Father's Day is June 16th, which means you've got less than two weeks to get something fun for the guy who likely introduced you to the game. Need some suggestions? We've got 'em, for a range of budgets from modest to massively over-the-top:
I've sung the praises of Kentwool's golf socks before, and I still swear by them. But last year I bought a pair of Surino hybrid alpaca fleece/merino wool golf socks and have found them to be every bit as good. My favorite thing about them is that they're snug, which prevents my golf shoes from rubbing them off my heels. They're pricy at $20 a pair, but after dozens of wearings and washings, they don't seem to have lost anything from the day I bought them last August. Dad deserves a pair or two.
Want to get Dad something stylish and useful without breaking the bank? Asher makes some high-quality, sharp-looking direct-to-consumer golf gloves in the more classic white and black, as well as some more out-there colors like Olive, Lime Green, "Indigo Ink" and "Ocean Breeze" for between $12 and $24. If Dad's an NBA fan, you can even put him into something in Boston Celtics-, Golden State Warriors- or Houston Rockets-themed ($28)
With hot weather on tap for much of the country in the coming months, Devant Sport Towels' Arctic Blast cool-down towels should be in every golfer's bag, not just your dad's. At $14.95 apiece, they're a lightweight but potentially crucial summer investment. Just wet the towel down, wring it out a bit and wipe your face, neck and body with it to feel up to 30 degrees cooler than the ambient temperature.
If you like to give Dad funny or personalized trinkets or knickknacks, I've found that Etsy is a good place to start. This "Best Dad By Par" t-shirt ($25) is punny and these hand-hammered custom ball marks are a nice touch at under $16 apiece.
Is Dad an Arnold Palmer fan? Then he probably knows the King's spirit of choice was always Ketel One vodka. The brand has come out with a limited-edition "Arnie's Army" bottle ($25), which will look nice on the bar even after its contents have been enjoyed.
It's an obvious choice, but a dozen nice golf balls are never a bad gift idea. I've enjoyed using the new Pro V1s and the new TaylorMade TP5x in roughly equal measure so far this year. For something a little non-traditional, Titleist is making yellow ProV1s ($48) for the first time this year and TaylorMade recently came out with their new Pix-patterned pellets ($48). If you want to go in a different direction, Mizuno entered the American golf ball market this year with its new RB Tour and RB Tour X models ($44).
Avid golfers are probably not hard up for hats, but if you want to get Dad something unique Imperial Headwear's easy-to-use Design Your Own website function ($30-$50, depending on style) is great for giving him his own personalized lid. Order two and you guys can match when next you tee it up together.
I wrote about their unusual shirt material - fiber made from recycled plastic bottles - some months ago, and I've grown really fond of my Charleston Green Corwin golf shirt ($39.99). It stretches, isn't too tight and handles moisture well. It feels like a shirt twice its price. It may be derived from plastic, but Dad should be genuinely impressed if you send him one.
Is Dad into golf course architecture? Over the last few years, architect Tom Doak has updated, expanded and re-released his Confidential Guide To Golf Courses in five volumes, each available for between $60 and $75, or $300 for the entire set. Doak collaborated on some 2,500-course reviews with fellow students of golf Ran Morrissett, Masa Nishijima and Darius Oliver.
If you've seen our Editor-at-Large Matt Ginella on TV, chances are he's wearing clothes made by Linksoul, a California based golf apparel brand developed by industry veteran John Ashworth. We're grateful to be partners with Linksoul in large part because they make clothing we'd gladly pay to wear. I own a handful of their polos ($48-$80) and a couple pairs of their shorts ($52-$86) and enjoy gaming them.
If you watch televised golf, it seems that every player now has a personalized yardage book/scorecard holder in their back pocket. Dad would love one of these, too. If he's a baseball fan, he might like this one from Sandlot Goods ($68). Even high-end department store Neiman Marcus sells a monogrammable one ($90).
Coming in just inside the cutoff at $99 is a year of GolfPass. If dad is a golf nut, it's an excellent way to help him immerse himself in the game you both love. with travel credits, monthly GolfNow Hot Deals tee time credits, access to the entire Revolution Golf catalogue of instructional videos and preferred pricing on the products RG promotes, it's something that can pay for itself pretty surprisingly quickly if used by a true golf lover.
Vineyard Vines has turned to the voice of the game to turn golfers onto its fashions. The Jim Nantz Collection ($100 to $250) sports all sorts of styles for golfers - half-zips, polos, sweaters and a performance vest.
The more I travel, the more pairs of ECCO golf shoes I see everywhere. My dad swears by them and I've owned several pairs myself. I really appreciate not just the quality (yak leather is the secret, evidently) but the fit. ECCOs tend to be a bit more snug in the heel and a bit roomier toward the toes. As someone with a wide foot who has trouble finding golf shoes that fit, I really appreciate that. The new Biom Hybrid 3 ($200, $220 with the BOA lacing system) is a wonderful flagship shoe. If you think Dad might want something a little lighter-weight and with more color, though, put him in a pair of the new S-Lite model ($160), whose outsole is two-thirds lighter than any other ECCO has made previously.
Of course, the best way to give Dad something while also benefiting yourself is to plan a golf trip together. Our growing partnership with Troon Golf Vacations has served up dozens of possibilities for a trip with your original golf buddy. If you're into perfect weather and PGA Tour stops, this package to Silverado Resort & Spa in Napa, California might be ideal, especially if the rest of the family is interested in coming along. Or if one of our hosted Golf Advisor Getaways appeals, we can take care of everything for Dad (and you).
If Dad is in need of new sticks, instead of outright buying him something that might not fit, send him somewhere for a fitting to get him on the right track. My fellow writers and I have had good experiences at both Club Champion ($80-$350, depending on type of fitting) and True Spec Golf ($125-$450). Chances are one of these companies has a location reasonably nearby.
Launched by a "Kickstarter" campaign in January 2017, Chippo - a cross between golf and cornhole - has quickly caught on in popularity. It is packaged properly so you play at the beach, a picnic, a tailgate or even indoors. It comes with two boards, two hitting mats (so you don't scuff up carpet or grass) and multiple soft golf balls that won't break anything when a shot goes astray ($189). You can play casually, trying to chip shots into the three holes, or the website offers rules for competitive games.
If Dad's luggage is falling apart (or has been beaten up by one too many trips through airport baggage handlers' clutches) OGIO makes several durable, attractive carry-on and checked pieces. The Overhead Travel Bag ($200) is smartly designed to fit you-know-where, with plenty of compartments for electronics (including a 15-inch laptop) as well as clothes for a long-weekend excursion.
Way over $100
Has Dad caught the golf statistics bug? If so, and he deserves a splurge, get him the Flightscope mevo personal launch monitor. At $500, it's a steal compared to the full-capability ones (TrackMan, etc.) that cost upwards of $25,000, and it delivers accurate-enough numbers to help him dial in all his shots.
If you've got 2020 in mind for a bucket-list golf trip, you could reserve guaranteed 2020 Ryder Cup tickets through Primesport, which offers packages ranging from $1,675 per person to more than $5,425 per person.
Or if you've got something nearer-term in mind, you could splurge on Kalos' British Isles and The Open Golf Cruise, slated for July 16-25 and including a stopover to take in The Open Championship at Royal Portrush. This highest-end experience starts at almost $12,000 per person. Dad's worth it!
(Click here for the 2018 version of this guide.)