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This year's guide to stupid golf gifts for your loved one

By Tim McDonald, Contributor

For whatever reasons, golf is a game that attracts people who will buy almost anything if they think it will help their game. It usually doesn't. By the same token, golf is a game that attracts stupid gifts.

Sweet spot finder
The 'Sweet spot finder' shows again that it's legal to take a sucker's money.
Sweet spot finderpop up

Yes, it is the holiday season, and once again we bring to you some of the world's stupidest golf gifts, from some of the lamest manufacturers and some of the most well-known. In no particular order, here they are:

•Anything golf-related made in China. With a little nudge from the U.S., the Chinese government has finally started to crack down on all the counterfeit golf equipment coming out of China. Not that the Chinese government is taking it overly seriously: No one has been arrested and the counterfeiters are simply moving out of areas like Bejing and going underground. So if you get a sleeve of Pro V1 golf balls for Christmas, make sure there isn't anything saying it's the Year of the Cheaply made Counterfeit Product.

•From Sharper Image, the "Sweet Spot Finder." It looks like a harness that fits over a pencil sharpener. It spins the ball to "determine its variance mass and optimal spin axis." When they try to confuse you right off the bat, you know it's trouble. You drop the ball in for 20 seconds and insert the included pen in the hole to mark the sweet spot. Then you place the ball with the mark pointing back between your feet. Swing and you'll "hit the perfect sweet spot every time," the company says. "Perfectly legal." Yes, it's perfectly legal to take a sucker's money.

• The Wobbler. A golf ball that wobbles, from golfballs.com. "Bet your golfing partner that he can't sink that pressure putt ... switch his ball for the wobbler, and watch the look of amazement on his face when the ball refuses to go straight!" High hilarity. Actually, the funniest part will be when you try to switch your partner's golf ball.

• Pop-A-Putt. Insert this contraption in the hole and watch the "incredible shock" when your partner's putt comes popping out of the hole. Also from golfballs.com. This is for the incredibly easily amused.

• Fairwaycollections.com is selling its Golf Masters Instruction Academy, a photo of the Three Stooges, with the inscription "Turn your bogies into 'Boidies.'" Further indication golfers have little sense of humor.

• Golf toilet paper. Toilet paper with golf quotes and cartoon illustrations, from golfstuffcheaper.com. Funny quotes like the "world's crappiest golfer" and other stuff college frat boys wouldn't laugh at. Actually, golf toilet paper is one of the most common gifts, from a number of manufacturers. Not sure what this says about the anal-retentive qualities of the game. Golfstuffcheaper.com also has toilet-paper holders, toothbrush holders, and soap dishes.

• Naked lady tees, from golfun.com. They also have golf tee mailboxes, fuzzy covers, bogey sprays and hilarious golf gags (a plaque that says, "I found a wood that can lower my score. It's called a pencil." Most of their gags come with exclamation marks so you don't have to add your own when the joke falls completely flat, as it will with most adults.

• Golfcellar.com has the Santa golf tie for $23.95. Those caught wearing them will draw not laughs, but quiet, well-earned mockery. They also sell golf wind chimes.

• The Zen Golf Collection from golfinglyyours.com. This company offers the Yin-Yang rubbing stone "Every golfer who owns one of these hand-etched glass Tin-Yang rubbing stones experiences the good chi that it offers." Of course, "chi" is a Chinese noun that refers to pretentious and gullible Westerners.

• Personalized golf cartoons with your name on it, from cowboychuck.com. I believe Cowboy Chuck's cartoons are featured in the New Yorker, so this should be a hoot.

• From Sand Trap Gifts, the "Oops! Golf ball wacky sticker!" It simulates a golf ball crashing through a car window. Sand Trap also has the Body in the Bunker Mystery Puzzle (1,000 pieces), the Golf Voodoo Kit and the Slugg'm Chamois Golf Swing Weight. You would have to have monumentally bad taste to buy any of them.

• Golf-ball-finding glasses from Hammacher Schlemmer. They block out 90 percent of long wavelength light (dark colors such as greens or browns) and let in shorter wavelength light (like white and yellow). Developed in Canada by two nuclear engineers for $40. Fill in your own Canadian nuclear engineer joke.

Tim McDonaldTim McDonald, Contributor

Veteran golf writer Tim McDonald keeps one eye on the PGA Tour and another watching golf vacation hotspots and letting travelers in on the best place to vacation.

Reader Comments / Reviews Leave a comment
  • Check Go

    Bill D. wrote on: Dec 14, 2005

    I don't know about the Sharper Image Sweet Spot Finder. The picture you show is of the Check Go device that spins the ball so that it settles into its balance point at which time you insert a sharpie to mark its true equator. Perhaps I'm just a fool hacker, the second adjective certainly applies, but I started rolling my putts better with the balanced balls immediately and my drives are hitting more fairways as well. It's the best $25 I've spent on golf this year. I've noticed the tell tale equator line on many close up shots of putts televised in Tour events also, so I've got good company.
    Bill D.


    • RE: Check Go

      Terry V wrote on: Dec 20, 2005

      I started believing while watching long putts. If the ball is not struck correctly, the line takes off wobbling. Within ten feet, however, the line "straightens" itself out. The ball WANTS to rotate on that axis, so it only makes sense to start it there. Call me stupid, but you can't have my Check-Go!!


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