Golf windshirts are classic, handsome, and functional. And everyone has way too many of them. Although they will never be the junk mail of the corporate golf world, windshirts are due for a rest. Golfers may not say it, but that's what some are thinking.
Instead, why not consider one of these unusual and entertaining items?
Help for Aching Feet
Not every golfer can stay on his or her feet for an entire 18 holes, especially at a PGA www.classiccanes.com, when waiting at the green for a favorite player to shoot through seems like forever. Those with a Seat Stick have the upper hand. These walking canes or umbrellas fold out into a small bench for resting weary legs. They're available from a number of companies, including Classic Canes, Crewkerne, Somerset, England, and The Richard Harris Collection. They range in price from $75 to $175.
Golfers have been serious about the game since its inception. And for golfers in the 1800s, even Sunday was a day to get in a little practice, even if the local congregation thought it wrong. Heritage Golf of St. Andrews offers a reproduction of The Sunday Stick, a walking stick with a club-head handle. When no one was looking, golfers would drop a ball, turn the stick around, and practice a few shots. It sells for £65 (about $90). The St. Andrews, Scotland, company also offers golf club reproductions of the McEwan Long Nose playclub and the George Nicoll Brassie (no price given). www.heritage-golf.co.uk
Golf as Fine Art
A great prize, especially for golf historians, is The Evolution of the Golf Ball Display. This museum-quality reproduction from The Design Shop, Newnan, Ga., measures 3 by 4 by 16.5 inches and features six individually finished golf balls on a hardwood base topped with an acrylic display cover. A brass plate identifies each ball, and a detailed history of each is underneath the padded felt base. Supply the shop with your logoed golf ball, and they'll use it in place of the Modern Ball. The display costs about $220. Smaller displays depicting the featherie, an early golf ball made of leather and feathers, and the modern golf ball ($65), or just the featherie ($38) are also available. www.thedesignshop.com
Another unique artistic gift is an ornamental leaded glass sphere from Joann Dost Golf Editions, LLC, Monterey, Calif. The company uses an age-old graphic art form with Joann Dost golf photography to create an heirloom-quality collectible. The work is presented on a walnut base with a walnut trunk/pedestal. Spheres can be logoed and feature site-specific imagery. Minimum order is 15 spheres, with the large ones prices at $1,200 each and the medium at $1,000 each. The company also offers exquisite leaded glass photo boxes. The pieces are hand-crafted in the United States, and each is made to the customer's specifications. Price is $150 for the 5.5-by7-inch version. The boxes showcase the image of a specific location through the luster and brilliance of leaded glass. www.joanndost.com
Tools of the Trade
Useful items are always appreciated. On golf outings, Scott Vieson, applications analyst with the J.M. Smucker Co., Orrville, Ohio, always hopes he'll get a divot repair tool/ball marker. “I like the tool because I never lose it in my pocket. It's handy, and if something's handy, you'll use it,” Vieson says. Golf Tournament Promotions, Plano, Texas, offers a brass divot tool that is precision-machined. The tool has a removable 1-inch medallion magnetic ball marker on the front. Setup charge for the item is $125. www.golftournament.com
For some, golf is a big math problem. The Handy Capper, from Giftmaze.com, Rockaway, N.J., can calculate a golfer's handicap in seconds. Golfers enter their adjusted score, the course rating and slope, and their handicap differential is calculated. It comes with a neoprene pouch and golf bag clip and sells for about $35. www.giftmaze.com
When traveling, a lot of golfers would like to bring their favorite clubs, but that can be a big hassle. Show that you know how to solve that problem, and you'll be remembered forever. The Richard Harris Collection, Everett, Pa., offers the Three-Club Carry-On. Made of a sturdy leather-like synthetic, the small bag can hold a driver, putter, and one other favorite club. It sells for around $50. www.harriscollection.com.
Marge Risinger, Rosenberg & Risinger Inc., Culver City, Calif., says her golf friends always ask her about the suction cup that she keeps on the handle end of her putter. “You never have to bend over to get the ball out of the cup,” she says. “It's the best gift no one every gives.” Mountaintop Golf Cars Inc., Banner Elk, N.C, sells the Ball Pickup Suction Cup for a little less than $2 a piece. The retriever is made out of flexible rubber and slides over the putter grip. www.golfcarcatalog.com
Every golfer's best friend is the Mulligan. Now you can give your players edible ones from the Harris Collection. Mulligans are peppy snacks made from cheddar and parmesan cheese, and Dormies are pesto cheese biscuits with parmesan cheese, basil and a hint of garlic. Decorative tins are about $15 each. www.harriscollection.com