Let's tee things up for the Christmas golf gift you really want in 2023.
Winter’s Coming! From personal experience, a pair of good waterproof shoes is a massive comfort on the golf course. But truly waterproof (some brands simply don’t fulfil that brief) is a tough ask. Top of the pile is Ecco. Footjoy is close behind, with Adidas, Nike, and Payntr also all strong considerations. Visit your local Pro shop and see what they have available, or try any of the retail golf outlets.
The Ecco Biom G5 is a pricey shoe (approx. €199) but what you get is comfort and both long-lasting quality and effectiveness. In other words: they’re certainly worth the investment.
Available at www.odwyersgolf.com (and at their stores in Tipperary and Kilkenny)
Or put the boot in and consider the FootJoy Stormwalker Zipped Winter Golf Boot for guaranteed protection. Boots are growing in popularity and the Stormwalker has styles for men and women. The boot features a soft, full grain leather with thermal linings for a comfortable and dry round of golf.
€140 at www.halpennygolf.com
The Bogey Men is a popular Irish podcast that delves into the world of Irish golf with insightful, engaging and humorous stories around the sport in this country. Jonny and Michael combine this with a series of YouTube videos where they play with – and against – some of Ireland’s amateur elite, interview stars and assess what is happening on our golf courses. Earlier this year they released their first merchandise, the Bogeymen Bundle: a driver headcover and player’s towel. Priced at €39.99 you can get the pair delivered to your door.
Always a popular stocking filler, golf clothing is an easy gift to give. There are countless brands on the shelves, in store and online… but giving something with an Irish flavour will add some bells and whistles.
The latest Irish clothing brand is AWGO Golf, which launched in September 2023, targeting the younger woman. It is a brand exclusively for women, selling polo shirts (€42), skorts (€60) and – as of December – limited edition beanies (€20). It is the brainchild of two young women, both passionate golfers, who wanted clothing that was comfortable, fashionable and practical. For an exclusive discount of 20% use the code Examiner20 when ordering at www.awgogolf.com
Alternatively, consider any of these young Irish clothing brands.
Dunnes Stores continues to expand its range of Padraig Harrington Golf Clothing. Established brands include Green Lamb (www.greenlamb.com) for ladies – check out the Keighley Stretch Body Warmer (€60) – and Dwyers & Co, renowned for their trousers and shorts.
Alpha-U Compression Wear
Launched only a year ago, Alpha-U Golf is an Irish golf clothing brand with a difference. With a focus on compression wear the company has become synonymous with quality and innovation. The objective of compression wear is to optimise blood circulation and muscle support, while offering unparalleled comfort. It is lightweight and fits like a second skin. Its ergonomic design allows for a full range of motion, ensuring an unrestricted swing and maximum performance. Who knows what it could do for your game!
Check out the Alpha-U Golf Players Pack – for both men and women. The pack includes a long-sleeved compression base layer top, compression base layer leggings, a cosy beanie hat and a thermal snood. Cost €115.
In case you hadn’t heard, Europe gave the USA a good thrashing in this year’s Ryder Cup. And there is a bucket-load of merchandise available to celebrate that fact, for men and women. From caps and shirts to jackets and gilets, club and putter covers, towels and mugs, there’s loads available and it’s all heavily discounted. Brands include Chervo, Peter Millar, Footjoy, Glenmuir and Sunderland of Scotland. Getting some of those brands at discounted prices is quite the treat.
And since we are on the subject of the Ryder Cup, the next time it is played in Europe will be in 2027, at Adare Manor. If you want to get in the mood, about four years ahead of schedule, visit their online golf store – there are lots of non-golf items, too – and check out a few of the Ryder Cup-themed products. There’s the Adare Manor Bespoke 1/4 Zip Sweater for €150, or the Team Europe Golf Set for €175, which includes driver headcover, blade putter headcover, mallet putter headcover, tote bag and shoe bag.
Custom Club Fitting
Unless the golfer in your life has asked for a specific golf club, it is a foolish enterprise to buy one off the cuff. Far better to give them a voucher or – even more impressive – a fitting session with the local Pro. Alternatively, try Fore Golf, who are arguably the best custom club fitters in the country. They are multi-award winning Master Club Makers and Fitters. The attention to detail is incredible and the fitting can be for any club/s, including a putter. You can even see the work being done in the workshop at their Killeen Castle location. And once someone has their fitted clubs you have reduced their excuses for a bad round by over 50 per cent! Vouchers start at €50 and are valid for five years.
It’s not all about balls with Seed Golf – although they certainly have a ball for everyone – and the Irish company offers hats, gloves, tees, putting mats/aids and umbrellas. They also sell two golf bags – both currently on sale if you hurry – made from recycled ocean plastic. There’s a classy Stand Bag for €199, and a Carry Bag for €64.50, which is ideal for the winter months or a quick nine holes in the evening.
There is a push for golf courses, golf and golfers to embrace sustainability. Think Ballyliffin and solar panels, or the rewilding of swathes of rough at Kilkenny. Seed Golf – see above – are already on that road but Oceantee has gone even further. The company started with golf tees made from bamboo and while these are available in different sizes the company is also selling caps, clothing and water bottles. As an example, each cap is made from three recycled plastic bottles taken from the ocean… and there’s even a QR code you can use to track where those bottles came from. That’s what you get when you have a founder who is a golf obsessed marine biologist.
GolfBuddy Laser Lite 2
The original Laser Lite was widely regarded as the best of the bunch in the . The new Laser Lite 2 claims its industry-leading technology will provide something even better while also being lighter, thinner and more compact. It fits easily in your hand and weighs just 140g. You may know someone who can save a few shots if they had one of these.
€200 at www.halpennygolf.com
GPS Golf Watch
Garmin Approach S70
Continuing the tech jag, the Garmin Approach S70 is already one of the hot products of 2023… and will be for Christmas, no doubt. It is a superb golf watch that comes with a beautiful OLED screen and includes enhanced ‘Plays Like’ and Virtual Caddie features not found on other Garmin watches. To top it off, it also has the fitness and health features which make Garmin the favoured watch brand of sportspeople everywhere.
With all of its fancy features the price may be out of your budget range - €699 at www.mcguirksgolf.com – so the Approach S42 at €307 may be more to your liking. It doesn’t include the ‘lifestyle’ elements and focuses exclusively on golf.
Theragun Mini Massage Gun
It’s safe to say that most golfers get aches and pains in their body. A soak in a hot bath often does the trick but sometimes a little more help is required. This mini massage gun is just the ticket, a ‘pocket-sized partner’ that combines quality muscle treatment with unparalleled portability. Compact and powerful, it can be used anywhere to loosen out the kinks.
Buy at McGuirks: €179
It has been a good year for golf books.
Great Golf Courses of the World
Renowned photographer, Gary Lisbon, has produced a coffee table, glossy book of his spectacular golf photography. It includes over 400 images… from over 100 courses… from 20 countries around the world. The photographic representation is broad – from the Northern Lights and Norway’s Land of the Midnight Sun, to the dry and firm links of the UK and Ireland.
Order direct from Gary’s website. Cost is Aud $135 (approx €80) with €50 delivery. (It is coming from Australia!)
Golf Course Architecture For Normal People
By Geoff Shackleford
Golf Course Architecture for Normal People is, perhaps, the ideal taster for golfers who are intrigued by golf course design but don’t know that much about it. Alternatively, it’s for those golfers who think they know everything but don’t actually have a clue. Come on, we all know someone. Overall, this is a fine introduction to what design is all about and how good – and bad – design affects your playing experience and enjoyment. Golf is supposed to be fun and this book demystifies golf design in a fun and even irreverent way.
www.easons.com RRP €39
World’s Greatest Golf Courses From Above
By Alex Narey
Golfers forever dream about playing at the most iconic courses (e.g. Augusta National, Valderrama, St Andrews, Cape Kidnappers) and The World's Greatest Golf Courses From Above provides them with a unique perspective of these great golf challenges. Each of the world's most celebrated courses is illustrated using Google Earth's incredible satellite imagery and then described in expert detail as the author explains course history and design, signature holes and tactics for playing them. Featuring 34 iconic courses and 250 stunning photographs, golfers will get a feel for taking on some of the greatest holes in world golf.
Golf Holiday, Barcelona
Infinitum is a large golf resort, west of Barcelona, boasting 45 holes, all sorts of property opportunities and a dedicated Beach Club. It is also one of Europe’s best golf venues with two world-class championship courses, one of which hosts the annual DP World Tour Championship Qualifying School Final Stage. The 9-hole course plays around ancient Roman ruins.
Try a 3-night package with accommodation at the 4-star Golden Costa Salou hotel and unlimited golf. It also includes a hotel shuttle to and from the golf courses. Offer valid from 01/04/2024 to 08/05/2024, excluding Spanish bank holidays. Unlimited golf on the same day and course subject to availability.
Prices from €417 per person. www.infinitumliving.com/en/travel/packages
2024 Golf Calendar
2024 is bound to be a great year for golf… so why miss a moment! My 2024 Golf Calendar has photos from across Ireland, including Killarney, Dingle, Carne, Druids Glen, Strandhill and Esker Hills. It is 28 pages and A4 in size, and it includes all of the major golf tournaments and many of the amateur events here at home.
Designed and Printed in Ireland it costs €20.50 including P&P within Ireland.
I am a fiend when it comes to chocolate so the inclusion of this Skelligs Chocolate Jolly and Joyful Hamper is simply because I’d love one myself... and there’s not a golf ball in sight. It contains nine different items, including a bottle of red wine. Merry Christmas. Price €130.