**Thanks to the far more talented Drew Magary for the inspiration. I know it’s a cheap lift, but I’m giving credit where it’s surely due. So buy his new book ‘The Hike’ on Amazon or at a bookstore.
Thanksgiving is now past us, and the annual running of the absurd that is Black Friday is also in our collective rear view mirror, which means it’s 4 weeks until Christmas. So everyone’s in the holiday spirit. Except your humble scribe. Before I became your humble scribe, I worked holidays and for a while dated someone who was a retail store manager, so the December of my younger years wasn’t a joyous occasion (if you’re at a drinking establishment the night of Christmas Eve and see a group of people drinking, odds are they’re retail workers blowing off steam; buy them a round). I didn’t have time to argue with people about Happy Holidays v. Merry Christmas v. Happy Festivus v. Go Screw Yourself. Frankly, I don’t care. People turn into raging assholes this time of year for some reason (I’ll never forget some old woman getting out of her car to attempt to slap me because I dared honk to let her know the light was green and maybe she could drive more and put makeup on less), so my deft move is to give people a wide berth. Seriously, if you start a fight in a mall over something, rethink your priorities in life. If someone wishes you well, don’t get offended.
Luckily, Golf Digest has provided us with their annual Holiday Gift Guide, but for some odd reason did not provide the impetus as to how they selected these items. Let’s go through a few of the more…unique items.
KETEL ONE BOTTLE CANDLE
They say: The creative minds at the ReluminationsDecor on Etsy took this keepsake a step further and made a candle out of Arnie’s bottle. It’s handmade to order and you can select the scent of the soy wax. Soy wax burns longer and cleaner, so expect this one to burn for around 120 hours in total—just long enough to keep you warm during golf’s offseason.
SGIC says: You can buy an actual bottle of Ketel One for $35 and at least drink the vodka. Oh, but it’s Arnie’s special bottle! He’s been dead for just over 2 years. This is his grandchildren using his name to make a few bucks on a candle. Unless it smells like lemonade and iced tea, why even bother? If you spend $35 on a damn candle it better keep you warm. Oh, and vodka is boring. It’s the Chicken Caesar Salad of alcohol. You can buy a bottle of Tito’s for $20 and it’s better.
J LINDBERG KIMBALL STRIPED FIELD SENSOR SWEATER
Price: $180 (seriously)
They say: Your favorite golfer may have plenty of midlayers, but likely hasn’t opted for a shade like this half-zip features in its color-blocking pattern. Elastic at the cuffs and hem, along with a mock neck add warmth to the cozy jacket. The moisture wicking fabric is lightweight and perfect for golf in any temperature. There are a few color options for this piece, but the fresh green shade is eye-catching and seasonal.
SGIC says: Remember 6-8 years ago when it seemed like half the European Tour were wearing J Lindberg’s stuff? They’re still here. BTW, unless you have the figure of a ballpoint pen, just take a hard pass. Their stuff has a ‘tailored’ (i.e. tiny) fit. Damn straight they don’t make sizes for larger people. I played with a guy who had matching J Lindberg shorts and a shirt a few years ago. Insufferable nitwit. He looked good but he couldn’t break 110 on a muni course to save his life. Of course he had high-end clubs and a staff bag. Invest in lessons instead.
STITCH DAY PACK TOTE
They say: This 2-in-1 tote bag and backpack is as versatile as it gets and it’s no surprise the brilliant design comes from one of the coolest new golf bag companies, Stitch. This bag has more pockets than you’ll be able to fill and a magnetized passport pocket that’s perfect for travel. Each bag comes with the option of personalization by adding initials to the front on a modern design patch.
SGIC says: $200 for a backpack/tote bag. When the economy tanks, there’s going to be a few hundred of these things lying around as a testament to how stupid people get in times of marginal prosperity. Unless you’re being whisked away from your job on Wall Street to to the Hamptons to play a few rounds at daddy’s club and then hang out with Millicent or Muffy, this isn’t for you.
UTHER GOLF TOWEL
They say: Uther makes unique golf towels that will help you cross everyone off your list this holiday season. From florals to flamingos, funny messages to patriotic ones, you’ll definitely pick up a few. They’re also super absorbent, quick drying and clip to your bag with a carabiner. The waffle pattern removes dirt without damaging golf clubs and as a bonus they’re antimicrobial with natural odor reduction to keep things extra clean.
SGIC says: Add “towel with funny saying” next to neoprene iron covers, ball retrievers, and using poker chips for ball markers to signs nobody wants to play with you. Even using the “s” word should be a capital offence. Be sure to tuck it into your pants for maximum stupidity.
FOOT JOY 1857 DOUBLE MONK STRAP DRESS SHOE
They say: Your favorite golfer may have a pair of FootJoy golf shoes, but they probably don’t have a pair of dress shoes from the new FJ heritage collection. They’re on the pricier side, but that’s because each shoe goes through a 150-step process to ensure high quality craftsmanship. The Double Monk Strap shoe is made with Italian calfskin uppers for an ultra-luxe look and feel. They come in a cognac or navy that will enhance any outfit.
SGIC says: If my shoes don’t undergo a 155 step process I’m not wearing them. So just to confirm, they’re not golf shoes. I mean, I do like the monk strap style and they do look pretty good. But $600 bucks for shoes? Are you people on dope? I can buy two pair of Cole-Haan’s or Allan Edmunds for that.
MIZZEN AND MAIN DRESS SHIRT
Price: $135, and your soul
They say: With all the buzz around this shirt, golfers on your list likely haven’t thought of purchasing one of their own. This shirt is really a “see it to believe it” kind of deal—or “play a round of golf in it to believe it.” The fabric really is performance-ready with moisture-wicking capabilities, fou- way stretch and is wrinkle resistant. The shirts from the Phil Mickelson collection have the Lefty’s logo on the left cuff for an added golf-approved touch.
SGIC says: By ‘buzz’, you mean the commercial with Phil Mickelson doing the worm and wearing it at the Players Championship. In May. In Florida where the temperature is usually eleventy billion degrees. Be honest- if you got paired with a twosome wearing these shirts you’re probably entering rehab the next day. Look, you have to respect the amount of Not Caring About Anything that Phil has. He’s had his soul ripped out in several US Opens, and the odds are that it’s never going to happen for him. But when he’s at home in his office day-trading and spread-betting on the Winter X Games, he probably looks good in that dress shirt. And be honest- when he rolls up to his club and plays Wolf Hammer for $25K per hole, he looks good doing it.
PETER MILLAR SHOOIE PUTTER COVER
They say: Traditional loafer devotees will love this putter cover modeled after the Peter Millar X GFORE Cruiser Golf Loafer. It’s not for everyone, but might just be the perfect unexpected gift for that leather-tassel-loving guy on your list to protect his favorite golf club.
SGIC says: I wear loafers to work, but keep this shit away from my putter. Unless you’re using this to cover up your Ole Billy Baroo, what are you even doing? If I saw someone with this thing I’d ask them if they’re having a stroke, or ‘Who hurt you?’ You make the Scotty Cameron collectors seem rational.
LULULEMON MENS ABC PANT
They say: These pants are something that even if they already have a pair, they’ll gladly appreciate another. They can be worn for a casual round of golf, to the office or just around the house. The 5-pocket styling gives an upscale look while the four way stretch fabric feels like loungewear. The Black Plum or Dark Olive colorways are fresh and on-trend, while the classic navy or black will always be a hit.
SGIC says: They’re sweatpants. And no, you cannot wear these things to the office. Did Roger Sterling wear god damn sweatpants to the office? NO! Did Teddy Roosevelt wear sweatpants? NO! I know that everyone is collectively giving up, but just don’t. Look, I’m all for wearing shorts and I’ve argued that the pro tours should permit shorts. I draw the line at sweatpants. And so should you.
LULULEMON WOMENS ALIGN PANT
They say: The moment she realizes she’s unwrapping something from Lululemon, you’ll see (and probably hear) the excitement. These yoga pants are another item that they’ll gladly accept repeats of. The Align “Nulu” fabric is softer than butter and extra lightweight—a noticeable and appreciated difference from most bottoms. She’ll wear them to the range, to yoga and every possible moment she can, they’re that comfortable. Black is always a classic and safe option, but if you’re feeling adventurous, the Dark Sport Red colorway is timely and fun.
SGIC says: She Who Is Really In Charge is a lot of things. A fan of Lululemon is not one of them. ‘So, you bought me yoga pants that cost $100’ is not really a great way to start the day unless she’s had at least 2 bottles of wine for breakfast. Plus, they don’t really cater to most women, and their company seems to be run by evil assholes. Are they still thin to where people can see the pattern of your underpants when you bend over?
Price: $100 and up
They say: This is a gift you can be certain they don’t have—and at shockingly affordable prices. These hilarious suits are perfect for holiday parties and family photos. Great for the golfer that loves to stand out, just be ready to see them wearing it nonstop.
SGIC says: I can endure 7 minutes every Saturday night from October-early June of Racist Grandpa on Hockey NIght in Canada yelling incoherently at whatever while Ron Maclean looks at him wondering how he got here. At least Don Cherry goes to Fabricland to get his jackets made. I can’t endure Trent, Aiden, and Logan hanging out looking like matching dorks. Cherry has been dressing ridiculously for 3 decades. Opposuits should be paying him residuals.
Unfamiliar with Don Cherry’s haberdashery?
If you need more of this in your life then check out the Don We Now Our Gay Apparel Blog.
RLX RALPH LAUREN SHERPA FLEECE JACKET
They say: Tartan plaid is the pattern of winter 2018-19. What was once a staple in golf is now back in style and better than ever. While there are plenty of plaid trousers to choose from, opt for this winter-ready jacket from RLX. The fluffy fabric elevates this statement piece to work well on and off the course, while the right chest pocket add utility.
SGIC says: It’s TARTAN TIME. Why wear ordinary patterns when you can wear TARTAN! TARTAN EVERYTHING! Seriously, that fleece is pretty nice (for $150 it better be).
HOOK & ALBERT WEEKENDER BAG
They say: Great for the style-conscious traveler, this minimal duffel transforms into a garment bag that holds up to two suits. It’s also got two shoe pockets and accessory pockets for small items. When not in use, it folds flat for easy storage. This really is the bag they didn’t know they needed but won’t be able to live without. A variety of colors and styles are available, but we like this Limited Edition Twill Gray Fabric because it’s modern looking and will keep clean through the toughest travel.
SGIC says: $350+ for a duffel bag? Oh, you assholes like the Limited Edition Twill Grey, well I WANT TARTAN PLAID to match my fleece. And I want TARTAN PLAID sweatpants.
TED BAKER RUNER KNITTED FOLD-OVER RUCKSACK
They say: Everyone needs a cool backpack, no matter how old they are. This Ted Baker fold-over bag has a laptop pocket, top handle and padded shoulder straps that are ultra comfortable. The mixed media design is modern and upscale, perfect for everyday wear.
SGIC says: What, no TARTAN PLAID? If I’m spending $300 on a bag that doesn’t come in TARTAN PLAID then what am I even doing? I’m sure that this bag must be great in wet weather. Bet it soaks up lots of water. C’mon…TED.
HOOK & GAFF KING TIDE WATCH
Price: $750 (seriously)
They say: This sport watch is nautical-inspired, but perfect for any occasion. For water watchers, you can set the tide to your precise location and it is water-tight up to 660 feet. The navy strap is elegant yet comfortable and the face is scratch-resistant for those less elegant moments.
SGIC says: When Judge Smails invites me to the yacht club, I’m wearing this thing along with my ascot. Nautical inspired? You god damn right. I better get that caddie scholarship.
COMO AUDIO AMICO SPEAKER
They say: Even the most particular audio heads will appreciate this smart speaker. With a real teak wood veneer, this portable speaker is weather resistant for at-home or on-the-course tunes. It’s also got 8 hours of playback time and a rear bass port that doubles as a handle for easy carry.
SGIC says: This thing is gigantic. Golf Digest are the same assholes who prattle on about how walking is this integral part of the game while hawking this crap. First off, it’s gigantic so it’ll take some work to get it loaded into your cart. Second, Judge Smails doesn’t like music on the golf course. Third, people that own crap like this usually have terrible taste in music. 4 hours of Nickelback and Daughtry should be a felony.
I say this nearly every year, but if there’s a golfer in your life, buy them a dozen balls of their preferred make/model. Less than $50, and wrapping them is a cinch. If you really want to splurge, think long weekend somewhere sunny and warm this winter.