13 Best Golf Gifts in 2020
Sports experts share the best and healthy golf gifts, from equipment to technology, that will help every golfer level up their golf game.
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Playing golf and social distancing
As Covid-19 reshapes the summer fun landscape, activities are being separated into two primary categories: Those that can be enjoyed while social distancing, and those that can’t. One that fits firmly into the first category is golf. “Golf is one of the few sports that can be played while safely adhering to proper distancing practices,” says certified strength and conditioning specialist Joshua Bonhotal, vice president of operations and head of performance for the virtual personal training app Future and former director of men’s basketball sports performance at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana.
And the perks don’t stop there. “As many of us may be experiencing the drag of being “cooped up” inside golf can be great as a stress release and as a change in environment,” adds Bonhotal. “Lastly, we can add back an in-person social component with friends or family while still keeping a safe distance and break out from all of the zoom calls.”
Health benefits of playing golf
While golf is a great option for safe summer fun, it’s also a good way to stay active, fit, and happy. “Playing golf two to three times a week has been shown to improve aerobic performance, reduce fat mass, and improve muscle tone,” says golf coach Will Shaw, founder of Golf Insider UK and biomechanics lecturer at the University of Leeds in Leeds, England. “Alongside the physical benefits, there is increasing research highlighting the positive effect golf can have on our mental health.”
Even golfers traversing the course in a cart will reap the benefits of being in nature and soaking up vitamin D from sunlight—but those who walk will clock over 10,000 steps in an 18-hole round. “One of golf’s greatest attributes is that it affords us with a great way to walk appreciable distances,” says Michele Olson, senior clinical professor of sport science at Huntingdon College in Montgomery. “Walking is great for loading the hip and spinal bones, and this loading is very important to maintain strong, dense bones.”
Ready to hit the links, or know someone who is? Here are 13 of the best golf gifts for golfers this summer.
Puttout Pressure Trainer
“The Puttout Pressure Trainer is a cool device that helps golfers practice their putting away from the golf course,” explains Shaw. The curved design simulates the experience of putting on a green—if your putt is off, the device returns it the same distance by which you would have missed the hole on the course.
TecTecTec VPRO500 Rangefinder
“Beginner golfers don’t need to buy any fancy equipment other than clubs and a few golf balls,” shares Shaw. “If they are into their tech they may want to buy a rangefinder as they improve. My rangefinder recommendation is the TecTecTec VPRO500. It is a great piece of kit and a great value.” With three different scanning modes, this rangefinder quickly and accurately measures distances within one yard, plus comes with a carrying pouch, battery, wrist strap, and cleaning cloth.
BIG MAX Blade IP Push Cart
“For those golfers that are just starting to integrate healthy habits onto the course, using a golf push cart is a great idea,” recommends Brian Peña, founder of Red Birdie Golf. “A fully loaded bag of clubs can easily weigh 25 pounds and carrying that around the course for four to five hours can be a bit overwhelming for the beginner.” This BIG MAX cart, winner of the Golf Digest Editors Choice award for the past three years, is a cinch to fold and maneuver, plus it features a double brake system and two scorecard holders.
Orlimar Pitch and Putt Lightweight Stand/Carry Golf Bag
“If you really want to make walking the norm and don’t want to use a push cart, then getting a lightweight golf bag is a must,” says Peña. “It can reduce your bag weight by up to 10 pounds!” This Orlimar bag weighs under two pounds and still boasts an accessory pocket, carry handle, shoulder strap, a fold-out stand, and room for up to seven clubs. Plus, carrying a bag functions as a form of resistance training, raising your heart rate and increasing muscle building and calorie burn.
Srixon Soft Feel Golf Balls
“There is a staggering range of golf balls on the market,” admits Shaw. “The feature that makes some golf balls more expensive than others is creating a cover that feels soft when you are putting, but is also durable and has no impact on distance. Lower price golf balls will still travel as far, but feel a little harder when you hit chips and putts. Srixon soft-feel golf balls are a great choice for beginners—they offer great distance, feel, and are a great value.”
Arccos Caddie Smart Sensors
Perfect for the golfer trying to take their game to the next level, the Arccos Caddie can help them identify the strengths and weaknesses in their game and lower their handicap fast. This set comes with 14 sensors, one for every club, which will analyze each swing and send the data to the Arccos Caddie app, which also offers AI-powered Caddie Advice for every shot and hole.
Orange Whip Full Sized Golf Swing Trainer Aid
“The golf swing itself is an explosive movement that requires strength, balance, coordination, and skill to complete successfully,” says Christiaan Enthoven, a physical therapist who works with golfers for performance, injury prevention, and rehabilitation at the Rebound Therapy and Wellness Clinic in Denver. “In my experience, the most overlooked aspect of golf fitness is developing power. The downswing in golf lasts at most .5 of a second and in this period of time, the most amount of force is trying to be generated and controlled. If a golfer is able to generate more speed she/he can produce more ball speed and hit it farther.” One way to develop power: The Orange Whip, which can help improve rhythm, balance, flexibility, and power.
Under Armour Men’s Tech Golf Polo
“Golf is all about having some great gear along with your game,” says Bonhotal. “Clothes that are lightweight and breathable are great, especially on those hot days.” Available in a whopping 40 colors and in sizes small through 4XL, this highly-rated Under Armour polo is stylish and functional.
Adidas Mens Superlite Cap
This lightweight, moisture-wicking, SPF-50 hat will provide all-day comfort and protection from the sun’s harmful UV rays. With 19 different color combinations available, it’s easy to find the perfect one for the golfer on your list. For additional sun protection, here are the 12 safest sunscreens you can buy.
Hydro Flask Water Bottle – 32 oz.
Staying hydrated on the course is important on sunny days, as is ensuring that your water stays cold and refreshing. This Hydro Flask bottle keeps beverages cold for up to 24 hours, and the large size ensures you won’t run out of water on the eleventh hole.
Stealth Golf Cooler Bag with Ice Packs
If you’ve packed your water and looking to bring along some more fun sips as well, load them into this cooler bag. With room for five cans (or even a wine bottle or two) and a slim shape that fits snugly into the accessories pouch of a golf bag, you can head to the course prepared to crack open a cold one whenever you’re ready.
Vive Mini First Aid Kit
Moleskin and bandages for blisters? Check. Sting relief pads for bee stings? Check. Alcohol pads and antiseptic swabs for scrapes? Check. You’ll find everything you might need on the golf course in this small, compact first aid kit.
Puma Men’s Ignite NXT Lace Golf Shoe
$87 to $100, depending on size and color
“Since you’ll be walking up to four miles, you can’t overstress having a great pair of shoes,” says Peña. “The last thing you want after a fun day on the course is dealing with achy feet and maybe even blisters.” He recommends the Puma Ignite NXT, which features breathable and waterproof mesh, a comfortable foam sole, and a sporty and stylish look.
- Joshua Bonhotal, MS, CSCS, VP of operations and head of performance at the digital personal training app Future
- The American Journal of Medicine: "A controlled trial of the health benefits of regular walking on a golf course"
- Will Shaw, MSc, BSc, golf coach, founder of Golf Insider UK and sports biomechanics lecturer at the University of Leeds, Leeds, England
- British Journal of Sports Medicine: "The relationship and effects of golf on physical and mental health: A scoping review protocol"
- Michele Olson, PhD, senior clinical professor of sport science at Huntingdon College in Montgomery
- Brian Peña, fitness and golf enthusiast and founder of Red Birdie Golf
- Christiaan Enthoven, PT, DPT, physical therapist at the Rebound Therapy and Wellness Clinic in Denver