“What do my players really want?” Golf event planners often find themselves asking that question when choosing player gifts and prizes. In essence, what women want and what men want is the same. They want accessories to make them comfortable on the course, good-looking golf clothing, and equipment that will help their game. The specifics can vary, along with men's and women's bodies, tastes, and habits. Some products will delight both genders equally, but a variation or a different item entirely can sometimes be a better choice to please everyone in your group.
We've come up with a selection of gifts that aim to please, from a useful ball marker that clips to a player's cap for under $10, to fun T-shirts with prices starting at $21, to top-of-the line golf clothing or the perfect putter at the upper end of the price scale. All are available at www.corporate-golf.com.
For Players with a Sense of Humor
You need to have a sense of humor to play the game, right? BogeyPro Golf (www.bogeypro.com) has designed a series of T-shirts (left) that are sure to elicit a chuckle, from “How to Throw Your Bag” to “How to Break Your Club.” The 100 percent cotton pre-shrunk tees come in four sizes and start at $21.
Slippery grips, spattered eyeglasses, or dripping hair don't help anyone's game. Men and women alike will be grateful for a big, sturdy golf umbrella when a sudden downpour catches them on the course. (Factor in runny makeup, and the women may be even more thankful.) This double-canopy WINDBRELLA is the top of the line — guaranteed windproof and big enough to share. Under $25, with logo.
Clever Cap Clip
The clip attaches to a visor, and magnetic attraction holds a ball marker to the clip, so it's easily accessible upon reaching the green. Cap clips are genderless, but especially appreciated by women. (A ball marker is one less thing to go in their pockets, which women's slacks often lack.) Golf Design's original cap clip with magnetic marker, and other styles and brands, are all under $10, including logo.
Women love golf apparel and outerwear, just as men do, but they want garments cut to fit and flatter them. The simplest way for a planner to please the sexes equally is to choose a garment offered as men's and women's coordinates. The moderately priced pro shop brands have expanded their selections of these models and designed the women's with unique feminine features. You can now find polo shirts in high-tech fabrics, stripes, jacquard weaves, and silky mercerized cotton, and wind shirts and jackets for women from brands such as Antigua, Tehama, Ashworth, Ahead (called Kate Lord for women), and Fidra. But Cutter & Buck has led the way with a women's version (in sizes from XS to XXL) of almost every style in its in-stock collection. Cutter & Buck's Pima Jersey Classic for women is in the $30 range — and that includes an embroidered logo.
Women golfers may avoid wearing a wristwatch on the course because it can be a swing distraction. A watch that clips onto a golf bag is the ideal solution for keeping track of the time. This Bag Tag N'Time, featuring a metal case engraved with your logo, comes in a reusable wooden gift box for under $40.
Looking for luxury? Zero Restriction (right) is the ultimate in golf outerwear. Each garment, from lightweight wind vests to waterproof rain suits and leather-trimmed 100 percent cashmere jackets, is constructed to allow an unrestricted swing. And since most garments are custom-made, any fabric and color choice available for men can also be made in women's sizes. Custom orders take nine to 12 weeks, but if time is shorter, an in-stock collection includes coordinates in basic colors. The solid microsuede wind shirt in bone is under $115.
There's no such thing as a man's or woman's putter. On the green, size and strength are irrelevant; touch and alignment get the ball in the hole. Both sexes crave the latest models, making one a super gift for all the players in a VIP outing. Odyssey's two-ball putters are among the hottest, and the new White Steel and top-selling White Hot two-ball putters can be customized with a logo on the face. These also come as gift-boxed sets with six custom logo Callaway golf balls, and the low minimum — just six sets — makes them a great choice forprizes, too. Pricing from about $125 to more than $200 including logo, depending on model, quantity, whether gift-boxed, and ball model chosen.
For Dog Lovers
What's great about the fun and furry head covers from Only Golf Gifts is that they really look like the little guys! Choose from beagle, bichon frisé, husky, West Highland white terrier, and more, for $24.95 each.
For Techies Only
The Circuit Pro Putter from Dalriada (www.circuitpro.com) is manufactured using laminated printed circuit boards for the head of the club. No two putters will ever look the same because of the nature of the circuit boards. Each comes with an identification number and a certificate of ownership. Engraving is available.
Great Goodie Bag
Stuff tees, balls, and other small items into a high-quality valuables pouch, and women and men will happily put the bag to future use, if somewhat differently. A man will put his keys, wallet, and jewelry in the pouch, and then stash it in his golf bag. A woman might add some necessities from her purse, and keep it with her in the cart. Either way, this leather zip pouch by TLT is a fine choice. Less than $25 in tournament quantities, including a custom logo.
For Your Art Collectors
Scott Medlock Fine Arts specializes in limited-edition prints depicting some of the most memorable moments in golf from around the world. Medlock also sells official tournament artwork, which he created, from the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. Another option: Companies can commission original pieces. Prices for corporate gifts start at $65. www.scottmedlock.com
Note: Pricing in this article is for typical tournament quantities of 72 to 240, except where noted.
Nina Renaud is a principal of Corporate Golf, which supplies merchandise to corporate clients nationwide for golf meetings and tournaments, and also provides golf-event planning and celebrity-booking services. (919) 680-3070 or www.corporate-golf.com