The Worst Golf Gifts for Dads and Grads

This article originally appeared on GolfVacationInsider.com

Of all the goofy golf gifts I've received, this one leads from behind.

This is the time of year when everyone comes out with their lists of, "Best Golf Gifts for Dads and Grads."

Well, I want to talk about the worst, which are far more common.

Hey, I know it's hard to buy stuff for golfers, especially if the gift giver doesn't play.

And don't get me wrong, the thoughts and gestures are always appreciated.

The products themselves?

That's another story.

For me, the worst golf gift was the above roll of "golf toilet paper," which was simply a cheap roll of toilet tissue probably marked up 1000% because it had some lame line about, "the 19th hole" imprinted on it.

Clever, I know.

Needless to say, it has never been used (but it does sit under the sink in case of emergencies).

I've also received...

- a "golf ball personalizer" clamp, which was great at mangling expensive golf balls...

- a monocular "golf scope," which required an advanced knowledge of triangulation to use it...

- a few "executive desk sets" from different companies, yet all had a golf ball-shaped clock and a golf club- or golf flag-shaped pen.

Again, before you jump all over me for being cold hearted, I always appreciate when someone invests any amount of time, effort, thought, and/or money to give a gift.

In fact, the best golf gifts I've received aren't even tangible.

They happen when I watch my five-year-old daughter whack her mini-clubs in the backyard and when my 3-year-old son excitedly yells, "golf, golf, golf!" when he sees it on TV.

When someone you love shows an interest in something you love, it's better than any "thing" you can buy.

Of course, a golf trip to Scotland is nice, too ;)

How about you? What was the worst -- or best --  golf gift you ever received?

Please share your thoughts or read what others are saying below:

Jun 10, 2014

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Thomas Etsten's avatar
Thomas Etsten wrote at 2014-06-11 23:40:31+00:00:

The imprinter is in my garage next to the box of old Topflites. I thought my mother in law was trying to drive me crazy with that golf ball in the globe until I finally got it on the tee. Now I use it for my sobriety test.

Howard's avatar
Howard wrote at 2014-06-10 22:38:38+00:00:

I mentioned to my wife one time that I liked 2- and 3-irons, but modern sets don't seem to include them. So they found me a three at Goodwill for $3.99. I had it regripped and like it--most of the time. She also gave me a battery-operated club cleaner which didn't really work, so I exchanged it for a manual one of the same value. As for my plastic clicker, I use and love it.

Gary's avatar
Gary wrote at 2014-06-10 20:30:01+00:00:

My wife never got me a golf gift until we'd been married 33 years. She dislikes my love of golf. My daughter-in-law got my son overnight outings to play Pinehurst #2 and Kiawah Ocean Course the last 2 Christmases. My wife regaled me with the same great gifts. So don't despair. There is still hope for better gifts in the years ahead!

Teresa's avatar
Teresa wrote at 2014-06-10 17:51:19+00:00:

I know Mother's Day is past, but I just thought I would tell you what a good Mother's Day gift is for a golfer: A round of golf without having to worry about the kids! My kids always spent Mother's Day mornings without me because I was out on the course, usually by myself, enjoying the solitude!

pete's avatar
pete wrote at 2014-06-10 17:35:03+00:00:

Pat Michaud has the BEST idea

Dan's avatar
Dan wrote at 2014-06-10 16:37:59+00:00:

My wife gave me golf lessons, one hour each for my four children(young adults). I sat and watched, as each of them took their turn. The idea that they would then take their father out for a round never quite materialized, but watching the kids compete during the lesson was great!

Toni Perrin's avatar
Toni Perrin wrote at 2014-06-10 16:15:40+00:00:

Worst gift...glow in the dark golf ball! Who plays golf at night?

Best gift: Two days & three nights at the Pebble Beach Lodge, with rounds of golf at Pebble Beach and Spanish Bay golf courses! Compliments of my three children and their spouses for my 70th birthday!

Walker Merryman's avatar
Walker Merryman wrote at 2014-06-10 15:49:45+00:00:

Yeah, the golf ball personalizer was definitely the worst.

The best gift I ever got was actually a gift I gave my wife. For her 65th birthday, she told me she wanted to play the Old Course in St. Andrews. Having been there twice myself I knew how to set it up with a local tour operator, Links Golf St. Andrews, located a wedge shot from the 18th green. They got us a suite in the Old Course Hotel overlooking the Road Hole. They arranged for my wife to get one of the three female caddies at the Old Course. When the volcano in Iceland blew its top, the Links Golf folks got us a discount on more nights in St. Andrews and additional golf as well as a couple of nights in Edinburgh and a trip to the local doctor to get prescriptions refilled. What could have been a disaster for us turned out great thanks to the great effort put forth by Links Golf St. Andrews.

Bill's avatar
Bill wrote at 2014-06-10 15:17:43+00:00:

My mother was always trying to find something unique to get me for golfing. Unfortunately I haven't used much of these well intended gifts. So if a non golfer asks you for a gift idea just say a gift certificate to Golfsmith, Dick's etc. Then you will always get what you want.

Bob's avatar
Bob wrote at 2014-06-10 15:15:46+00:00:

Golf ball personalizer is a winner of one of the least desireable I ever got. Also got "Putter Pool". I walk the course (ride only in tournaments or if I'm hurt) so a cooler that looks like a golf bag and sits in the cart basket was another entirely useless one. Over the years there have been many others that I've gladly forgotten.

What would be GREAT: A Dozen Pro-V's or NXT's are always good. Gift Certificates to Golf Smith, Golf Galaxy, Edwin Watts, the Club I belong to, etc. Golf Shirts are a hit as well. Rant Over! Thank you for the opportunity & forum to "vent"!

Norm's avatar
Norm wrote at 2014-06-10 15:13:06+00:00:

I once found a golf ball that had a clear outer shell and had a $100 bill folded up under it. Someone probably purchased it as a gift for someone. I have been unable to find out who manufactured the ball or where it could be purchased. Does anyone know anything about such a ball? I'd like to find out.

Jack's avatar
Jack wrote at 2014-06-10 15:12:29+00:00:

Best gift ever - a round of golf and lunch with my son, with him picking up the tab.

Charles Brown's avatar
Charles Brown wrote at 2014-06-10 15:11:30+00:00:

The worse gift I've recieved are some old golf magazines that my mother-in-law assumed I would like. (but they were too old and no longer had any relevence) She made amends though and bought a coupon for two rounds of golf at a nearby great golf course. The best was my wife purchasing me a two year membership to a very nice public course nearby.

Dan's avatar
Dan wrote at 2014-06-10 15:05:37+00:00:

I received a clicker for a golf gift. This is a plastic score keeper that you attach to your bag. So, everytime you make a stroke you are supposed to press the clicker! That way you will always remember how many strokes you made per hole, just swell.

jim's avatar
jim wrote at 2014-06-10 15:00:40+00:00:

Pretty much a single handicapper for 40 years so I have received all the gifts and gadgets one would expect for every special event, holiday, birthday etc. Clickers, tees, imprinters rank up there as not even warranting regifting status but the thought that it came from a daughter or spouse made it a great gift to me.

Sue's avatar
Sue wrote at 2014-06-10 14:55:03+00:00:

My youngest son bought me a chipping net for my birthday so I could practice in the house with whiffel balls during the winter . Best present ever. My game has improved xpotentially!

Michael Lux's avatar
Michael Lux wrote at 2014-06-10 14:36:29+00:00:

I wish I'd invented the golf-ball personalizer - I could have played Pebble for the rest of my days!!! My wife bought my a part of golf shoes one year - she understood why I took them back for an exchange after I tried them on.

Yes, the best gifts are those that have a free round of golf at some golf course locally. And, a dozen top of the line balls.

Happy Father's Day out there on the short grass!

Paul's avatar
Paul wrote at 2014-06-10 14:19:49+00:00:

One more comment about the golf ball personalizer. I was even given one as a "hand me down". The woman that refused to use it initials were PMS. (Premenstual Syndrome) Imagine putting that one your ball!!!

Dave Smith's avatar
Dave Smith wrote at 2014-06-10 14:17:21+00:00:

Got one of those "impressive" ball-marking tools, too...ruined a dozen NXTs before I realized they would no longer putt straight!

Worst, though, have to be the stupid ties...golf clubs on a tie, really? Gee, and I wear a tie sdo often anymore, too...

Bang-on about the "not-Father's-Day" gifts; a round of golf with my sons, seeing my grandson at the driving range, even spending time at the range with one or more of them...all priceless.

Mike's avatar
Mike wrote at 2014-06-10 13:40:08+00:00:

Worst gift! Putting on the potty! Still in the box.

David Zoller's avatar
David Zoller wrote at 2014-06-10 13:21:16+00:00:

I was given a golf ball suspended in fluid with a tee at the bottom. The object was to move it around until you got the ball to settle on the tee. I don't know who came up with that crazy idea but if I find out I am sending them my psychiatrists bills.

Pat Michaud's avatar
Pat Michaud wrote at 2014-06-10 13:04:17+00:00:

The perfect golf day for Father's Day: Golf in the morning, nice brisk shower after 18 holes, lobster, beer, steamed clams and corn on the cob for late lunch while watching the US Open then off to the casino to finish off the day.

Warren's avatar
Warren wrote at 2014-06-10 13:01:14+00:00:

I think the worst golf gift I ever got was a pkg of 500 tees with my name on them. The only issue I had was that it was spelled wrong! Best golf gift I ever got was on Father's Day morning a few years back when my wife and daughter got me a GPS (they were relatively new at the time). After opening gift, they took me out to use it at a golf course in Vermont. Great gift, great day! I still use it whenever I play (except for when I forget to charge it).

John Roper's avatar
John Roper wrote at 2014-06-10 12:45:23+00:00:

Best ever was a round of golf with my son who was playing off scratch and me off a 24 and I won the day, but still had to pick up the tab,but what a day

David's avatar
David wrote at 2014-06-10 12:27:21+00:00:

You have got it right - yes - the golf ball personaliser. Makes quality balls into rugby balls!

Best - Must be playing with my son and daughter in our annual family championship. One day they may actually let me win!

bruce's avatar
bruce wrote at 2014-06-10 12:20:05+00:00:

This site has a good tool to mark your golf balls. It is a stamp that you roll onto the ball.

Only problem is it is a bit tricky to reink the stamp. And it costs $24 USD


Kevin's avatar
Kevin wrote at 2014-06-10 12:16:38+00:00:

I've gotten them all, the wirebrush that clips to the bag, the ball cleaner, too many top-flites to count, the imprinters..... As long as a gift comes from the heart, it is appreciated ( even if never used).

My wife always does the right thing and goes the golfsmith gift card route as a stocking stuffer.

For my sixtieth, she did the very nice thing of 5 days at Casa de Campo ! Best gift ever.

GolfingMook's avatar
GolfingMook wrote at 2014-06-10 11:58:49+00:00:

I have the same ball monogram mangler hidden somewhere in the back of my closet. It did nothing but hurt my wrist and ruin the golf ball. I also have two golf bag shapped pen holders, a golf club clock/paper holder, a small golf cart...... All good intentions, but really a dozen balls would have sufficed.

Doug's avatar
Doug wrote at 2014-06-10 11:42:32+00:00:

Why would anyone buy tees as a gift when almost all courses hand them out, or people leave perfectly good ones at nearly every tee box?

Dave's avatar
Dave wrote at 2014-06-10 04:05:48+00:00:

I too got the golf ball personalizer one year, never used it of course...

I like to play golf with premium golf balls, so I usually just let my wife know what model it is so that she can go get it. Shoes are also usually a great gift, as long as they can be taken back if they don't fit or you hate the style.

Craig Better

Staff Writer

Craig Better is one of the founding editors of Golf Vacation Insider. In addition to traveling to 15 foreign countries, he has twice traveled across America to play golf courses in all 50 United States. Prior to joining Golf Vacation Insider, Craig was a freelance writer who contributed to GOLF Magazine, Travel + Leisure Golf, Maxim Magazine, USAToday.com, and co-authored Zagat Survey’s book, America’s Top Golf Courses.