Cape Gazette

The 19th Hole

Triple bogey of gift ideas for golfing dads

By Gene Bleile | Jun 13, 2013

Every year around Father’s Day, my family asks what I want.

I always reply from the heart and say that having a healthy, happy, loving family near me is the greatest gift of all.  But they insist on giving me a present or two, so I usually suggest golf equipment or a box of new long-distance balls. I am still hopeful to one day receive a driver that eliminates hooks and slices, or a putter that will stop the dreaded three putt. A couple dozen golf balls is always a nice surprise, since I seem to lose my fair share each summer, but how about a gift that will last longer than a round of golf?

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Over the years, my family has become creative and helpful after hearing about my misfortune on the regional golf courses. Some of the most helpful and long-lasting keepsakes given to me on Father’s Day are instructional, humorous and inspirational golf books.

Even though I had my first hole-in-one last Father’s Day weekend, at age 65, I still carry an 18 handicap and need all the help I can get.  I’m going to recommend a triple bogey of gift ideas for any golfing father or fan of golf.

Looking for a quick reference to help your game? Look no farther than David Leadbetter’s “Faults and Fixes.” It is a complete guide to correct the 80 most common faults in the game. My kids gave this to me a few years ago, when I shot an 83 and 103 on consecutive weekends.

It starts with the correct grip and works you through the address: the backswing, at the top, the downswing, the impact and the finish.

It also includes the short game, putting and bunker play. I liked the part about using your head, instead of your ego, to shoot more 83s and fewer 103s.

You can’t go wrong with a book entitled “Chicken Soup for the Golfer’s Soul.” It’s  a collection of 101 stories that will capture your imagination, emotions and reinforce your love of the game.  It is a hole-in-one, an eagle and birdie for the mind and a book you will revisit many times over the coming years.

The next book is called “Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader; Tees Off On Golf.”  The book features 285 pages of stories, humor and golf facts and is fun to read in any room in the house. It will keep you laughing to yourself and includes such topics as: superstitions, Hollywood hackers, revenge of the rule book, weird stories, tons of trivia, amazing shots, the history and origin of golf and much more. If you need a short escape from reality, this is the book for you.

Since everyone likes a mulligan or two, I am going to throw in a couple more gift ideas for the golfer(s) in your life. Don’t forget that all these ideas are interchangeable for next Christmas or Mother’s Day next May.

My final book selection is entitled “A Round Of Golf Jokes.” It has humorous golf quotes, jokes and cartoons by Bill Stott. This is a small coffee table hardback book with only 50 pages, but it will cheer up your day and bring you back to reality after a bad round.

My second mulligan is actually a DVD that you can share with the entire family. It’s called “The Greatest Game Ever Played,” released through the Walt Disney Company (so you know it’s a keeper).

It is the story of 20-year-old Francis Ouimet, a former caddie who enters the U.S. Open as an amateur in 1920 and defeats four-time British Open winner, Harry Vardon (as in Vardon grip) and reigning British Open Champion, Ted Rey.

It was a David versus Goliath story that changed the game of golf forever. Before Ouimet’s victory, it was estimated that 350,000 people played the game of golf. But in the following ten years, after his heroic victory, the number grew to over 2 million.

So there you have it - another Father’s Day will soon come and go, but now you can give dad or granddad a gift they will cherish for years.

Don’t forget to sign the inside cover of a gift book, Happy Father’s Day 2013… with love to my favorite golfer.

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