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John Renslow: ‘Tis the season for golf

By John Renslow | Special to The Union

Each year, loved ones around the globe look for a great gift to bestow on their golfing friend or relative.

It goes without saying that the holiday season is a wonderful time of the year. A spirit of giving and a time of sharing with friends and family overshadows heavy traffic on the streets, a host of folks sharing your bathroom, or the anxiety of trying to find the perfect gift.

Of course, if you’re anything like me, your heart is in the right place, but your schedule makes the purchase process a sprint down the final stretch. More than that, how do we know what to buy? We think, “Gee, they won’t like that or they probably have a hundred of those.”

Once again, Get Into Golf is here to help. Listed in no particular order, are several fun or fundamental items that should help expedite the process and reduce brain power (to be saved for more social activities).

Please consider that giving golf clubs or a pair of shoes is a complex matter. In addition to shoes requiring color and size choices, wedges, putters, drivers, irons, all should be fit on an individual basis. For this type of gift, it would be best for Santa to get a gift card (a good errand for an elf).

Golf balls: One cannot go wrong with the gift of golf balls. They don’t last forever and we tend to lose them well before the warranty runs out. A broad range of colors and types are available, so go with a popular brand (Titleist, Callaway or Srixon) and get a dozen balls. Or, a sleeve (smaller box of three golf balls) would work very nicely as a stocking stuffer. (Available at any pro shop.)

Personalized shaft labels: On the surface, this may not sound like a great gift. It’s not romantic or adventurous. But, if you have ever left a golf club somewhere on the course, you know. This is great gift for everyone. Small labels that bear your name, club and phone number are made to wrap around each of your golf clubs. It’s like buying insurance for the next time you leave a club on the course.

Golf cart seat cover: During a season that anticipates a white Christmas, the golfers on your list may endure some cool temperatures. One way to keep things warmer, from the bottom up, is a fuzzy golf cart seat cover. Those plastic seats can get your full attention. ($50 at http://www.cartcozies.com.)

A classic golf book: The sun doesn’t always shine on golf courses and sometimes the best thing you can do is hunker down with a good book. “The Match” (Frost) is a very intriguing story, “Golf in the Kingdom” (Murphy) a zen-like take on our game, and “Ben Hogan: An American Life” (Dodson) are a few of golf’s classics. (Under $20 at http://www.amazon.com)

Golfers GPS unit: There are now several manufacturers of this valuable device. The handheld unit will give you precise information about the golf course you are playing. Depending on your choice they will provide distance to your target, and distances to other objects or areas, such as water hazards or bunkers. You can choose color images or simple, black-and-white text. ($150 – $400 at skygolf.com, golfbuddyglobal.com, or igolf.com.)

Now, if you’re like me your shopping has yet to begin. So, head over to your local pro shop or get online and make a solid choice. With express shipping, there is still plenty of time for your package to arrive before Christmas. And, as you discover new things (by wandering down the aisles or surfing on the internet) there is still time to tell your “Santa” all of the cool things that you would like for yourself!

John Renslow is a PGA professional, VP of Yugi Golf Management, and provides golf instruction at local courses

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