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Tue, Jan. 21

Gunby: Golf gift ideas for the holidays
Tee it Up

With only nineteen more shopping days until Christmas, I would like to discuss what a golfer might or might not need and want. That way, Santa can bring the best gifts this year that your favorite golfer (or you) will appreciate.

Don’t buy them golf clubs or a golf bag that you think they would like. The exception would be if they asked for a particular golf bag, putter, driver or wedge, then go ahead and get it. But be sure the specs are what they asked for – model, shaft, length, grip, etc. Otherwise just give them a gift card so that they can get what they want. If you have an adult beginner on your list, get them used clubs or a new starter set and then, as they improve their skills, get them fitted for a better set later.

I would suggest getting most beginner juniors new starter sets that fit them now. Just like bicycles, if it is new, they will appreciate them more and get excited about the game. Depending on their age, the starter set should consist of a high-lofted driver, a hybrid, a 7, PW and/or SW irons, carry bag and a putter. You can purchase boxed sets of junior clubs that have enough clubs and a golf bag for them and are age and/or height appropriate. And the weight, lie, grip and shaft flex of these clubs is so much better than cut down adult clubs. It really makes a difference in their progression with golf.

About golf instruction, unless the person on your list asks for golf lessons, don’t just give them some. How would you like it if someone close to you thinks you need help and they know, better than you, what kind of assistance you need? Now, if they ask you to give them some golf lessons, get them with someone who has extensive experience, is well-respected and is a PGA Member.

Golf books make pretty good gifts but be careful with the instruction books as most will do you more harm than good. Any book written by Chuck Hogan is a great choice (but hard to find). Books written by Lynn Marroitt and Pia Nilsson are excellent. “Extraordinary Golf”, “Golfer’s Palette” and “Golf as Guru” are good choices for any golfer, beginner or expert, on your list (or yourself).

Most golfers have a brand and model preference when it comes to golf balls. This is probably the easiest gift to give. It should be simple to figure this out by checking their golf bag (unless they play with lost and found balls).

Distance measuring devises make great gifts. These include handheld lasers, GPS watches, etc. Your favorite golfer will probably have a preference. Again, ask them.

A swing speed measuring device is a good idea, too. Depending on the bells and whistles offered, you can spend from $60 to $500 or a lot more (for a Trackman). Alignment aids and sticks are useful golf gifts and include locally made Golf Pucks.

You cannot go wrong buying them rounds of golf. Maybe a membership or annual pass to play golf at their favorite course. Or a practice facility pass (driving range pass). Any of these will be well-received and appreciated.

Here’s to your memorable Christmas!

John Gunby Sr. is a columnist for The Daily Courier. Reach him by email at sportsdesk@prescottaz.com.

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