Remember when you were a kid, and you were down in the dumps about something or other? And remember how ol' Dad would cheer you up by bringing home a new toy? Perhaps a Matchbox car, a model airplane or a new football?
Well, it's been a tough year, and ol' Dad might be a bit down himself, along with his 401(k). So what better way to cheer him up this Father's Day than the tried-and-true method of buying him some new toys? Here are a few golf toys that are sure to bring a smile back to the old man's wizened mug.
Ogio Devolver 3-way golf bag ($320)
Golf bags don't usually spark too much excitement, but the Devolver by Ogio (ogio.com) is an exception.
The Devolver is three bags in one, as it can "devolve" from a fully-loaded cart bag to a light-weight carry bag to a 5-club range bag by just unzipping and unhooking various combinations of the removable "skin."
Amphibian Towel ($25), BrushPro ($15), and ruletwentyone ($20)
Frogger Golf (froggergolf.com) has two products that were named Best New Product at the PGA Merchandise Show two years running, both of which can clip onto that new golf bag.
The Amphibian Towel is an ingenious golf towel that stays both wet and dry simultaneously. On dry days, you wet the inside of the towel, and it stays wet while the outside stays dry. On wet days, let the outside get wet and the inside stays dry.
The BrushPro is a retractable clubface brush with replaceable brush heads and a flip-out groove-scraper.
On the green, Dad can use the stylish ruletwentyone (ruletwentyone.com) to clean his ball. The ruletwentyone is a pocket-sized towel that, like the Amphibian, features two layers to keep moisture and muck out of his pocket.
RoboCup ($50) and EEZ-READ ($15)
For all the golf practice gizmos out there, very few actually make practice easier. RoboCup (www.finetunegolf.com) is a practice aid for the green that fits into any hole and automatically pops the ball back to you to eliminate walking back and forth to the hole and bending over.
The EEZ-READ (eez-read.com) is a simple bubble level designed to help Dad read the break on greens. It's not legal during play, but great for practice rounds. Both it and the RoboCup were also named Best New Product at the PGA Merchandise Show.
The Bob Wedge ($120)
Why should all the toys be limited to accessories? The Bob Wedge (bobburnsgolf.com) is four wedges in one, with a biased, offset, variable degree of bounce and coordinated variable lofts, depending on how much you lay it open at address. Directions for alignment are even ground right into the clubface - Brilliant!
Sun Mountain Micro Cart ($239)
Does Dad still prefer to walk, even though he's past his bag-carrying days? Sun Mountain's (sunmountain.com) Micro Cart folds 25 percent smaller and weighs 20 percent less than leading folding pull-carts. And the four-wheel design keeps it stable on all types of terrain. (No more tippy carts!)
The Balvenie DoubleWood Single Malt Scotch Whisky ($45)
If there's anyplace that Dad likes toys as much as on the golf course, it's in his bar, and a new single-malt Scotch is one of the best bar toys there is.
Aged 12 years, the Balvenie DoubleWood possesses a distinctive character from maturation in two different casks. During maturation it is transferred from a traditional oak whisky cask to a first-fill European oak sherry cask. Each stage lends different qualities to the resulting single malt - the traditional casks soften and add character, while the sherry wood brings depth and fullness of flavor.
Ah, the timeless joy of boys and their toys!