Fox News and CNN have reported that Elin Nordegren Woods moved to the top of the money list on the PGA Tour after "beating" the world's number one golfer. The news came after the world’s number one inadvertently played the wrong hole...
more as it happens.
Thanks Dwayne in Providence
Okay so the Tiger Woods “What Really Happened” DVD may not make it to the shops in time for Christmas but I’ve been searching around for a few alternatives. These golfing gift ideas will have you scrambling for your mouse quicker than you can impale your car on a fire hydrant. Most are available in the shops, or online.
€149 for half day
The only Dave Pelz short game clinic in Europe is located at the fabulous Killeen Castle in Dunsany, Co. Meath. If your loved one is coming up short in the scoring department this might be the ideal present to transform his or her golf life. Enjoy a crack course in wedge play from 100 yards in followed by a putting clinic from the experts. Click on the Pelz link at www.killeencastle.com
€50 per half hour
Climb aborad the 40 foot, fully fitted travelling Tour workshop and club testing unit and become a pro for the day. Let master club fitter Derek Murray check all your clubs to ensure you a getting every last yard available. Located near Naas in Kildare, this is a must for any serious golfer. www.foregolf.ie or call 045-430660.
The Modern Fundamentals of Golf by Ben Hogan is widely regarded as the definitive Bible of the golf swing. First published in 1957, the five lesson’s outlined by Hogan are still as relevant today as they were half a century ago. Starting from the grip, Hogan’s book brings you through the entire golf swing in five simple and expertly delivered lessons accompanied by fantastic hand drawn illustrations. Available on www.amazon.com
Portugal has some of the finest holiday golf facilities in Europe. We uncovered a gem in the form of this Oceanico golfing special for €600. The deal includes five night’s accommodation with breakfast at the Hotel Do Golf plus four rounds of golf to include the Faldo and O’Connor Courses in Amendoeira, the Victoria Course- venue for the Portugal Masters and the Old Course adjacent to the hotel. The price also includes all tranfers to and from courses and Faro airport. Direct flights are cheap and available from Dublin and Shannon. Oh and did I mention the sunshine? www.oceanicogolf.com/specials
Simple yet effective, this adidas shoe bag will help you in the fight to keep the grass out of your car boot. Using the bag will mean you always know where your shoes are, allowing you to work away, safe in the knowledge that the wheel of your caddy cart isn’t dripping into them for the entire week. To be found in all good golf shops.
When I mention the GutBuster umbrella why do I suddenly have the mental image of John and Edward prancing around the stage yelling “Who You Gonna Call?” Anyway this umbrella is like none you have ever seen before. The closest model I have seen is Mary Poppins parasol, and we all know that wasn’t real. The GutBuster is big enough to cover the entire fourball and is designed to withstand driving rain and winds up to 60mph. Perfect for next Summer so!
Ladies, transform your man into the perfect physical specimen with this Mizuno Thermo Body Mock. A fusion of wonder-bra and spanks technologies has yielded this armour designed for sub zero temperatures to hold that beer belly in while you unleash fury with the driver. Men, be careful taking them off after; when the jiggly bits flop back out, balancing can be tough
If you’re unsure of the difference between perception and reality why not spend €200 on a Bushnell Range Finder! Every golfing professional in Christendom has one of these in his bag. They give you an exact yardage for any shot, irrespective of the terrain. An extravagance but if you get the opportunity to play the St Andrews, Augusta or Mission Hills just once, you want to get your yardages right. No one enjoys nailing a five iron only to watch your ball drop 40 yards short of the green. Happy Christmas! www.bushnell.com
Ingenious little transfers to personalize golf balls and shoes. No heat guns or degrees in engineering required to put them on either. The perfect stocking filler for mad-about-golf kids. www.golfdotz.com
Shaft Skinz are a cool way to “funkify” the boring old shaft on your driver or putter. The brainchild of Irishman Martin Greeves, all that is needed to fit a shaft skinz to your club is a hairdryer and about 60 seconds. Used by the likes of Rory Sabbatini and loads of players on the LPGA tour. Come in a pack of four. www.shaftskinz.com
If you want to support your favourite team even on the golf course, then Premiership Head Covers are for you. I have a Spurs one on my driver to celebrate the glory of Peter “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Talent” Crouch. Seriously, these head covers are made of leather and neoprene and are top notch quality. Thus they wont be crumbling like Robbie Keane in front of an open goal! Available in most golf shops.
When it comes to golfing inventions the Irish are world leaders. The V-Towel from Vicarious Golf won best golf product a couple of years ago and comes highly recommended. It’s basically a towel and groove scrubber all in one. It clips on your bag and ensures your weaponry is maintained in pristine condition. In most golf shops.
There are millions of training aids on the market and to be honest it is really tough to decipher the good from the bad, not to mention the ugly. However one of the best game improvement aids I have come across is the Swing Glove from renowned teacher Rick Smith. One of the fundamentals of golf is to maintain a flat left wrist through impact and this glove teaches you how to feel that. The glove incorporates a removable plastic wedge that keeps your hand in wrist in the right place throughout the swing. From www.swingglove.com and in many shops.
€100 and up.
What can I say about a fourball voucher? Nothing really except to say it’s the one present that is truly appreciated by the golfer. Opening that envelope is the nearest thing we get to uncovering a golden ticket from a Wonka Bar. Marquee suggestions might be Adare, Lough Erne, The K Club, Doonbeg but equally brilliant and possibly a little less expensive options include Dromland Castle, Ballyliffin, The Heritage, Slieve Russell and Portmarnock Hotel and Links.
The days of putting €4 in a slot only to uncover a dodgy cart with a rickety wheel are gone forever. An electric g olf caddy takes all the effort out of getting your clubs around the course allowing you to concentrate on what you do best- attempting to look good. They are also invaluable in the wet. Two of the best makes you will find in shops are Powakaddy (www.powakaddy.com) and Golfglider. Powakaddy are the market leader and have the most advanced technology but Golfglider are tough, sturdy, have a superior after sales service and most importantly are Irish. www.golfglider.com
€50 and up
Everyone knows golf equipment goes out of fashion every five minutes. If you’re not too hung up on getting brand spanking new equipment every time, why not try a set of pre-owned clubs. Every golf shop has a pre-owned section but another online option is Golfbidder. This web based company based in the UK has literally thousands of pre-owned sets at good prices. All are pictured and strictly graded. They will also quote you to take your old sticks off your hands. An increasingly good option now that the Euro Sterling conversion rate is so good. www.golfbidder.co.uk
€150 and up
Oakley are the leader in golf eyewear and whether worn or not adorn the hats of hundreds of touring pros including Henrik Stenson. Premium models include features such as wide peripheral field of vision, removable lenses, cutting fittable and smudge resistance. Hide your fear and look the dog’s in 2010. www.onlinegolf.co.uk
If you’re looking for something a little bit different to wear on the course next season the best option is online, as a plethora of funky golf clothing stores have popped up with something for everyone. Some of the most innovative mainstream brands include J Lindeberg and Puma but the Ian Poulter clothing site www.ianpoulterdesign.com is rapidly increasing its share in the market. Other sites including www.subseventy.co.uk and www.funkygolfgear.com and www.quagmiregolf.com have a decent selection at reasonable prices.
The Garia is the Porsche of buggies. Designed by Danish designer Anders Lynge, features include in-built refrigerator, hand-stitched seats, and colour personalisation. Built with a double wishbone front suspension similar to those found in sports cars and inspired by Formula 1 cars. It may set you back €14,000 and trigger an immediate tax audit, but hey you only live once!