John Renslow: Gift ideas for golfing fathers |

John Renslow: Gift ideas for golfing fathers

There are still 10 shopping days left before Father’s Day. Just enough time to find the perfect gift for the avid golfer in your life. Or, if someone near you needs a not-so-subtle hint, there is still time to place this column in front of an unsuspecting potential gift giver.

Because, today we will go through a helpful list of items for the golfing father.

Of course, golf and fathers go together like peas and carrots. In fact, the final round of our country’s national golf championship (the United States Open) is always played on the third Sunday in June.

It is also interesting to note that several fathers and daughters/sons have played golf at the championship level. Jack Nicklaus’ sons Jackie and Gary are very good players; Jackie won the ‘North & South Event’ at Pinehurst (the championship of the Carolinas) and Gary qualified and played on the PGA Tour. PGA Tour & Senior player, Bruce Summerhayes’ daughter, Carrie, played a couple of years on the LPGA Tour.

On any given week you can watch sons Bill Haas and Kevin Stadler on the PGA Tour and their father’s Jay Haas and Craig Stadler on the Champions Tour (formerly known as the Senior Tour). Golf is a great game for fathers and we appreciate the positive role the game can have in the lives of families.

So, what do you buy for the patriarchal golfer in your life? I am here to help. Let’s start off with a few choices for any budget and we will graduate (which makes me think, these gifts will work for grads, too) to some of the higher end stuff for the father who has everything.

Gifts under $5

Tees Ð This may seem small, but everybody needs them and you can get a variety of colors or sizes for every personality. Classic white or natural wood stained tees work well for the traditional golfer, eco-friendly tees (made from a corn byproduct) for the green on the greens, or you might try some psychedelic, tie-dyed tees for the Jerry Garcia fans. (

Pocket towels Ð Of course, golf equipment makes contact with dirt on a regular basis. Many golfers will place a towel on their golf bag and that is a reasonable solution, but the pocket towel travels with you. Tidy enough to nestle in your pocket, the towel is still large enough to handle problematic soil. (Alta Sierra Country Club Ð Pro Shop)

Gifts under $25

Golf hat Ð You can never have too many T-shirts or too many golf/baseball hats. Collecting hats from different golf courses is also a popular ‘hobby’. Or, you may decide to go with the one that says “World’s Greatest Dad” on the front. (Check out the hats at nearby golf courses or visit for some dad related caps)

Great golf book Ð Not the game improvement type, the interesting, lean your chair back for a couple of hours kind of book. This is a wonderful gift for the cerebral golfer. Try one of these titles; “The Legend of Bagger Vance,” by Pressfield, “Miracle on the 17th Green,” by Patterson, or “Golf in the Kingdom,” by Murphy.

Transparent grips Ð This is fun. You can put certain messages, team logos, college mascots, hundred dollar bills (well, a counterfeit one), underneath a clear putter grip. Every time he looks at it, he is reminded of your gift. Log on to and choose your favorite. Order it online and have it installed at your favorite golf course.

Gifts under $100

Golf sunglasses Ð Even tour players wear them. They can protect your eyes from the harmful UV rays and help you read those undulating greens. Certainly, a well chosen pair will also assist us with a goal of looking good on the course. A broad range of prices and styles exist, but you really can’t go wrong and one size really does fit all. ( or

Golf balls Ð Okay, this might take a little bit or work on your part. Oftentimes, the player and his golf ball are quite good friends. At the same time, some fathers don’t have an allegiance to a specific type of ball. Do this, sneak out into the garage of the trunk of his car. Unzip the pocket and peer within. If the golf balls are all of the same brand and type, it is easy. Get more of the same. If you find veritable smorgasbord of golf balls, you have some options. Try Titleist NXT, the Callaway HX, or the Nike Ignite. Golf balls will always be a welcome arrival.

Gifts under $500

Handheld GPS device – This may not fit into everyone’s budget, however, this is a fabulous gift for the Dad who ‘has everything.’ Proximity to the intended target is a large factor in playing the game well and a hand held GPS (global positioning system) will provide accurate information in real time. ( or visit the Alta Sierra Country Club Pro Shop)

Wii video game – We have all given the gift that might be good for us, too. Well, this is the golfing Father’s Day gift that the entire family will enjoy. If you haven’t heard, this is probably the most virtual golf game on the market. It has other games, as well, (tennis, adventure games) but let’s focus on the golf.

The screen has an image of a golf course and a golfer (you even get to choose the appearance of the player, down to the shape of the eyebrows). The player and golf club on the screen move as you maneuver a wand that is held in both hands, like a golf club. So, as you make a golf swing motion the image of you on the screen moves in harmony. It’s not an exact match of your swing, but this is a lot of fun and is great for a rainy day. (

If you shop now, most things could arrive on time from online sources and, of course, please support your local golf professionals. Have fun shopping!

John Renslow is general manager and director of golf at Alta Sierra Country Club. Please contact John with your questions or comments at

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