Looking for gifts for the golfer in your life? Here's what they actually want
If I had a pound for every time someone has picked my brain for ideas for golf gifts, I would have at least £8.
My answer is always the same: "Golf balls." Golfers love getting golf balls. It's our favourite thing to get, because we lose them all the time. Or vouchers. Let them decide! But if you want other ideas, here are a few golf-related presents that people actually want.
Spoiler alert: No one - NO ONE - wants that putting game you play while sitting on the toilet. Or a bar of soap shaped like a golf ball.
Right, now that's off my chest...
Ideas for golf gifts: Golf (!)
It sounds obvious, doesn't it? But so few think of just buying someone a round of golf.
Think about the golfer in your life. If they are a member of a club, they will play there 99% of the time. If not, the likelihood is they stay local.
Golfers are always chatting about where they want to go and play. So try and drop into conversation about where they want to go and play. Or maybe just pick an area and see what you can find.
For ideas, visit the NCG Top 100s section of this website and see what takes your fancy. Might I suggest Cornwall, Yorkshire, Wales, and the golf coasts of both England and Scotland? I think I just did.
Ideas for golf gifts : Golf (but with a twist)
Similarly, enter the golfer in your life into an event.
OK, bit of self-promotion here but I've been lucky enough to be involved in these - albeit on a very small scale compared to the people that run it - and they really are fantastic events.
You get well fed and you get to a play one of the finest golf courses in the UK all for a fraction of the standard green fee. There are wonderful prizes on offer and the grand prize is always spectacular. We've already sent one person to the Masters and this year's winner is off to the Players Championship.
The 2022 line-up is bigger than ever before, so make sure you head to the NCG Top 100s Tour website for more details.
And hurry, places will sell out fast.
Ideas for golf gifts: Lessons
Whether we play off scratch or 54, we all need golf lessons.
The problem is when our golf game is going down the pan we tend to blame our equipment instead of ourselves. And we're all happy to spend £500 on a new driver, but not happy to give a fraction of that to someone who can actually help.
Pros always have deals on to buy lessons in bundles - check the PGA's website to find the best one near you.
The golfer in your life might feign insult, but really they'll be buzzing - particularly come summer when their game is in much better shape than it was a few months previous...
The Open is in St Andrews in 2022 for the 150th edition of golf's oldest major and, while general sale tickets were subject to a balloting system, there are plenty of other VIP-style options you can find on the Open's website.
Failing that, there are plenty of tournaments in the UK on the DP World Tour schedule for next year - notably the BMW PGA Championship, Scottish Open, the British Masters, and the always-popular Dunhill Links.
This will make you very popular.
Ideas for golf gifts : Video games
There are a couple of options if you know someone who is a golfer and a gamer. (Yes, we exist.)
First up is the excellent PGA Tour 2K21 game.
The first officially licensed PGA Tour game since 2015, 2K21 features 11 of your favourite stars and dozens of real and fictional golf courses.
The gameplay is the best we've seen since the Tiger Woods franchise of games. I should know - I had them all - and I've been addicted to this since it came out.
That's available to buy now on your preferred format.
Alternatively - and this is very exciting - EA Sports will be returning in 2022 with their impossibly popular series. I, for one, cannot wait.
So many wasted hours...
Ideas for golf gifts: Simulator
If you're looking to get a little bit more extravagant, then the Phi Golf WGT mobile simulator is an awesome bit of kit.
Just fire up the latest version of the World Golf Tour game on your preferred device and use the state-of-the-art sensor and swing stick to take on the best golf courses in the world.
At just shy of £200 it's not cheap, but it's worth it. Can someone please buy it for me?
Ideas for golf gifts: Board game
Because what is Christmas without a board game? My pick is the brilliant Open Championship-themed Taxi Board Game.
Created by taxi driver Gordon Drysdale, the premise is simple: the more questions you get right, the more tips you earn.
The Open edition features 300 questions about your favourite major as well as 300 general knowledge questions, as well as giving you the opportunity to pretend you're a cabbie for a few hours.
Ideas for golf gifts: Books
Books are a classic Christmas present, but more often than not you end up with something you'll flick through while EastEnders is on before consigning it to its dusty grave on your bookshelf. (Mum, I'm nearly 40, I haven't read a Beano Annual for quarter of a century.)
My team have put together a handy list of their various favourite golf-related books. Here's what they came up with...
Ideas for golf gifts: National Club Golfer
And, saving the best until last, why not treat someone to a subscription for National Club Golfer magazine? I'm viased, I know, but it's absolutely worth every penny.
I think that's enough to keep you going for now. I hope I don't cause any arguments when you buy someone something from this meticulously researched list only to find they've bought you socks...