Blog 310, 6/6/14 - Get Dad Something Good

Fathers Day is coming up fast (June 15th), and you'll be wanting to get the old man something good, something he'll actually appreciate, find a use for, and enjoy. The items listed here weren't just lifted from press releases or some generic Fathers Day gift wish list. I actually own them all, and have been using them for months in three cases, weeks in two cases, and a few days in the other three. If he's anything like this dad, your dad is going to thank you for having the good sense to get him any of these. (Click on the image to purchase).

tom watson dvdTom Watson - Lessons of a Lifetime II ($24.95)
It's early days, and instructional DVDs are two a penny nowadays (well, $24.95 for this one, but you know what I mean), but I suspect that in time Tom Watson's DVD set - the original was released in 2010. The 2014 addition comes with 22 new lessons - will be revered and seen in much the same light as Ben Hogan's famous book 'Five Lessons: The Modern Fundamentals of Golf'. Yes, it's that good, and that important. It may not change teaching philosophy or the golf swing's evolution perhaps, but it will help tens/hundreds of thousands of golfers play better.
Straight-talking Watson gives his typically straightforward advice on how to establish essential skills and introduces more advanced concepts/lessons such as the 40-yard pitch and controlling the trajectory of your shots. Tried and tested methods from one of the game's all-time greats. (Get all three discs together for $49.95).

bill fields fleck of golf historyBill Fields - Arnie, Seve, and a Fleck of Golf History ($15.45)
With so many web sites, blogs, chat rooms, comment sections and other sources of often questionable golf content available these days, it is such a refreshing joy to read the words of an established writer whose love for the game and fascination of his subject just leap off the page. Fields has written about golf for 30+ years and currently works at 'Golf World'. Here, he retells stories he has written along the way, adding updates at the end of each. There's the story of Harry Vardon and the son he didn't know, a poignant and revealing portrait of the great Seve Ballesteros who died in 2011 aged just 54, and an account of Ben Hogan's performance at his final Masters in 1967. The 27 other essays likewise give readers  wonderful insight into a game Fields understands and appreciates like few others.

reilly tiger meet my sisterRick Reilly - Tiger, Meet my Sister ($20.93)
When I first starting reading Rick Reilly ten years ago, I thought he was too clever for his own good. The more of his stuff I read though, the more I realized he is very clever for our good. I used to wonder how one person could win the National Sportscaster and Sportswriter Association's (NSSA) Sportswriter of the Year Award quite so often -11 times - when there were so many other good writers around. But as I kept reading, I wondered who could have written better in the years Reilly didn't win. Yes, I am a Reilly fan. I don't nod, grin or chortle at everything he writes. Just most of it. And I always learn something.

alphard bigAlphard Duo Cart (349.95)
Full disclosure - I won this bad boy in a raffle last week. I had the choice of a Golf Digest gold-rated driver or the Alphard Duo, and I picked the push cart, a totally ingenious device that is going to make walking the course significantly easier.
The Duo is a golf bag and push cart combined into one unit with a long list of clever features, the most eye-opening of all being the bag's detachable skin. Yes, when the bag is torn, dirty, or you've decided you don't like the color, just peel it off and swap it for another. (Click on the name to purchase).

cleveland smart square putterCleveland Smart Square Putter ($119.99)
The manufacturer sent me one of these to test a while back, putting me in a rather awkward position - I was very happy to test it, of course, but I thought it the ugliest putter I'd seen in a while...and there are some ugly putters out there. I've always been an Anser man and have never really liked mallets. I thought I'd give the Smart Square a couple of rounds then send it right back to Cleveland. That was six months ago. I've still got it, and I absolutely love it. The two-square alignment aid certainly helps me aim the putterface more effectively, and it is beautifully weighted. I'm still no Brad Faxon, but I'm putting considerably better than I was this time last year.

bridgestone e5Bridgestone e5 ($26.99)
I'm not as young as I was and, consequently, not as fast through the ball or as long. I need help to keep up with those I play golf with and the e5 gives me a little more hang time and a few yards extra carry. That's the 'advanced two-piece construction' and 'Dual Dimple' at work. If your Pop's getting on and losing a little yardage every year, a dozen of these should help him limit the loss.

jones bagJones Bag - The Original ($139.95)
Yes, I know, I've featured the Original Jones bag in a gift list before. By including it a second time, you will hopefully appreciate how highly I recommend this product. It is so simple, elegant, and light and, provided your dad won't be playing any PGA Tour events soon when he'd need 30lbs of clubs, raingear, drinks, umbrella, and other assorted golf paraphernalia, it will hold everything he wants. 

At the International Network of Golf (ING) Spring Conference in Atlantic City last week, Eyeloc was voted the Best New Product. Eyeloc is a training aid that helps keep your eyes locked on the ball while putting and chipping. By adjusting the vertical lines on the sliding lenses to the distance between your pupils, the two lines become one laser-sharp line. Keep the golf ball within that line and the slightest head or eye movement off the ball will be detected.
It really works. I immediately noticed my eyes were slanted slightly at address, and that when I putt my eyes move forward, down the line, too early. After five minutes with the Eyeloc (I don't recommend practicing to a hole at first as you may get discouraged if you miss and think it's Eyeloc's fault) I not only began setting up with my eyeline oriented correctly, but was keeping my head and eyes stock still during the stroke. It made a noticeable difference to my putting. And, unlike a lot of training aids, these actually look quite cool.
The product is new this year, and hasn't officially been launched yet. But company President Mark Zander tells me he has 300 pre-launch pairs in his office, and that fathers of BellinghamGolfer readers could be among the lucky few to get their hands on them. (Click on the name for more info. Click here for contact information).

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