By Shane Sharp
From golf equipment and apparel to high-tech gadgets and bucket list getaways, here’s a list of some of the summer’s hottest golf gifts and experiences.
Honma Golf TR21 Hybrids
Based in Sakata, Japan, premium golf club manufacturer Honma Golf has blazed a trail in the U.S. golf market with its elegantly-crafted irons, fairway metals, hybrids and putters. Its TR21 Hybrids ($249) feature a beautifully clean, compact profile that fits even the most discerning golfer’s eye.
The TR21 is engineered for crisp turf interaction that mimics the feel and flight of a well-struck iron shot. Its high-performance housing and thin, high-strength steel face with variable-thickness design delivers hot ball speed while a centrally located sole weight optimizes for a solid feel.
The club is available in 18-, 21- and 24-degree lofts with high-performance Honma Sakata VIZARD shafts in 65-, 75-gram options. Honma’s patented non-rotating hosel system allows loft and lie to be adjusted +/- 1 degree while keeping the shaft spine optimized.
Walker Trolley Cape 1.5
Walker Trolleys generated palpable buzz at the 2019 PGA Merchandise Show with its Cape Model, a regal golf trolley with a traditional profile and modern design elements. It was a pushcart unlike any the golf cognoscenti had seen before, and founder, CEO and golf enthusiast Brad Payne had a hit on his hands.
Enter the Walker Trolley Cape 1.5 in 2021 featuring a fistful of clever updates. A new buckle system accommodates a larger variety of bags, a new rubber logo button protects the leather the handle against scuffs and scrapes, and a drainage feature in the lower storage accessory keeps water out on rainy days.
Walker Trolleys recently launched a run-flat rubber tire version, Cape 1.5F, now available for pre-order with a mid-July target delivery date. The Cape 1.5 and Cape 1.5F continue to utilize premium materials: waxed canvas, leather and anodized aluminum that create a trolley built to last.
In addition to its line of high-end trolleys, the company produces custom head covers and storage accessories, which make the perfect Father’s Day gifts. All custom head covers and storage accessories are 25% off now through June 20th.
Sun Mountain PX3, PX4
Most years, golfers can look forward to a new Sun Mountain pushcart model. This year is no exception. For 2021, the Missoula, Montana-based lifestyle brand has reinvented its popular Pathfinder model via the introduction of the new three-wheel PX3 ($229) and four-wheel PX4 ($239) push carts.
The laundry list of additional enhancements is lengthy: a continuous handle for one-handed pushing; a console for balls, tees, scorecard and phone; a phone holder with a slot for a charging plug to be used when the phone is in place; dual umbrella holders on either side of the console tray; and a mesh basket and velour-lined pouch for additional storage.
What remains the same? The Pathfinder’s small, folded size, lightweight chassis (16 and 17 pounds) and easy folding system. What we love: New upper and lower bag brackets nest bags in the cart and work equally well for cart or stand bags, and the adjustable bungee system allows for rapid bag anchoring.
Sun Mountain is a gear lovers’ brand, so there are plenty of accessories for tricking-up dad’s new PX3 or PX4, including Sun cooler bags, water bottle holders, cigar holders, adjustable umbrella holders, travel cases, supercharged pouches, and more.
True Linkswear TRUE Knit II
While there’s no official estimate of how many golfers prefer to walk, versus taking carts, anecdotal observations over the past year all point to an exponential increase. There’s a reason it was nearly impossible to find a push cart in 2020.
True Linkswear, with its branded #enjoythewalk tagline, is the No. 1 golf shoe for walkers. And within its lineup of uber comfy, high-performing kicks, the TRUE Knit II is the all-time best-seller. Since everyone loves a comeback, the company has updated the “TKII” with even more flexibility and durability.
The big addition this time around is the WANDERLUX super foam midsole that equips the TKII with more rebound off any surface. It’s hard to describe, but the 2021 edition just feels more “alive” than its predecessor.
As always with True Linkswear, the upper portion of the shoe steals the show, and the TKII’s TRUEknit housing is breathable, unfailingly comfortable and (this blows our mind given the look and feel) both water and oil repellant. TKII is available in four colors for $140 direct from the True Linkswear website.
Southern Tide T3 Gulf Brrr Performance Short
Dad needs a go-to golf short for the summer, and Greenville, S.C.-based Southern Tide delivers with its eight-inch T3 Gulf Brrr Performance Short. The “GPS” features Brrr technology that provides a patented cooling effect, key for those sultry rounds in the afternoon.
Available in five spring and summer-friendly colors and priced at $99.50, the Gulf Performance Short’s Brrr triple chill effect technology is equipped with natural cooling minerals, active moisture-wicking and rapid drying that can keep you up to four degrees cooler on the golf course (or off).
Southern Tide, like many sport and lifestyle-centric men’s brands, has gotten more aggressive with the inseam in its shorts. We really like the 8-inch edition of the Gulf Performance for walking rounds as it provides a much more athletic look and feel with less friction.
PuttView’s “The Book”
PuttView’s “The Book,” golf’s most detailed yardage and greens map book, is the brainchild of putting instructor Phil Kenyon, who has up-leveled green maps and yardage book technology, appealing to serious recreational and high-level amateur golfers.
The Book offers two views of each green, including an easy-to-read color thermal image allowing golfers to quickly recognize ridges and possible hole locations. The detailed view features arrows and contours at the maximum level allowed within the rules of golf, helping players process vital information.
The yardage information offers fairway arrows when slope exceeds four percent, carry and runout distances, elevation change and distance rings, among other valuable information.
The ULT-X from TecTecTec, is Amazon’s No. 1 selling golf rangefinder brand. Lightweight, easy to store, it provides the features and benefits associated with ultra-high-end rangefinders but is more affordable than its premium competitors.
Advanced, crystal-clear optics, target-lock capabilities and optional slope functionality make ULT-X one of the most popular rangefinders in the world. Extremely accurate, the ULT-X provides measurements precise within 0.3 yards from up to 300 yards away. It is backed by a two-year warranty and is available for $249.99 at the company’s website.
Few things in golf are more challenging than attempting to describe the features and benefits of the Arccos Caddie system in 150 words or less. It’s a GPS-powered shot-tracker, A.I.-powered rangefinder, virtual caddie, strokes gained analytics guru and overall game improvement solution.
What the Arccos Caddie does is borderline mystical, but how to buy it and activate the system is really quite simple. Golfers can select from either Smart Sensors that screw into the ends of club grips or Smart Grips that replace their existing grips.
Next, download the Arccos Caddie app, pair all your clubs (takes around five minutes), download your home course and boom, you’re off. Purchasing either the Smart Sensors or Smart Grips comes with. The Arccos Caddie Bundle, which includes Smart Sensors and Link, is an excellent option for Father’s Day. A one-year membership to the Arccos Caddie app is included.
Pinehurst Resort’s Donald Ross Golf Package
There’s no gift quite like the gift of golf itself, and no golf pilgrimage compares to a summer sojourn to the Cradle of American Golf. Pinehurst Resort’s Donald Ross Package is an ideal way to play Coore and Crenshaw’s restoration of No 2, Gil Hanse’s reimagined No. 4 or any one of its nine legendary layouts (plus the sporty, par-3 Cradle short course).
The popular stay-and-play includes a two-night stay, three rounds of golf, breakfast buffet and three-course dinner, daily. A Pro Tip from Pinehurst Resort Reservationists: you’re mostly likely to find lodging and tee time availability booking Sunday-Tuesday or Monday-Wednesday.
The Manor was recently renovated and houses private hospitality suites that up-level any golf buddies trip. The North & South Bar in the hotel’s lobby was part of the complete overhaul in 2019 and makes for an optimal stop for a night cap after dinner and drinks at the Pinehurst Brewing Company.
Rumbling Bald Resort’s Hole-in-One and Ryder Cup Packages
The image of dad and his buddies blazing a trail into Western North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains for a totally unplugged, off the grid golf trip is a visceral one. Rumbling Bald, a 36-hole golf retreat at the northern end of Lake Lure, delivers this experience via its Hole-in-One and Ryder Cup Packages.
Starting at $345 per person, the popular “Hole-in-One” package features a two-night stay, two rounds of golf on the Apple Valley and Bald Mountain courses, breakfast both days and complimentary, unlimited range balls. Lodging options abound, including the recently updated Apple Valley Studios and two- and four-bedroom Fairway Villas.
Paying homage to the 2021 Ryder Cup at Destination Kohler’s famed Whistling Straits in Wisconsin, Rumbling Bald is offering a limited availability “Ryder Cup Package.” Expert golf vacation planners are available to design an exciting, Ryder Cup team formatted event for golf groups in search of an unforgettable experience.
The Ryder Cup Package starts at $589 per person and includes: three nights lodging; three rounds of golf scored and handicapped; complimentary replays on either course; a team shirt and hat; private, one-hour opening reception with wine, beer and hors d’oeuvres and unlimited use of the practice facilities.
Cherokee Valley Golf Cottage Package
Greenville, S.C., has been nothing short of a media darling over the past decade. Recognized as one of the best small cities in the U.S. for visiting and living, its location in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in the state’s scenic Upstate region sets up beautifully for golf.
Cherokee Valley Course and Club in neighboring Tigerville, just 30 minutes north of downtown Greenville, serves up the area’s only P.B. Dye-designed golf course, quaint on-course cottages and a newly-opened chef-driven restaurant, Core 450.
The cottage collection features three elegantly appointed homes right on the golf course. Each is equipped with four bed-and-bath suites to provide plenty of privacy and ample room. The cottages afford a relaxing atmosphere with panoramic views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Rates start at $130 a night for one room with one bed and range up to $600 for a four-bedroom cottage with two beds per room.
A round of golf on Cherokee’s Dye-designed mountain-style layout can be added for $33 on weekdays (Mon. – Thurs.), $43 on weekends (Fri. – Sun.) or $60 for “all you can play,” subject to availability. For more information on cottage rates, configurations, availability or to book visit the club’s Accommodations Page.