Guide to Best Golf Gift Ideas – Best Software and Gadget

We present our guide on the best golf gift ideas – cool golf gadgets and equipment that will appeal to golfers at a range of skill levels, and that are available at a variety of different price points. Our list of “Do’s” and “Don’ts” provide our thoughts on which gifts will elicit an enthusiastic “SWEET!! YOU ARE THE BEST EVER!!!” and which will trigger an “ummm…is there a gift receipt in the box?”DO’S

Golf GPS Units. These nifty devices show golfers how far they are from the hole. The advanced units provide overhead satellite maps, aerial videos that show the hole layout, touchscreens, and electronic scoring and statistics.

Pros

These are cool, and the high-end units can definitely impress your friends.
Golf GPS devices are easy to use – just walk to the ball, and the unit will recalculate and display the distance to the green and, in the case of most devices, the distance to various hazards and targets as well.

Cons
Some units require an annual subscription or charge per-course fees to access golf courses. So watch out – you may be giving the gift that keeps on giving!

What to Watch Out For

The devices range in terms of the amount of tech savvy necessary to get up and running. Some are ready to go out of the box, while others require downloading software to a computer and connecting the GPS device to the computer to add the desired golf courses.

Pricing

Low end – $150 (basic units such as the Bushnell Neo and IZZO SWAMI 1500)
High end – $400-$500 (top-of-the-line devices like the Callaway uPro, Garmin G5 Approach and OnPar)

Golf Laser Rangefinders. Another gadget for getting the distance to the hole is a laser rangefinder. These devices look like binoculars, and just require the golfer to aim and push a button to fire a laser and receive an extremely precise reading on how far it is to the target.

Pros

Laser rangefinders are more accurate than GPS devices, and as a result, are generally preferred by professional caddies (who use them during practice rounds – they are not allowed in professional tournaments).

Cons

Acquiring targets that are a long distance away requires a steady hand and some practice.
If your view of a target is obscured (you are blocked by a line of trees, or you are at the bottom of a steep hill and can’t see the flag), you cannot obtain a distance.

What to Watch Out For

Some of the advanced devices also provide distances that adjust for the slope (uphill or downhill) between the user and the target. While this is pretty cool, it is also prohibited by the USGA, the official arbiter of the rules of golf in the United States. Thus a golfer cannot use a slope-adjusting laser rangefinder in any round that is submitted for official handicap-keeping purposes, nor can it be used in most amateur tournaments.

Pricing

Low end – $330 (a basic unit like the Opti-Logic Insight GL)
High end – $500+ (top of the line products such as the Leupold GX-II, Bushnell Pinseeker 1600 Slope Edition and Callaway LR1200)

Putters. The putter is the club that players actually use most often during a round, and is also the club that many players don’t splurge on for themselves, making it a great gift idea. The caveat on putters is that the choice of a putter is a very personal decision, dependent on the intangible “feel” that a putter provides and the “look” as the player looks down on the ball. High-end putters from Scotty Cameron, Bettinardi (Mizuno), and Rife are spoken of in hushed whispers and regarded as works of art.

Pros

Most golfers will never hit the ball 300 yards, but they can learn to get down in two putts. So it’s the one area in which an amateur can actually use the exact same equipment as a pro!

Cons

Since it’s such a touchy feely decision, it may be tough to select just the right one as a gift. Still, we think any golfer will appreciate the gift of a high-end putter, if for no other reason than to validate that they actually prefer their current putter.

What to Watch Out For

Note that we’ve been careful to qualify our statements by saying that golfers will appreciate the gift of a HIGH-END putter. No one wants a lame putter that comes out of the bargain rack from Wal-Mart. You can’t go wrong with a top-of-the-line Scotty Cameron putter…but it will set you back at least $300.

Pricing

Low end — were you not listening to us? Don’t buy a low end putter as a gift!
High end — from $150 (Rife Barbados) to $250 (Bettinardi Black Carbon) to $300-$500 (various Scotty Cameron models). In case you’re wondering, Tiger Woods uses a Scotty Cameron putter – but it’s a prototype that isn’t available for the general public.

Golf Push Carts. Most manly men will refuse to rent a push cart for $5 at their local course, even if it would save significant wear and tear on their achy back. But if someone GAVE them a push cart, they might actually use it.

Pros

Even the fanciest models top out at $200, so you can give the best on the market without breaking the bank.

Cons

Someone who always rides in an electric cart may not use a push carts very much (even though it would be much better for their health to get out and walk).

What to Watch Out For

The newer models are getting more compact, but some of the older versions are pretty big, even when folded up. It’s worth giving some consideration to the size of the trunk in the gift recipient’s car when you choose which push cart to buy.

Pricing

Low end — $40
High end — $200 for fancy new models like the Sun Mountain Micro Cart and the Clicgear 2.0

Books / DVDs. Everyone can use a little help with their swing, putting or mental game.

Pros

Reasonable price points – they make great stocking stuffers!

Cons

Some might take offense at the suggestion that their golf game needs work (even though it probably does).

Pricing

Low end – $13 for Tiger Woods’ How I Play Golf

High end – $40+ for glossy coffee table books, such as Alister MacKenzie’s Cypress Point Club or The Golden Age of Golf Design, both from Geoff Shackleford

Training Aids. From putting to full swing, for those who are snowbound in winter, or simply can’t get to the course as much as they would like, there are endless numbers of training devices to get your game in top form.

Pros

Practice anytime, and it doesn’t take 5 hours out of the day.

Cons

Will they really get used? Or will they wind up in the back of the closet with the Thighmaster?

Pricing

Low end: $15-30 for stocking stuffers such as impact tape from Longshot Golf and Dave Pelz’s putter clips
High end: $200+ for training clubs like the Medicus dual-hinge drivers, or high tech devices such as the TOMI putting stroke analyzer

DON’TS

Golf Clubs. Most golfers are extremely persnickety about their golf clubs. Some folks always stick with a particular brand, like Callaway or TaylorMade. Others mix and match, always striving for a particular look and feel. Our recommendation on giving the gift of a pricey new set of golf clubs is that unless you know EXACTLY what someone wants, it’s best to let them find clubs on their own.

Socks. No one ever wants to get socks as a gift. Enough said.

Golf Practice Nets. Hitting into a net just doesn’t feel right. If a trip to the driving range isn’t feasible, most folks are likely to just turn on the TV and watch the pros play instead of going to the trouble of setting up a practice net out in the yard.

Golf-Related Clocks or Bookends. A pair of socks would sound good in comparison.

Ball Retrievers. Please do not put anyone else through the pain of waiting for someone in the group in front of them to fish some “free” balls out of a toxic pond.

Best Blog Sites for Businesses – Best Software and Gadget

Publishing quality content on the Web is one of the keys to establishing you as an authority in your area of business, as well as getting your business found through search engines or referrals from social media sites.Therefore, it’s important to find the best blogging tools with which to publish your content. We’ve profiled two of the easiest and most popular blog sites here, as well as listed a few other options, free and paid.For businesses that want free, easy-to-setup platforms that will have you blogging in literally five minutes, WordPress.org and Blogger.com are the best picks.BloggerBlogger was started in 1999 by Pyra Labs, and since Google bought it in 2003, the company has upgraded its look significantly. Newly launched is the Dynamic Views templates, offering several styles that are pretty cool and easily customizable.*Also with the new templates, you can have integrated searching, sort blogs by date, label and author, interactive share buttons for Facebook, Twitter, and, of course, Google +. And if you’re publishing a great deal of images, different viewing options such as Magazine, where large images are attractively displayed with text, are available. Other pluses:
Link the blog to your Google analytics account (that you should have already set up for your business’s Web site) to view stats that show page and post views, traffic sources and who your audience is
Link to AdSense to place advertising on your blog if you want another income stream
Add from a long list of gadgets to your blog, such as an e-mail box that allows readers to easily subscribe to posts, and search, slide show, poll and many other types of boxes that will appear to readers on your blog
*At the time this was written, the New Blogger Interface with the new templates had some problems with changes in layout not showing up. Also, the service seems to get overloaded at times, with users not being able to access design tools. I am using the Simple, rather than the Dynamic Views templates at the time of this writing, as it shows my company’s logo.WordPressFirst of all, be aware that there’s WordPress.org and WordPress.com. The first is where you can download the free, open source WordPress software and install on your hosted Web site to create a blog or even a full throttle Web site.WordPress.com is a hosting site that utilizes the software from WordPress.org. It may be easier for you to set up a blog site at the WordPress.com, which is free, but there are downsides, such as not being able to upload customizable themes, modify the .PHP code behind your blog, or install plugins (cool programs that you can use to customize your blog site if you host it on another server, such as Bluehost.com).If you pay $99 per year for an upgrade, then you’ll have access to the above, as well as being able to have a domain name without the WordPress.com attached to it.The best option is to set up your blog by installing WordPress on a site hosted at Bluehost.com or another hosting company for several reasons, including greater user control and customization.Other Blog sitesTypepad.com offers a paid blogging service with customer support and Web hosting at prices ranging from $8.95 per month to $29.95 for premium services. Customized designs, domain mapping (having just your blog name seen) and blog stats, as well as integrated social media, are some of the other features offered.Other than the customer support and domain mapping, there isn’t too much different from the free sites. If you don’t want to bother with signing up with a Web host elsewhere for your blog, it might be a simple option.Tumblr is a more visual-oriented social site, but not as heavily visual as the newest rage, Pinterest. Sign up and set-up at Tumblr is a breeze and you’ll be blogging within minutes, but with the latter, you have to ask to be invited.Businesses that would benefit from great deal of visuals on the Web, such as photography, beauty, and even furniture and real estate companies, would do well with these sites. But there is a plethora of custom themes available for WordPress that offer great visual setups as well.