What a year 2019 has been. Stop for a moment and let’s reflect on everything that has happened over the last 12 months. I’m sitting here by the fireplace having a cup of hot cocoa* (I’m drinking my fifth tumbler of rye on the rocks but calling it cocoa) while my dog snores and farts. What could possibly make this frigid evening better? Why it’s the arrival of the 2019 Golf Digest Holiday Gift Guide! Behold!
Unlike last year, there are no leggings or pantaloons of any kind. I DEMAND PANTALOONS. In tartan, of course. I want tartan everything. GIVE ME YOUR FINEST TARTAN! MOISTURE WICKING TARTAN!
Since there is no tartan, the people at Golf Digest have been busy at work putting together a list of items that they believe are what golfers want for the holidays (they are, as usual, wrong). So let’s take a look at the fine offerings that have been curated for my discerning taste, shall we?
And like last year, much thanks to Drew Magary for inspiring this. Hopefully you land on your feet and are blessed with many ramekins of delicious treats.
Beats Solo 3 Wireless Headphones
They say: A look, feel and sound that’s bold— even if your music isn’t. The fine-tuned acoustics will make any track bounce.
SGIC says: The human clown car wearing headphones that appear to be from the Guy Fieri collection is going to be an absolute delight for that 7-hour round, but that’s okay while Logan listens to some godforsaken world music while taking 4 minutes to miss a six-footer for a triple bogey. The social skills of a fence post, four practice swings, taking pictures of EVERYTHING (for the ‘gram, naturally) and the inability to break 120 come standard with these. Unless you’re dropping that bass at the club during your DJ gig these are a total waste. It’s as bad as assholes who wear Apple Air Buds everywhere.
Demerbox Game Day DB2 Speaker
They say: Built into a durable pelican case, this waterproof outdoor speaker delivers storage and professional-grade sound quality in an ultra-portable design.
SGIC says: To quote from Judge Smails, CUT THAT OUT! $350 for something that looks like an emergency repair kit you’d keep in your car? Is listening to Nickelback really that big of a deal? I point this out because it’s an absolute guarantee that people who insist on taking something like this with them to the course have terrible taste in music and will be hard of hearing ensuring everyone gets to listen to their dirge. Sure glad it’s ultra-portable though. Portable just isn’t enough.
Psychobunny Aaron Windbreaker
They say: A packable, wind-and-waterproof jacket that will pop even under the darkest skies.
SGIC says: Confession: I own a psychobunny tshirt. Pretty plain, tiny logo. Overpriced. Exactly how I feel about this. For $200 I can buy something from Zero Restriction that I know is actually waterproof. Plus, it wasn’t designed for golf so how well it holds up with a golf swing is up for debate. Who’s Aaron, by the way?
Mont Blanc Sunglasses
Price: $2,020 (not a typo).
They say: The subtle map design on these titanium glasses is only visible from the outside, giving them a crisp, out-of-this-world look.
SGIC says: When I spend two grand on sunglasses three things happen. 1) She Who Is Really In Charge does not react well and gives me the death stare 2) I look like a complete dipshit 3) I will drop them and ruin them. I spent $220 on a pair of custom golf-specific Oakley sunglasses 7 years ago and still question the decision (I still have them and like them). But wow, I never bought sunglasses that have a subtle map design that’s visible from the outside before. I bet wearing these will impress Aiden, Muffy and Trevor at the club while we complain about the poors and drink Dr. Pepper from $200 stemware. And when I think of sunglasses, I always want to go with a company best known for making pens. Christ- it’s like someone from Golf Digest thinks that your average reader is thinking “I mean, I could spend two grand on a golf trip to Myrtle but man I need sunglasses that make me look like a douchebag!”
Blair’s Belts Alligator Belt
They say: A luxe leather cash cover to keep your green safe and stylish.
SGIC says: You can’t buy this unless you get the matching belt and shoes. BTW, you know who could totally pull this off? Phil. I’m sure that when he’s in Saudi Arabia it’ll go over well with the Sheik at the Palace. That’s it. You, me, anyone else? Hell no. Who buys someone a $300 wallet other than people who read the Robb Report and complain how it’s gone all mainstream and think Wheels Up is tacky.
Casio Pro Terek Smart WSD-F30 GPS Watch
Price: $549. Not a typo.
They say: A quality outdoor watch with the golf and smartwatch features you need. Get hole layouts and yardages via the Hole19 app, track activity, receive notifications and review forecasts on a compact-yet-vivid design.
SGIC says: Eat shit. I’d rather listen to the 877-KARS-4-KIDS song in a broom closet with the two goobers from MVMT watching JB Holmes lose pace to an ice floe than spend $550 on a Casio watch. It’s a watch. It tells time. You know what works great for a GPS device is your smart phone with the Hole19 app, or a rangefinder. You can watch porn on your smartphone (from what I hear). Casio watches should never cost more than a case of PBR. Hell, they should come with one. SGIC 2020, buy a case of beer, get a free Casio watch! Plus, you know that the asshole using this thing will need three minutes to get his yardage nailed down so he can duck hook a 3-wood into a hazard.
Bluegrass Fairway Waxed Canvas Valuables Pouch
They say: Handmade in the United States, this water-resistant pouch is lined with a soft, tartan fabric to keep your valuables protected inside and out.
SGIC says: Tartan fabric, people! Now we’re talking. I NEED TARTAN. I’m a supporter of BIG TARTAN. But $38? Someone should buy this for an office gift exchange just to make the “you can put your balls in it!” joke. You know what’s cheaper and better? A Crown Royal pouch (my personal option). And with the pouch, you get a free bottle of Crown Royal! Put the Pine Valley or Masters logo on it and they’ll fly off the shelf. This thing looks like it should have a bolo tie in it or something.
G/FORE Pray For Birdies Beanie
They say: A soft cashmere-wool hat to keep you warm and under par all winter long.
SGIC says: It’s a toque. Skull cap…sure. Beanie sounds like something Flounder from ‘Animal House’ would wear to try to pledge Delta House. There’s a guy named Trevor or Hunter in Brooklyn who will totally buy this. Serious golfers? No chance. It’s golf apparel for people who don’t play golf. Pass.
Crab & Cleek Turkish Towels
Price: $32 each
They say: For a unique and elegant addition to the bag, these customizable Turkish cotton golf towels have a terry-cloth liner that will keep your clubs fresh.
SGIC says: Some poor bastard is getting this for Christmas along with a set of neoprene iron covers and a set of naked lady tees right before they decide to ditch golf and take up lawn darts or huffing glue as their preferred recreational activity. I mean, do you really need TURKISH cotton? Is Pima or Egyptian cotton not good enough anymore? I used “borrowed” gym towels that worked great. Think about what you use your towel for; do you really need fine Turkish cotton? No. You do not.
Price: $249 and your pride
They say: This massage gun uses percussive therapy—or rapid, repetitive strokes—to stimulate blood flow and heat for more effective muscle recovery, pain management and stress relief.
SGIC says: This thing looks like someone duct-taped a Hitachi Wand on a triangle. I mean, I bet a lot of people can use this for stress relief and to stimulate blood flow (hey-yoooo). I totally get that. But…THIS LOOKS LIKE A VIBRATOR. Like something you’d see on an Adam & Eve infomercial (something I’d never, ever watch). And $250? No, I don’t know what size batteries this uses nor do I know if you can some how link it to your smartphone.
Hay Sowden Bottle
Price: $35 (12 ounce) $40 (17 ounce).
They say: Make hydration more appealing with this stainless-steel bottle that’s suitable for hot or cold drinks and looks like a work of art.
SGIC says: They look like giant salt and pepper shakers that are plotting revenge. 40 bucks for a water bottle that holds less than 20 ounces? GTFO. Buy a Yeti. Cheaper, bigger and they work great. This looks like something you’d use on your Peloton (presumably beating your husband with it for blowing 2 grand on an exercise bike). Oh, and those ‘videos’ you can watch with the instructors? I hate those people. If you ever see me inside a Soul Cycle call 911 because I’ve been kidnapped.
Imperial The Breck Rope Cap
Price: $30 and all the ridicule you can handle
They say: This customizable corduroy hat was inspired by a piece in the company’s 1988 collection—bringing enduring style and refinement to winter attire.
SGIC says: You should get a free bowl of soup with this, because at least then you’d have soup. When I think of refinement in haberdashery, corduroy isn’t what I’m thinking of. Rope hats are ugly so by all means let’s bring them back. Throw this thing into an active volcano. Seriously…corduroy? On a hat?
J Lindberg Clint Wool Coolmax Sweater
Price: $225 (therapy not included)
They say: A moisture-wicking, breathable wool-blend layer that will add class, color and warmth to any outfit.
SGIC says: A huge epic fail. No big and tall sizes because J Lindberg is made for 12-year old boys who resemble a match stick, plus it’s the kind ugly where you need two of these: 1 to shit on, the other to cover up said shit with. Who’s spending $225 to look like you eat crayons because they taste good?
Seamus X Denton Watts Skull & Crossbones Field Book (scorecard holder)
They say: Ready to record the deadliest of scores, this white-leather scorecard holder can double as a passport protector.
SGIC says: If you wear a white belt with black socks and play from the tips despite your 22 index, have we got a deal for you. No. Absolutely not. When the economy craters next year (consumer debt is at an all-time high per capita) people are going to look at crap like this and question their judgement. As they should. The first person to DM me will get a free scorecard holder that came with a purchase from TGW.
Jones X Buscemi Slide
Price: $200. For slides.
They say: Handmade in Italy, these limited-edition slides offer the simple elegance your feet deserve after 18 holes.
SGIC says: Huzzah! Tut tut…surely Trevor and Lord Shinytaint will not have someone wearing these in the Members Grill after 18 holes. The humanity! One exception: wear these bad boys with knee-high black socks and see what happens. But hurry…they’re limited edition! You don’t want BIG SANDAL getting over on you, do you? Does buying a pair of these get you lunch with Steve Buscemi? Asking for a friend. Can you wear them while getting sun on your bunghole?
Hillrock Estate Solera-Aged Bourbon
They say: This groundbreaking New York State bourbon hangs with Kentucky’s best.
SGIC says: What does Solera aged mean? Bourbon is aged is wood casks. There is literally no solera involved. Bourbon is Solera-free. I could recommend a half-dozen bourbons that would be much better (and cheaper) than this. It’s like one of their staffers was in the Hudson Valley and stumbled upon this. It’s like claiming the best crab cakes come from Oklahoma.
That’s it. You’re not buying any of this garbage.
What if, say, you’re reading this and you want to get your favourite golfer something for Christmas? A few really good options:
- Go to your local golf course and buy 1-2 dozen of their preferred make/model of balls. Super easy, and they’ll be happy.
- Treating them to a round or two at a great course that they have wanted to play. They’ll think of you…it’s a win-win!
- If they’re new to the game or want to improve, a lessons package at your local course (or some place like GolfTec) is a great option.
- Are they in the market for new clubs? Schedule them a fitting at said local course or a club fitter in your area (use your search engine of choice). It’s a great way for them to maximize those dollars and again- they’ll think of you when they’re getting fitted and start hitting your mid-irons stiff on a regular basis.
- If you have deep pockets, treat them to a weekend getaway somewhere nice that has golf that they can use come spring. The RTJ Golf Trail, Myrtle Beach, Kiawah Island, Charleston SC, Scottsdale/Phoenix, Orlando are all great options with plenty of non-golf things to do.