News From Terre Haute, Indiana

June 12, 2011

ON AND OFF THE COURSE: Father’s Day is a good day for golfers

Jennifer Myers
Special to the Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — Most people consider the time around Christmas to be the gift-buying season. Retailers also count on the other gift-buying season, springtime! In the months of May and June it’s graduation time and we have Mother’s Day, Father’s Day. Mother’s Day is the biggest day of the year for sending flowers and cards. If someone were keeping track, I’m pretty sure Father’s Day would be the number one day for giving golf balls! There are so many other ideas for that golf-addicted father of yours, you shouldn’t limit yourself to golf balls.

First of all, I must say that if your dad is a golfer, golf balls are always a pretty good idea. Golf balls are used and lost and just worn out, so having plenty of new balls on hand is a good idea.

However, if you don’t know what kind of ball your dad likes to use, don’t just buy any old golf ball that is on sale! If he is particular, those golf balls will sit on a shelf and never get used.

The best way to find out what kind of ball your dad uses, ask him. He might be very specific, telling you what brand and type, such as “Titleist PRO-V IX” or Srixon Z-star. If you’re a non-golfer, that won’t mean anything to you, so write it down, and take it with you when you go to the pro shop or sporting goods store to buy your father’s day gifts.

If you want to keep your gift a surprise, ask his buddies what he uses. If he has a group that he plays with regularly, they are bound to know what he likes to use. It’s possible that your dad doesn’t want you to buy him any golf balls though. He might have plenty, or might prefer to buy them himself (being wary of your ability to get the right kind).

There are many, many other options available as a great gift for Father’s Day. Great golf gifts can range in price from under $10 to over $1,000.

A bag of tees or some divot tools or ball markers would be on the lower end of the price spectrum. A gift of a vacation at a golf resort would be on the high end! In between the items are many to choose from.

A very useful item that would be inexpensive is a golf towel. You could have some fun with that, having something embroidered on it that was special like “World’s Greatest Dad” or “Gamblin’, Golfing, and Grinnin’.” 

Another possibility on the lower price end would be a golf head cover. Head covers go over drivers or woods, and help protect them from being banged around as clubs are transported in and out of the car, etc. Just because they serve a practical function, it doesn’t mean they have to be boring! Head covers can make a unique statement. Animal head covers are popular, and so are cartoon characters. You can find gorillas, penguins, sharks, many kinds of dogs, parrots, eagles, and of course lions, tigers and bears. In syndicated cartoons you can get Fred Flintstone, Superman, Scooby Doo, Bugs Bunny, Sylvester, Tweety, Yosemite Sam and the whole Looney Tunes gang. You can also get Darth Vader, Yoda or Boris the Vilan with a little bomb in his hand, if your dad has a great sense of humor! Just look in your local golf shop or online, and you’re sure to find something fun. Head covers usually cost between $20 and $40.

 If your dad is a reader, books are great gifts. I would recommend a book called “A Son of the Game” by James Dodson. It is a story about a father passing along the love of the game of golf to his son, and the contentment he finds in doing so. Another book that is a classic that any golfer would love is “Arnold Palmer: Memories, Stories, and Memorabilia from a Life on and Off the Course”, by Arnold Palmer. It is essentially Arnold Palmer’s scrapbook, with personal and professional stories, rare photos, and facsimiles of 12 collectibles from his archives.

For gifts on the high end of the spectrum, especially for the gadget lover, there is such a thing on the market called a range finder. These electronic devices can tell a golfer how far it is from his ball to the green, or even his ball to the sand trap. There are many makes and models of range finders, with the more expensive ones capable of measuring more distances.

Be careful though, some of these require a monthly membership in order to be able to use all of the bells and whistles. Range finders are usually upwards of $200, but boy, are they a big hit out on the golf courses these days. Among its greater benefits, it saves a golfer time by not having to hunt down a sprinkler head with a distance on it, and step it off. Believe me, if your dad doesn’t have one, he probably wishes he did!

Another idea that dad would probably appreciate, especially after a bad day on the course, is a bottle of really good Scotch. It might not help his game, but it might help him feel better about it!

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Quote of the Day: “Golf is played by twenty million mature American men whose wives think they are out having fun.” — Jim Bishop

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Upcoming Event — The Terre Haute Women’s Golf Association will be holding their 2-person Ringer Tournament at Hulman Links on June 25 and 26. In The Ringer you play 18 holes one day, then on the second day take only your scores that are improvements over the first day. The cost is $20 for green fees and cart. Tee times will begin at 9 a.m. both days. For more information call Sandy at (812) 877-3485.