As a rule, PGA Tour players would have to be among the hardest groups to find a Christmas gift for. Most are millionaires, play golf for a living and probably haven’t paid for a golf ball (or anything else golf-related) in decades.
There are, however, “must-have” items with widely varying price points that even a Tour type would appreciate. In no particular order, here are our top 10 list of gifts for Tour players:
TrackMan. This is the gold standard among the play-for-pay types but depending on the model it’s likely not an option for most.
“If someone is buying me a TrackMan that’d be a great start. If you have $20,000 laying around and want to throw it my way, absolutely,” Chesson Hadley laughed.
If you’ve got the means a 20 grand stocking stuffer always works, but if not the launch monitor business has plenty of price points.
ForeSight Sports GCQuad. The GCQuad provides everything from clubhead speed and club path to loft and lie information at impact. It also, at least according to various online quotes, comes with a slightly more reasonable price tag ($11,000 to $14,000) than the TrackMan.
“That’s my favorite thing because it gives me numbers without wind and the current temperature and elevation. It’s portable and gives me a bunch of data that I really like,” Brendan Steele said. “You really know how far you’re hitting it.”
Formewear. After launch monitors, the most popular items on Tour have everything to do with therapy and fitness and one of the most interesting items on the market are the shirts and shorts from Formewear, which are designed to improve posture and relieve stress.
“Our products address the tension in the back, hips and neck, not only from the golf swing but from traveling and the lack of recovery week after week,” said Dr. Stephen Liu, the founder and chairman of Forme. “Our product is designed to relax those muscles in the neck and along the spine so they have faster recovery and less issues with their neck and back. It also gives you more mobility in the upper spine.”
TriggerPoint foam roller. Again, this is a must-have for any elite athlete even a Tour player who has access to the circuit’s mobile fitness vans and the world’s best trainers.
Models range from the basic GRID foam roller (suggested retail $35) to the more advanced URBNFit Vibrating model ($69).
Stretching pole. The basic model has evolved over the years but the concept of increased flexibility and mobility has been perfected by the Randy Myers Golf Stretching Pole.
The standard model is $125 while the Tour model allows for more stretching options, including a spring handle so that players can set a proper angle at the top of their backswing, for $175.
Range finder. There is no shortage of options here but a consensus favorite among Tour players, as well as their caddies, is Bushnell Golf’s Tour V5 Shift Patriot Park ($374).
Along with the accuracy of this model the unit’s “slope compensation” makes it crucial for practice rounds and tournament preparation. If all that wasn’t enough a portion of the proceeds from every Tour V5 Shift are also donated to the Folds of Honor.
Fitness bands. This is one area of golf fitness that has evolved and improved. Although most bands will work, for a Tour-specific workout the Joey D [Diovisalvi] Signature Series PowerBandz ($59) are popular at the highest levels.
The set includes two 4-inch bands and an anchor that allows the bands to be secured in a door jam or onto a golf cart for both a workout or pre-round warm-up.
Whoop. The data that’s produced from the wearable Whoop device has been integrated into various tournament telecasts to provide a snapshot of a player’s biometric information at crucial moments during play. It’s also become something of a staple for the game’s top players to better understand how their bodies react to pressure.
“I really like looking [at Whoop data] after tournaments to see what my heart rate was like,” Justin Thomas told PGATour.com. “I can get a specific look and be like, ‘Why did it go from 110 to 140? What was going on?’”
Alignment sticks. Again, there are plenty of options to choose from here and the basic concept remains true after all these years, but for the Tour player, there is something to be said for ease of travel.
The Callaway Alignment Stix combines both function and form, with the 48-inch sticks collapsing for easier storage and a bright yellow finish that makes them impossible to ignore ($19).