2014 Holiday Gift Guide

Every year the offices at intothegrain.com are bombarded with cool gadgets, gifts and products for review. While some of these products aren’t ready for prime time, others immediately get us excited and some even manage to surprise us. With the holidays fast approaching, I thought we could highlight a few of the best gift ideas we’ve seen come through the offices this summer. Happy shopping!

boom swimmer bluetooth speakerBOOM Swimmer Bluetooth Speaker

Boom is a perfect name for this small bluetooth speaker. It’s loud! We were very surprised by the level of volume and quality of sound coming from the little BOOM Swimmer bluetooth speaker. The flexible tail attachment is great to hang it from your golf bag or the cart and enjoy tunes while you play or practice. It even has a suction cup mount, and when attached to a glass surface it amplifies the bass. Did we mention the BOOM Swimmer is waterproof? Selling for $59, this is the last portable bluetooth speaker you’ll ever need.

08_EN_Tee_LocalRules_ReadinessGolf Etiquette Quick Reference

I believe golf pros are genuinely interested in helping new golfers learn the game, but I don’t think we do a good enough job teaching people the rules and etiquette of the game. We’re all at fault for this, and I see plenty of golfers that could use a refresher course from time to time. I usually carry a pocket size USGA rule book in my bag to end arguments about the rules, but what about etiquette? Enter the Golf Etiquette Quick Reference! This easy to read guide gives you all the info you need to conduct yourself properly on the golf course. I’m talking to you, “crossing into my fairway to hit your crooked tee shot without regard to my group” guy!

Gary Player - A Game For LifeGary Player DVD – A Game for Life

Gary Player is probably the greatest non-American golfer ever. He’s seen it all and been to every corner of the globe as an ambassador to this wonderful game. So when he speaks, people listen. Gary is almost 80 years old, but he’s in better shape now that I’ll ever be. Also considered one of the best bunker players of all time, now he’s sharing his lifetime of knowledge with his new DVD set called A Game for Life. Pop this 3 DVD set in, sit back and absorb the greatness.

Greensleeve GolfGreen Sleeve

I always thought it was pretty cool to play golf with a caddy, and even if the average caddy can’t help me much with club selection, at the very least they will keep your clubs and golf balls clean. But for the 99.9% of us that don’t have access to a caddy when we play, there is a cheaper, faster solution. Greensleeve! This little microfiber sleeve is easy to carry in your pocket and does a great job at cleaning clubs and balls. It comes in many different colors and logos, and for $10, it won’t break the bank. Greensleeves are perfect stocking stuffers. Get a couple!

Voice Caddy VC300Voice Caddy

We’re big fans of any invention that allows us to be lazy makes life easier for us. Isn’t that the reason for every good invention? Instead of subscribing to a GPS service or trying to read a dimly lit screen in the bright sunlight, or trying to shoot the flag with some laser, why not leave the work to the Voice Caddy VC300? Just turn it on, clip it to the brim of your hat and it automatically finds the course and hole you are playing from a database loaded with over 30,000 courses. From there a simple button push gives you the yardage to the front, middle or back of the green. Simple and effective. $149

Ping G30 DriverPing G30 Driver

We’re still compiling launch monitor data and play testing Ping’s newest driver, but the early results are in, and the Ping G30 is a big winner. One tester hit half a dozen tee shots with it on the course and decided right there that he had to have one. I’ve played 72 holes with it and while I haven’t kept detailed stats, my observations are that the G30 is straighter and much more forgiving than my current gamer. Distance is on par with most of the competition as well but I feel I’ve gained a few yards because I’m simply hitting the sweet spot more often. Our full review is yet to come, but I’m all-in with Ping with this one. Simply put – The Ping G30 driver is the best driver I’ve hit in over 10 years.

Antigua Desert DryAntigua 2015 Collection

Antigua doesn’t make clothing with flashy European designs and crazy colors. They make simple, classic, good fitting and well made shirts. Long a favorite of mine, they use high-tech fabrics to make some of the most functional and comfortable golf shirts on the market. Their latest collection expands on the popular Desert Dry line and is sure not to disappoint. My personal favorite is the 95% polyester and 5% spandex blend that feels like you are wearing Sheex performance bedding. It’s silky smooth and very comfortable.

Aldila Rogue ShaftAldila Shafts

Aldila makes some of the most popular shafts on the professional tours. Young phenom Jordan Speith has won twice in the last two weeks using an Aldila Tour Rogue shaft in his driver. I’ve recently upgraded a few of my own clubs with the fantastic Aldila Tour Green shaft, and they have become more consistent and playable than every before. A new custom fit shaft is all you need to revive an old driver that you love, and I bet the price of a shaft upgrade from Aldila is still cheaper than a new driver!

Renegar RX14 WedgesRenegar Wedges

Gene Sarazen invented the sand wedge in the 1930s, yet most modern wedges still use the same basic design. The problem with the design is simple. The larger flange of a sand wedge works great from the bunkers, but off the turf – not so much. With a standard wedge design the front edge of the wedge cannot slide under the ball because of that chunky flange (or bounce), leading to fat and thin shots. Renegar solved that problem with a unique, patented technology. The Renegar RX14 wedges feature the cut out sole design that simultaneously lowers the leading edge while retaining the bounce for bunker shots. The best of both worlds! I’ve been playing wedges with a similar (but not quite as effective) sole design for a long time, and it really works!

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