs for several years now, and their new CB PROh hybrid irons—with their power, forgiveness, control, and feel—are an innovative addition. Two distinctive iron designs mark the set’s effectiveness. The long and mid-irons (2-7) combine the distance and forgiveness of a hybrid and feature a full-hollow design, for an expanded sweet spot, combined with a very thin forged face. CB PROh scoring irons (8-PW) incorporate a cavity blade design for precision, trajectory control, and consistent feel. The shallow, traditional design scoring irons are made from soft 431 stainless steel.
The Exotics CB PROh irons feature Tour Edge’s lifetime warranty and 30-day play guarantee. A set of eight irons starts at $599.99. Individual long irons may be purchased starting at $99.99. When J.B. Holmes won the Wells Fargo in Charlotte in early May, his first win in six years, he used two Exotic hybrid irons, the 2 (19 degrees) and 3 (21 degrees), to seal the deal.
If dad really wants to score around the green, he should probably have some help from Titleist Master Craftsman Bob Vokey (www.Vokey.com/wedgeworks). His latest endeavor is a new lineup of TVD-M and TVD-K models with spin-milled TX3 grooves. First available on May 7, these TVD wedges are the result of Vokey’s continuous collaboration with the PGA Tour’s best players, including Adam Scott and Jason Dufner.
TVD, meaning “Tour Van Design,” originated from Vokey’s work on-site at Tour events, at his grinding wheel inside the Titleist Tour Van shaping and grinding wedges based on players’ needs. What’s great for dad is that the wedges are fully customizable—from length, lie, loft and weight porting, to toe engraving, personalized stamping, custom grips, shafts, shaftbands and ferrules.
TX3 scorelines, a progressive design with seven percent larger groove volume, produce additional backspin by channeling away grass and sand for improved contact between the ball and groove edge, significantly reducing the chance of “flyers” from the rough.
MSRP is $160 plus personalization packages.
Rife Putters—It’s All About the Grooves
In a game awash with putter options, Rife Golf (www.rifegolf.com) has been the industry leader in putter technology since 1997. Rife is the originator of the horizontal, grooved-face putter with a patent on specifically sized grooves. These precisely spaced grooves allow the putter to press gently into the cover of the ball to grip and to lift it into an instant forward roll. Rife states, “Just as grooves in irons help control spin, so do grooves in a putter face.”
Other companies are now trying to imitate this patented technology, but the spacing of the grooves is the true key to the gripping and lifting effect of grooved face putter technology. Horizontal RollGroove-faced putters create the truest “no skid” roll in golf no matter where the ball is hit on the putter face.
For 2014, Rife has introduced a new series of high-performance putters, both blades and mallets, named the Vault 002, which include such models as the Chief, General, Commander, Ranger and Switchback, and Iconic One, Two, Three and Four. MSRP is $159.99, and all putters may be purchased from the website.
OGIO’s Gotham Bag Collection
OK, we’ve taken care of all the clubs in the bag. Now it’s time for the bag, and OGIO (www.ogio.com) is the golf gold standard. Introduced in January at the PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando, the new Gotham Collection of Stand Bag and Cart Bag, with their Matte Black finishes and feather-light feel, will hold all 14 clubs and grab a lot of attention. Combined with a proprietary blend of exotic water, stain repellent fabrics and evolutionary construction, the bags reduces external zippers to allow for a sleek look. It offers six interior protected pockets for easy access to balls, tees, valuables and any additional golf gear.
Weighing less than four pounds and built with OGIO’s four point-strap system and 7-way Holster performance top with side putter pit and integrated grab handle, the Gotham stand bag (MSRP of $240) is a trustworthy companion for walking the course.
The Gotham cart bag (MSRP of $280) has a 16-way 2XBarrel cart top with integrated handles, stadium club seating, a front dual putter pit, a fleece lined GPS/valuables pocket, and a “no interference” cart strap tunnel and extensive storage options.
Whether walking or riding, dad will need comfortable golf shoes, and athletic-shoe mogul New Balance (www.newbalance.com) has created one of the best. Inspired by its classic lifestyle running 574 sneaker, this men’s golf shoe combines New Balance comfort, durability and style with golf-specific technologies designed to enhance traction, stability, and ultimately, dad’s game. For all-important traction, the shoe’s lightweight, low-profile Champ ONE-Lok Zarma Tour cleat system helps keep you in better contact with the ground.
The revolutionary REVlite midsole, originally designed to provide lightweight cushioning to marathoners, keeps feet comfortable whether walking on the course or concentrating on the swing. The shoe weighs less than 11 ounces and has both a premium waterproof microfiber leather upper and a rubber outsole. MSRP is $109.95.
Kentwool and Bubba Know Golf Socks
The comfortable golf shoes need to be complemented by comfortable socks, and with Kentwool socks (www.kentwoolsocks.com) at least dad can walk like Bubba Watson. Wearing his Bubba Green Tour Profile performance golf socks on the fairways of Augusta National, Bubba knocked the other socks off his opponents and won his second Green Jacket. Bubba’s distinctive swing cannot be imitated, but his distinctive socks certainly can.
Kentwool socks, with its large selection of colors and styles, use a proprietary blend of natural and high-tech fibers, including the all-weather super-fine Merino wool with its innovative WINDspun air-infused technology, to insure superior moisture management, wicking (sweat absorption), and odor control. The socks are made in Greenville, SC, and come with a 100% blister-free guarantee. MSRP is $19.95.
Nexbelt Provides High-Fashion Comfort with No Holes
One final accessory for dad that will make him stand out anywhere on the course. Put him into the ultra-modern NexBelt (www.nexbelt.com). The Nexbelt could do to the traditional pin/buckle belt what the gutta-percha golf ball did to the featherie, banish it forever from golfdom.. The pin/buckle belt has a tendency to wear quickly and unevenly, or it has to be thrown away because, as the waistline changes, it no longer fits properly. The NexBelt fits perfectly all the time, regardless of waist size, and gives a fashionable, streamlined appearance. The convenience of a hidden ball maker is located behind the face of the belt.
The belt’s end slips through the buckle until the belt fits to the golfer’s satisfaction, and then he just takes his hands away for the buckle to lock in exactly at that spot. The Nexbelt permits maximum comfort and minimum adjustment hassle by locking in at every ¼ inch as opposed to the usual one inch. A tiny latch sits at the bottom of the buckle for easy release. Belts are available in a variety of buckles and colors for both men and women. Two sizes fit all, one from 28-40” and the other from 38-50”. MSRP is generally $59.99.
OK, dad is all dressed up, equipped, and ready to go. The usual golf course is all well and good, but perhaps the old man deserves to go somewhere special, not necessarily on Father’s Day, but somewhere down the road. This idea doesn’t mean he should go alone, either. After all, Father’s Day is really a family celebration. So here are three select venues where dad, mom, and progeny could have the time of their lives.
What better place to start than toward the East Coast of Florida at Orlando’s world-class Reunion Resort and Annika Sorenstan’s ANNIKA Academy (www.theannikaacademy.com). Dad can play with Annika or learn the proven winning approach she established with her world renowned team of instructors. Even better are Annika’s two upcoming international academies: The iconic courses of southwest Ireland will host Annika’s hand-picked instruction team and a small group of guests from October 13-17. France’s Evian Resort, home of the LPGA’s Evian Masters, will be the site of a three-day program (and include participation from Annika) from August 8-10.
How about a trip to the Left Coast and a stay on the Monterey Peninsula, with one or two days dedicated to playing Robert Trents Jones II’s renovated and rejuvenated Poppy Hills Golf Course (www.poppyhillsgolf.com)? Closed for 13 months, the course just re-opened in April, reclaiming the original flair and glory that RTJ II had created when it first opened in 1986. The all-new Poppy will also co-host the Champion Tour’s Nature Valley First Tee Open in conjunction with its neighbor, Pebble Beach, from September 22-28.
Dad won’t want to leave the splendor of the New England summer until November or so? No problem. Mexico will wait. In a dramatic setting at the tip of the Baja Peninsula, marked by windswept dunes, sheer cliffs and desert foothills 10 minutes from downtown Cabo San Lucas, Jack Nicklaus has crafted Quivira Golf Club (http://www.pueblobonito.com/quivira-golf-club). Set to open on October 1, Quivira is the sixth course that Nicklaus has designed in Los Cabos. He said, “Our team has worked with the canvas Mother Nature provided to create what we hope is one of the most spectacular courses in the world.”
Just like Father’s Day—spectacular.
Happy’s Father’s Day to New England dads everywhere.
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