Rounding into late spring and towards Father’s Day, dads are in a fairly happy place. Nearly 80 percent of courses throughout the U.S. are open and the National Golf Foundation projects more than 90 percent will be back and running before June.
And if things go according to plan with the PGA Tour, dad will have golf to watch on TV with the Charles Schwab Challenge held at Colonial Country Club June 11-14 in Fort Worth, Tex. As will he the next weekend, on Father’s Day, with the RBC Heritage at Harbour Town Golf Links in Hilton Head, S.C.
All of this is to say, fear not sons, daughters, spouses and significant others – golf gifts are back on the menu for dad in 2020. That stated, may we offer a slightly different approach this year: give dad the gift of walking golf.
Walking has not only emerged as the safest way to playing during the COVID-19 crisis, it is strongly recommended and even required at numerous courses and clubs. This could be the case for the foreseeable future as operators look to maintain social distancing guidelines and are short on golf carts due to single rider requirements.
It’s also the way the game was meant to be played. It’s what makes the game a sport, and even if dad doesn’t play the sport particularly well, he’ll burn between 700 and 1,000 calories hoofing 18 holes.
Here’s a cheat sheet of walking-friendly gear and apparel to keep dad looking good and performing up to his potential.
Walker Trolleys Cape Model
Pushcarts are going to start appearing at courses where you never thought you’d see pushcarts. Not just because of cart restrictions, but due to the suspension of caddie programs at exclusive private clubs and high-end resorts.
Walker Trolleys, a walking golf lifestyle company based in Austin, made a huge splash at the 2020 PGA Merchandise Show with the introduction of its Cape Model. The Cape draws inspiration from the roadsters and ultra-cool bicycles from the 20s and 30s. Yes, it will turn more than a few heads on the course.
An Integrated, customizable soft good-storage, premium materials and a clean, sleek-yet-classic design make the Cape stand out among a crowded field. The Cape is easily collapsible and fits in the trunk or cargo area of almost any car or SUV. It retails for $399 and is still available for pre-order at the Walker Trolley website.
For more information, visit www.walkertrolleys.com.
Southern Tide Driver Brrr Performance Polo and T3 Gulf Shorts
With apologies to south Florida and southern Arizona, it doesn’t get any hotter than playing golf in South Carolina in the summer. If you’ve ever teed it up in the state’s famed Lowcountry on a July afternoon, you know what we mean.
So leave it to Southern Tide, based in Greenville, S.C., to figure out the perfect hot weather walking shirts and shorts for sultry 18-hole summer loops. Its new T3 Gulf Shorts are made from quick-dry fabric that effortlessly transitions from a morning on the course to an afternoon on the water.
The four-way stretch is ideal for striding down fairways and squatting to read greens. The T3s come in both nine and 10-inch inseams. The former retails for $89.50 and the latter (featuring Brrr technology) retails for $99.50. Know your dad and know how short his shorts should be.
Southern Tide made the Skipjack polo famous, and its new Driver Brrr Polo ($99.50) keeps golfers up to three degrees cooler. Available in four classic striped patterns, it’s is also moisture-wicking and UPF 50-plus rated.
For more information visit www.southerntide.com.
Peter Millar Featherweight
Raleigh, N.C.-based Peter Millar bills its Featherweight Polo as the “lightest shirt you’ll ever own.” You know the threadbare vintage t-shirt you’ve worn every day during the pandemic? Yeah, it’s that light.
Weighing in at an incredible 2.5 ounces, Featherweight polos pack all the performance punch of your favorite golf polo in patterns and prints that look situation appropriate on and off the course.
These shirts are engineered from super-lightweight performance fabric that stretches four ways for full range of motion, wicks away moisture from the body and resists odor.
They come in a classic fit, designed with a standard sleeve length and opening and are relaxed in the shoulder, chest and waist.
For more information, visit www.petermillar.com.
Sun Mountain 2.5+ Golf Bag
Whether dad prefers a pushcart or to carry his own bag, the Sun Mountain 2.5+ golf bag has plenty of storage while weighing in at only 2.5 pounds – the lightest bag we’ve ever tested. It’s a full-size golf bag that doesn’t look or feel like a full-size golf bag, and retails for $229.99.
With a nine-inch top and four, full-length club dividers, 2.5+ doesn’t skimp on conveniences, either, offering five pockets including a full-length clothing pocket, velour-lined valuables pocket, two accessory pockets and a beverage pouch.
2.5+ also includes classic Sun Mountain details: a durable top with built-in handle, sturdy bottom with the patented Roller-Bottom leg mechanism for quick and strong leg action, proprietary X-Strap® Dual Strap shoulder strap system, lumbar hip pad with AirFlow System, umbrella attachment, towel holder and a top-mounted leg mechanism for added stability.
For more information visit www.sunmountain.com.
True Linkswear OG Feel
It’s impossible, or least remiss, to discuss walking golf without inserting True into the narrative. Founded in 2009 to help golfer #enjoythewalk, True Linkswear golf shoes are created by walkers for walking on the course, and then right off the course into whatever social setting and situation awaits.
Designed with the feel player in mind, The OG Feel is a natural width model built on a zero-drop, flexible rubber sole to really enhance ground feel. Available for pre-order for $139, they’re available in three color patters and 14 sizes.
For more information on 2020’s latest offerings, visit www.truelinkswear.com/roadmap
Pinehurst Resort Donald Ross Package
With golf getting at least a yellow and at best a green-light in nearly every state, traveling to play golf (with all necessary precautions) is also firing back up as the golf season reboots. There’s no better place to (responsibly) celebrate its return than at walker-friendly Pinehurst Resort.
All 10 (including the par-3 Cradle) courses have remained open and the resort’s hotels are reopening in late May. Starting at $1,208 per person, the Donald Ross golf package is perfect for two to four golfers. It includes resort accommodations for two nights, three rounds of golf, daily three-course dinner and breakfast.
Walking isn’t just allowed at Pinehurst, it is encouraged. Donald Ross’s famed No. 2 Course (restored by Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw) and the reimagined No. 4 Course designed by Gil Hanse are both properly played on foot. Caddies are also available on No. 2, ideal for navigating the rigors of this storied U.S. Open venue.
The No. 1 and No. 3 courses – both designed by Ross, both under 6,100 yards – are two of the best walking tracks in the country. No. 3 was recently restored to its original Sandhills aesthetic by Kyle Franz and is chock-full of trademark Ross design characteristics.
Resort officials encourage future golfer guests to call (855) 235-8507 with any questions about accommodations, dining options and golf course maintenance.
For more information visit www.pinehurst.com.