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Holiday gift ideas for golfers

Two weeks are left in the holiday shopping season, and if you haven't decided what to get the golfer on your list, we have a few suggestions. And if all else fails, every golfer can always use a few more tees or ball markers.

Equipment

The Nike SQ Dymo STR8-FIT, $150-$200 (nike.com)

Drivers are a dime a dozen, but this one is different because it allows players to adjust the shaft/hosel position eight ways. The driver comes with a wrench that makes it easy to adjust the loft depending on the playing conditions. And here's a tidbit: Tiger Woods used a Nike SQ Dymo in the U.S. Open this year.

AMG Tour Handmade putter by Bobby Grace, $750 (Bobby Grace Putters, 727-526-7380)

St. Petersburg's Bobby Grace has been making putters for 17 years, and his new version will be used by some PGA Tour pros in 2010. Unlike his Fat Lady Swings design, this is a classic blade putter that is set back from the shaft. If the price is too high, more reasonably priced putters include the Jericho, the Megiddo, the Shiloh and the Jordan at $129. They will be available later in the month.

Cleveland Launcher DST Hybrids 2010, $150 (budgetgolf.net)

If you haven't put a hybrid in your bag, you should make it a new year's resolution to do so. Many brands of hybrids are on the market; this is one of the newest models. It has a dual rail sole design that supposedly improves turf interaction. It comes in 1-5 iron and right- and left-handed.

Accessories

TaylorMade Maranello cart bag, $219 (theworldofgolf.com)

This is the kind of bag that would make Rodney Dangerfield proud. It's got nine pockets, a 14 section top and an insulated cooler. It's got enough room to hold just about anything, and it has a detachable valuables pouch.

Adidas ClimaCool polo shirt, $39.99 (shopadidas.com)

Adidas isn't the only company that makes ClimaCool shirts — they combine performance fabrics, open mesh and ventilation channels to keep cool air flowing in and sweat and heat flowing out — but it has a wide variety. These are perfect Florida shirts.

Drizzle Stik Flex umbrella, $14.99 (amazon.com)

There are golf umbrellas, and then there is the versatile Drizzle Stik. It fits in your golf bag and has a flexible shaft to keep the clubs dry. It also has a hooded design that keeps you dry during thunderstorms.

Junior golfers

U.S. Kids SS 70 mph ball, $19.99 per dozen

These are low-compression, two-piece balls that are perfect for swing speeds of 70 mph or less. They are supposedly more forgiving of slower speeds and are less likely to slice or hook.

Future Tour Junior Golf Set, $44.99 (costco.com)

Plenty of junior golf sets are available, and most of them are fine. This one is in the middle price range and features a flex-shaft driver, a 5-iron, a 9-iron, a blade putter and a lightweight bag. It is recommended for golfers age 5 and younger, and it's all a beginner needs.

Off the wall

HeaterHolder stainless steel cigar holder, $19.99 (tgw.com)

Somebody got tired of having to bend over to pick up his cigar, so the cigar holder was born. It snaps onto your golf bag and has a cradle to put the cigar on while you line up a drive or putt.

Big Daddy Driver, $49.95 (bigdaddydriver.com)

It has been out for a few years, but it's still a cool gift for the golfer that has everything. The driver doubles as a weed whacker, so if you hit the ball in the rough,undo the bottom, press a button and get a better lie. It's illegal as can be, but it will crack up the buddies in your foursome.

Novelty putters, 69.95 (golfun.net)

Anybody can have the latest graphite shaft, groove-faced putter, but who has a putter shaped like a banana or a hot dog? We also found ones shaped like a pipe and a corn cob.

Books

The Miniature Book of Miniature Golf by Mike Vago, $14.95

This is kind of like Kramer's coffee-table book about coffee tables in Seinfeld. Each page is part of a nine-hole course that includes water hazards, dinosaurs and windmills. Fittingly, the last hole requires a shot through a clown's mouth. A plastic putter and two tiny metal balls are included.

Secrets of the Short Game by Phil Mickelson, $16.99 (amazon.com)

Few are better at the short game than Mickelson, and this year he came out with this book. The first 40 pages are about putting, from setup and grip to making 3-footers. The next 45 pages are on chipping. If you're looking to shave strokes, this is a good start.

Sports Illustrated: The Golf Book, $16.99

This is a 288-page coffee-table book featuring photography and writing from the magazine. It includes photos of greats such as Ben Hogan, Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods.

Tournament tickets

Two major pro tournaments are in the Tampa Bay area in March and April, and ticket deals are being offered for the holidays.

Transitions Championship: The PGA tournament is March 15-21. Several packages are available, including a Hooters Owl's Nest package that gets you into the tent off the 17th green. A Patron Package gives you two weekly badges and a parking pass for $179. One-day tickets are $39, and weekly badges are $79, both $20 less than last year. transitionschampionship.com.

Outback Steakhouse Pro-Am: The Champions Tour event is April 12-18 at TPC Tampa Bay in Lutz. Its holiday deal includes two weekly badges, two one-day upgrades for the Green Hopper Party pass, two rounds of golf at TPC Tampa Bay (Monday-Thursday, May 3-Sept. 23) and a complimentary Bloomin' Onion card for $160. outbackproam.com.

Holiday gift ideas for golfers 12/10/09 [Last modified: Thursday, December 10, 2009 1:33pm]
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