Friday Mike is a weekly column on all things golf and life. This week, Mike dives into his favorite corners of the Pro Shop. Visit our own Stick & Hack Pro Shop here!

The pro shops at many golf courses, particularly the better ones, can be magical places.

So many things to see. And buy.

Shirts in every style and color.

From vibrant oranges to subtle deep blues. From the clearance rack and the $25 bargains to those $140 top-of-the-line shirts that almost nobody you know can afford.

And golf balls.

Every brand and many, many colors. You can salivate over the stack of boxes of Pro V1s and marvel at the fact that they sell for about twice the price of your favorite discount store. Somehow, they say, the ones you buy in the pro shop are better.

And towels.

I like to gently guide my friends to the towel selection in almost every pro shop we visit, hoping they might buy one because the ones hanging from their golf bags are so old and battered they appear to be hand-me-downs from Ben Hogan. Not Ben Hogan’s company. Ben Hogan himself.

The Stick & Hack Pro Shop has this exclusive "Hack" hat in navy and white. Get yours today!


Everybody needs a fresh cap at least once every three months. The ones with the logo of the course you’re playing should be the top pick, particularly if it’s a high-dollar course. This will impress your pals back home.


Those sparkling sets of irons hanging on the shop wall always attract attention. You probably can get them cheaper somewhere else, but here you get the club pro to help with the fittings and such. And you can always say, “Yeah, got my irons at Royal Brushwood. Where’d you get yours, Walmart?”

Ball markers.

Some important advice is needed here. More and more players seem to be buying those poker-chip-style markers. Stop it. Those things are far too big. If one of my exquisite putts is misdirected by one of those giant chips, the owner is a dead man.

I tend to lean toward those markers that, through the magic of magnetism, stick on the clip on the brim of your cap. It’s such a cool move – reaching up to grab the marker off your cap and placing it perfectly. Impresses everybody. And leaves more room in your pockets for snacks.


So many varieties these days. Go with waterproof, and go with black. They’re easier to clean. And, while we’re on the topic of shoes, I miss those long metal spikes that made music when you walked on the sidewalk to the grille at the turn. Gave you a sense of power that the puny plastics of today can’t touch. 


Every self-respecting golfer must have a pair of super-cool shades. If you want to look like a professional, get the kind that fits tightly on your head so that you can wear them backward like the pros do. Pro shops often carry those with lens colors that not only block the sun but also are bright enough to keep you awake if the round is trending toward boredom.


These usually are free. Ask for the ones with erasers. Might come in handy.

Mike Hembree

Mike Hembree is a veteran journalist who has covered a variety of sports for numerous publications and websites, including USA Today, Fox Sports, TV Guide and The Greenville (S.C.) News. He has written 14 books and has won numerous writing awards at the national, regional and state levels. He is a seven-time winner of the National Motorsports Press Association Writer of the Year Award.