Father’s Day is the single busiest time of the year for golf equipment sales. Like the past few years, 2014’s golf season is dominated by adjustable drivers that don’t spin the ball as much, resulting in more distance. And while drivers like TaylorMade’s SLDR have captured a lot of media attention, there is actually a wide array of golf gear out there that’s perfect for dad.
Whether he wants to work on his swing using a Bluetooth gadget that connects to his phone or is eager to look better while shooting 100, there is an array of possible gifts.
Ping i25 ($479.99, pictured above): The adjustable i25 driver (the successor to the popular i20) is focused on reduced spin, accurate alignment, and effective shaft fitting for maximizing distance and finding fairways. Tungsten weighting lowers the CG and raises the MOI to increase forgiveness and improve accuracy. Ping’s nFLIGHT web fitting system is also useful for golfers trying to narrow their choices.
Callaway Big Bertha Alpha ($549.99): Callaway’s latest allows you to increase or decrease your loft (up to +2 degrees or down -1 degrees) and adjust draw or neutral bias, optimizing your launch, backspin and dialing in your preferred shot shape. Additionally, in what Callaway says is a first, the club has “Gravity Core,” that lets you adjust unwanted spin independently of launch angle, so you get completely optimized ball flights and longer distance. Arguably the most discussed new club of the season.
Footjoy DNA ($219): It is shoe that has so much technology in it that Footjoy elected to send it in pieces. When the Acushnet company started putting the word out on its new DNA (Dryjoys Next Advancement) shoe and sending it out to golf journalists, it was broken into sections. One day a box would show up with Xtra-Thick FTF FitBed, followed a few days later by a sole. Finally, just before the PGA Merchandise show, a box with the full shoe arrived.
Appearing like a mix between M-Project, Footjoys’ attempt at a minimalist shoe, and its XPS offering that promoted increased stability, DNA has already been worn on the feet of Adam Scott and Webb Simpson, who became a strong supporter of the shoe when it first was tested on tour.
Ecco Street Evo One ($219): It is the company that caused as big a shift in the footwear market as we’ve witnessed in recent years, and Ecco is trying to prolong the trend. The company, which introduced the Street shoe in 2010, is updating the line with the EVO Street One, once again capitalizing on the spikeless shoe trend that has been a huge hit with consumers in recent years. The new street shoe features a slightly platform than previous shoes, and includes Ecco’s “dynamic traction system,” and a variety of features aimed at making the EVO Street more stable. The shoes feature the “hydomax,” treatment for water resistance.
Nike Innovation Polo ($85): You’ve seen it on Rory McIlroy, and now its in your shop.
Nike, one of the leaders in marketshare in the golf clothing space, hit the market with its “Innovation” polo this year, using a tonal collar and sleeves, along with stretchy, sweat-wicking fabric for a great mix of style and performance comfort. The company uses its Dri-FIT fabric to wick away sweat and help keep you dry and comfortable, while a fold-over collar and button placket present a classic polo style.
What’s really catching golfer’s attention is the contrast sleeves and collar for style, and the laser-cut chest pocket for storage and a streamlined look. Made from 100% recycled polyester, the Innovation Polo is classic, but modern.
Galvin Green Aidan Gore-tex paclite jacket ($490): Best known for its famed outerwear that’s been a hit in Europe for years, Galvin Green has clearly resonated with Canadian golfers as well. The brand, which is created in Sweden, has been prominent in Canada for several years and is now in 135 clubs across the country. Galvin Green comes with a bigger ticket price—but the resulting clothing is staggering. And if you buy him a Gore-Tex rain jacket, dad will never need another. What do you get from Galvin Green? Industry-leading style and performance, with outerwear utilizing Gore-Tex, Galvin’s jackets provide excellent breathability, while the stretch fabric makes them extremely flexible and comfortable to wear.
Swing Smart ($250): Backed by TV commentator and instructor Peter Kostis, the Swing Smart is a Bluetooth gadget that connects to a golf club and speaks to your smart phone, telling it all sorts of interesting details about your swing. The company says its patent-pending HiQ Technology that provides the most accurate data in the golf swing analyzer category and the software features real 3D representation of your swing shape that follows every nuance of your swing.
Project(a) ($35.99): A golf ball for the amateur among us, which frankly is pretty much everyone. The goal of this ball, devised by TaylorMade, is to allow players to generate extra spin when they need to stop the ball closer to the hole, while also offering a urethane cover that’s soft and durable.
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