I clicked on a link to a top ten golf gifts for women the other day, and if you know me you know I love top ten lists! But as I scrolled through it, the only conclusion I took from it was there's a need to do a little more explaining on what makes a potential great gift for that awesome woman golfer you know.
Since golf has been a part of my life for over 25 years, and being a woman, I've observed that golf can mean lots of different things to different women. I'm thrilled that the market for women specific equipment, apparel, and accessories has expanded, there's a lot to look at! But great golf gifts come in all shapes, sizes, and prices so don't be blinded by "especially for women" traps that might not be the best deal (you know I love a sale!). I have seen more than a few "gifts" that were used "because the kids gave it to me" or heard the "can you believe he got that for me?", followed by the story of returning it.
So here are my thoughtful suggestions on what to consider, and maybe where you can look for some potential golf gifts for women:
If you are looking to buy clubs or equipment for a lady new to the game, it might be worth it to look into a less expensive set to start out with...here's why...there are some beginners that might not like golf (yes, I know that sounds crazy!) and if you go crazy early it could be a waste of money. Big box retailers will have basic sets, and Adams Golf and Callaway also have some nice beginner sets that won't break the bank.
Now if you've got golf nut on your hands that ready to graduate from the clubs she is playing, think about giving a golf fitting and a certificate for new clubs. This will require a little research and a budget. Ask around or surf the web for a professional fitter...or research any major brand to find a fitting facility or a calendar of when they might be in your area. Don't just bank on a golf retailer having trained staff knowing how to properly fit women for clubs.
If we've learned anything from golf professionals and the guys and gals on Tour, we know that all putters are not made equal...and as a club that is the most used in many a golf bag, getting fitted for a putter could be a great treat and also be affordable.
Buying women clothing can be a challenge, not only from a fashion and style stand point but also from a sizing and fit perspective. The good news is there are many great golf lines available in pro shops and online. I would be remiss if I didn't mention golf shoes...you know women and shoes! But if you don't know what she wants, avoid just picking one. I have found from past experience, many shoes run different on sizes, so knowing the right size might not be enough. If you're not sure what might be the perfect gift, let her make the decision and give a gift card!
The thing about some women golfers (myself included), is that they are brand loyal. And most major golf brands and apparel lines have figured out that accessories can be a great seller. Tote bags, wallets, shoe bags, luggage, watches, hats, visors and sunglasses can be found in just about every retail store, pro shop or online shop. I bought myself an awesome Callaway tote bag/beach towel combo this summer and I use them both all the time. I've also lost count on how many Titleist hats I own. There are also the designer ball markers that fit all kinds of personalities. Golf towels can also make a great accessory gift. For the avid golfer I'd also suggest considering a range finder, GPS, or a gift card for golf at a great area course. The LPGA web site has a store that includes their own logo items along with some great Solheim Cup apparel and accessories that might be a great treat.
A few other miscellaneous thoughts...
If you've been getting the impression that your favorite woman golfer is looking to improve her game, resist the temptation to take her to the driving range to help and get her a package of lessons at your local course or an area course with a great pro. But I'd also caution that some ladies are just looking for a night out with their friends aren't necessarily ready to go through game improvement just yet.
It might not be a glamorous gift, but something that women often don't do but probably need to is get new grips...there are amazing new styles and colors, but again, it might be smart to get a gift certificate so you make sure they fit her needs and personality.
Be wary of buying golf balls unless you know what she likes or what she plays. More than once in my life I've received some of the pastel crystal balls that you couldn't pay me to play (well, for the right money...maybe!)...anyways, while the intention was good, it clearly wasn't a gift that was on my favorites list.
I'm a fan of supporting local pro shops, so a gift certificate for apparel or golf would be great idea...and don't forget the area golf restaurant.
There are lots more neat things you could choose...head covers, tasteful jewelry, high performance socks, or a gift bag that would include a small first aid kit, water bottle, sun screen, tees, and a small change purse for money for the beverage cart. You name the price we can find a gift! No matter what you choose, you can never go wrong supporting and promoting golf during this wonderful time of year. Happy Shopping!