Golf Gift Ideas: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

of 08

Blingo Ballmarkers

Blingo Ballmarks
Top: Chris Graythen / Getty Images; Bottom: © Charlotte Campbell

Golf Gifts for the Golfer Who Has Everything

Golf gift ideas, from the sublime to the ridiculous: That's what you'll find here. The golf gift ideas here are all atypical. How do we define "atypical" when it comes to golf gift ideas? It might be easier to give examples of the typical golf gifts: Clubs, clothing, golf balls. Nothing wrong with those items; they can make great gifts if you know that's what the golfer in your life wants.

But you won't find them here. You also won't find anything that can be called a "knick-knack," nor will you find anything that comes with green felt on the bottom.

These golf gift ideas are out of the ordinary. Some are serious and great; others are gag gifts and just plain silly. But they're all interesting (or at least amusing), and might help you come up with golf gift ideas for the golfer in your lift.

If you have golf gift ideas - whether good, bad or ugly - send us a tweet.

Flashy, sparkly, attention-getting - yet fully functional. That's Blingo. Blingo Ballmarks is the name of a company founded by professional golfer Charlotte Campbell. Every item is handmade by Charlotte herself.

And what are those items? In the photos above are the company's foundation, multi-colored ballmarkers made with Swarovski crystals. The bottom image displays just a small sample of the available patterns (custom designs and special requests are OK, too); the top image shows Paula Creamer sporting a Blingo ballmarker during the 2009 Solheim Cup.

Campbell branched out from just ballmarkers, though, and started making ballmark repair tools, bag tags and earrings in the same fashion.

Most Blingo customers are women, but guys sometimes order school colors or other custom designs. For more info, visit the Blingo Web site at the link above, or see our article, "Charlotte Campbell brings bling to the green."

Shop for Blingo on Amazon

of 08


When You Have That No. 1 Priority ... © Matco Enterprises; used with permission

Ladies and gentlemen - actually, just gentlemen - the makers of the UroClub are proud (OK, maybe not "proud") to offer a "golf club" designed for you to, ahem, pee in.

Seriously. Check "A portable urinal ingeniously disguised as a club!" A cap on the "grip" unscrews, you "hide" behind the little towel, and, well, urinate into the "grip" of the club.

Now, I cannot in good conscience recommend that anyone actually use the UroClub. I mean, look at that photo and ask yourself: Would I do that? And what would I think if I saw someone doing that?

We present the UroClub in this golf gifts guide as one of the ultimate gag gifts. Because if you're a golfer, you probably know guys who are a little too free with the pee off the tee. Just off the tee: Behind a tree, behind a few bushes. You might even be that golfer.

Then there are those guys who just whip it out anywhere on the course if they think nobody is looking. I once saw a gentleman (using the term loosely) unzip and let it rip right on a paved cart path, no trees or bushes anywhere around, because, presumably, he thought nobody else was on that part of the course. That man could have used the UroClub.

Actually, that man could have used some manners. Or an appreciation for societal norms. Or a good old-fashioned whuppin'.

So: Want to send somebody a message? Want to give them some laughs? Want to give them a gag gift? Buy the UroClub on Amazon.

of 08

Golfer Wines

Nick Faldo Katnook Estate Wines
Nick Faldo lifts a glass of one of his Faldo label wines on the grounds of Australia's Katnook Estate winery. Image courtesy of Katnook Estate

It's unlikely any golfer will get to lift a glass with Greg Norman or Annika Sorenstam, but wine-loving golfers can lift a glass of Greg Norman or Annika Sorenstam.

That's because Norman, Sorenstam, and multiple other golfers have their own wine labels. In some cases, the labels are produced in partnership with outside vineyards; in other cases, the pro golfer is much more deeply involved in the business, down to owning the winery and vineyards himself (or herself).

Other golfers with their own wine labels include Arnold Palmer and John Daly, Nick Faldo and Ernie Els. To read more about the wine labels of pro golfers, see our list of golfers wines.

If you know know someone who loves both golf and wine, a bottle of wine from a professional golfer's label could be an interesting gift.

See also: Golf-themed gourmet gift baskets on Amazon

of 08

Arnold Palmer Indoor Golf Game

Arnold Palmer Indoor Golf Game
Images courtesy Classic Golf Gifts

Endorsed by the King himself, licensed by Arnold Palmer Enterprises, the Arnold Palmer Indoor Golf Game is a kitschy conversation piece for any Arnie fan, or any collector of old-time, classic games.

The boxed set includes a green, little tiny golf balls, a few "hazards," and the "golf club" used to play the game. It looks like a putter, except that on the end of the shaft is not a clubhead, but an Arnie head - an Arnold Palmer figure about four inches tall that grasps and swings little clubs.

Look at the image on the left above. It the game's box cover. It shows Arnie himself, crouched in his putting position, holding onto a club, at the end of which is Li'l Arnie, crouched in its setup position, holding onto a club. Whoa, my mind was just blown!

To play, you position the green and hazards in, say, your living room; decide on a teeing ground; and insert the appropriate club in Li'l Arnie's grip. Position Li'l Arnie to strike the ball, then pull the "trigger" on the shaft of the club. And Li'l Arnie lets it rip.

According to the game Web site (no longer online) the Arnold Palmer Indoor Golf Game was first manufactured in the 1960s, and was a big seller. That original game was modeled after a similar one from the 1920s called Schoenhut Indoor Golf.

So, is it a gag gift or a real, playable, enjoyable game? Well, it can be a gag gift, but doesn't have to be; it's best as a gift for the diehard Arnold Palmer fan, but as noted above, fans of old-fashioned games might enjoy it, too. Someone raised exclusively on video games might not be impressed, but we enjoyed it ourselves. Lots of laughter, lots of silliness.

Where to find it? Check eBay, or you might find it on Amazon.

of 08


RoboCup Ball Return Robot
The RoboCup flings a ball back out of a practice putting green cup. © Fine Tune Golf; used with permission

The automatic golf ball return is sort of the toaster of the golf gifts world. It's a fallback position. And if you know that the golfer you are shopping for wants one - or is age 16 or under - great. But take it from someone who's received a few ball returns over the years - they aren't as exciting as non-golfers seem to think they are.

So what is this particular ball return doing here? Unlike most ball returns, the RoboCup - its makers, Fine Tune Golf, call it a "ball return robot" - is designed for use on real putting greens.

Golfers who love to practice can spend hours a week (or even a day, if they're trying to emulate Vijay Singh) on the practice putting green. And the RoboCup can come in handy on a practice putting green. It fits down inside any standard cup. If the golfer hits the hole, the RoboCup flings the ball back to him or her.

A "caddy cord" can be placed behind the cup to act as a backstop, corralling balls that miss the cup and, in some cases, directing them into the cup for return.

It's costs a little too much (around $60 at the time of this writing, which includes the "caddy cord") to qualify as a stocking stuffer. But if you know that the golfer you're shopping for loves to practice, it's a ball return worth considering.

See the RoboCup Web site or:

of 08

Scent of a Golfer

Bobby Jones Cologne
Courtesy of Bobby Jones

How would you like to smell like a golfer? Don't worry - we're talking golfer colognes here.

Yes, golfer colognes. Some golfers have bottled their very own scents. And one of those golfers, the one whose fragrance is pictured above, hasn't been with us since 1971.

Bobby Jones Cologne is, its sellers say, "a perfect blend of inspiration from the legend that is Bobby Jones." The fragrance's "top notes" are Sparkling Citrus, Lush Greens and Coriander Seeds. Also in the mix: Emerald Cypress, Sweet Clover and Sueded Woods, among other fragrance notes. You can find it on

From 2009 through early 2010, a fragrance bearing the name of Annika Sorenstam was produced. It was described as "a fine fragrance for women with rich aromas of amber, vanilla, white flowers and citrus." Annika herself designed the fragrance. (Thank goodness she didn't include a whiff of lutefisk.)

Annika's scent also shows up on, but sporadically as quantities are limited:

Perhaps I'll design my own fragrance. I'll call it "Brent," "a fragrant bouquet with top notes of sunblock, stale beer and cheap cigars, and bottom notes of effluent water and industrial fertilizers."

of 08

TPC Sawgrass Water Ball Trinkets

Cufflinks made using golf balls from the island green 17th hole at TPC Sawgrass
TPC Sawgrass water ball cufflinks, plus an example of the PGA Tour authentication number. Courtesy of

How would you like to own a little piece of TPC Sawgrass? Or, actually - and more accurately - a little piece of the misery golfers feel when they hit into the water at the island green 17th hole?

A company called Tokens & Icons can make it possible with its products that incorporate pieces of golf balls (or even whole balls) retrieved from the water around that hole, one of the most-famous holes in golf.

The golf balls are fished out of the water and authenticated by a PGA Tour official right on the scene. The balls are then passed on to Tokens & Icons, which crafts them into cufflinks, bottle openers, money clips and necklaces, among other items. Some of these products are available from major online retailers:

The authentication process is described on the Tokenn & Icons website. And you can find additional products there, too, including authenticated flags from TPC Sawgrass flagsticks.

Without taking into account the TPC Sawgrass connection, the gifts themselves are ... well ... kitschy. And expensive: They all run more than $75.

But if you know a golf nut who loves The Players Championship and dreams of playing that famous 17th hole - especially if you know a golfer who has played that hole, or, even better, put a ball in the water there - this "Sawgrass chic" might fit the bill.

of 08

Big Daddy Driver

Big Daddy Driver
Images courtesy of Big Daddy Golf, Inc.; used with permission

It's a driver, it's a grass trimmer, it's a weed whacker disguised as a golf driver. It's the Big Daddy Driver.

Do you know a golfer whose best club is the foot wedge? The guy (or gal) who has a knack for "finding" the ball in the fairway even when you saw it settle in deep rough?

That golfer needs the Big Daddy Driver. Or, more to the point, that golfer needs a good ribbing about his cheating ways; that golfer needs to get the message that the Big Daddy Driver sends.

Now, the Big Daddy Driver really does work. As in the images above, you can flip open the "sole" and start trimming the rough. If you actually tried it on a real golf course, you'd probably be banned from ever playing that course again. So we don't recommend actually using it (on a golf course, anyway).

But if you want to give someone the gift of laughter (or send them a message - or do both at the same time!), you can try to search out one of these. (Alas, the company website is gone. Do a web search or try eBay.)

Alas, the Big Daddy driver/weed wacker doesn't appear to be in production any longer, nor is the company website online. But you might find one on eBay or similar sites.