Christmas shopping may rank as one of the most daunting tasks of the year (keeping in mind 2020 is an outlier).  It’s hard enough finding a gift for…anyone if I’m being honest.  Trying to find a Christmas gift for a golfer?  That’s about as likely as finding a drive sliced into the woods.

Although the perfect golf gift probably exists out there, there are certain items that should never end up in that beautiful wrapping paper sitting under the tree on Christmas morning, for one reason or another.  Fortunately, as someone who has received plenty of “bad” golf gifts over the years, I’m going to let you in on the list of 10 things NOT to buy a golfer for Christmas and how this will save your hard-earned dollars in the process.

  1. New Driver

It’s time to get brutally honest.  80% of us can’t hit the driver we have.  Although that new, shiny driver looks like it can hit “bombs” and feels like Excalibur when put it in our hands, I’m here to tell you it won’t fix our awful hook or slice we complain about after every round. That money is better spent elsewhere, trust me. A new driver does not equate to a better golf game.

  1. Range Finder

Who doesn’t want to be the all-important person to answer “how far out are we”?  Sure, a range finder is an important tool to have in the bag to decide which club to use in order to be a pin seeker.  But, if you’re anything like most golfers, after about the third round of the year, that $200 range finder finds its way into the pocket beneath the beer and that brand spankin’ new range finder has now evolved into asking our playing buddy “what club are you hitting?”

  1. Golf Tees

Just, no.  As much as every golfer could use an endless number of tees, chances are we have about 250 in our bag and about an extra 100 more in the trunk of the car.  If we do run out, we just steal a handful from our friend’s bag while they’re on the tee.  They’ll never know! (sorry, Tommy).

  1. Divot Tool

This ranks right up there with golf tees.  Although it’s nice to have an extra divot tool, the odds are extremely high that we already have about 4 or 5 hiding in our golf bag as it is.  On the rare occasion, we do stick one on the green and don’t have our divot tool, we’ll just use a tee because it’s likely 99% of the time, we don’t have it on us for “that shot” we hit once a round.

  1. Golf Digest Subscription

Listen, as much as we love golf, the only time we’re really going to pick this magazine up and read cover to cover is when we’re sitting in the doctor’s office wondering why we showed up 10 minutes early to an appointment that is 30 minutes late.  Personally, I think we’d rather have a subscription to Stick and Hack with on the go, golden content (yes, that’s a plug.  Sign up for a membership).

  1. Practice Equipment

“Not a game.  We talkin’ about practice, man.” Yes, practice makes perfect…most of the time.  As golfers, we’re committed to our craft and it’s no secret the more we practice and play, the better we’ll be (in theory, at least).  Instead of spending money on the practice net, hitting mat, or foam balls, all of which are destined to end up in the back corner of the garage by the mower, we would much prefer a nice gift card to the range where we can put in our tunes and feel like Tiger Woods (or insert favorite golfer) every swing. 

  1. Ball Retriever

Yes, these do in fact exist.  There’s just something about going knee-deep in a pond or coming out of the thickets in the woods to get back our cherished Pro V1 or Chrome Soft a ball retriever could never replace.  Sure, I’m sure ball retrievers have their purpose…I just haven’t quite figured out what that purpose is yet.  In short – no on ball retrievers. 

  1. Koozies

Don’t get me wrong, koozies are very practical and rank up there as one of the greatest things since sliced bread.  However, most of the time us golfers are slamming Mickeys (AKA Michelob Ultras) so fast to stay cool on the course or forget about our round of 90, a koozie doesn’t even cross our mind. Practical? Of course. For Golf? Maybe not so much.

  1. Non-Name Brand Golf Clothing

We may end up shooting 90 or even 100, but you better believe we are going to look and feel like DJ in our Adidas attire or Sunday Tiger in our mock turtleneck playing at Augusta.  One of my mottos has always been “look good, play good”.  And while this hasn’t quite translated to my golf game, I’m at least winning at the “look good” portion of my motto.  The moral of the story: we want to look like the pros, whether we’re a scratch golfer or a 20 handicap.

  1. Home Gym Equipment

We didn’t go to the gym before the pandemic.  Do you really think that Bowflex is going to motivate us to lose our quarantine 20?  Absolutely not.  Also, hint much?  We’ve perfected our golf swings around our out-of-shape figures and any disruption to that (i.e., weight loss) would be an absolute injustice to our game.

Well, there you have it.  All of those wonderful golf gift ideas now thrown out of the window.  Even though this is a list of what not to buy golfers, if any of these items happened to make their way under the tree or in a stocking, we would be extremely grateful.  We aren’t savages, after all.  

If I’ve learned one thing as a golfer, it’s better to be lucky than good.  And I also know that receiving something from this list would be a hell of a lot better than opening something like a tie or bowling ball on Christmas morning.