Father’s Day reminds Molly Faris of why she loves golf.
When her father sold his business and moved the Faris family to a small Northern Illinois town, Molly began cutting her teeth on a nearby nine-hole golf course. Since his passing, she still returns to that same golf course, — now 18 holes — and she can’t help but be reminded of the strong bond the game brought to she and her father.
“Whenever I go home, I’ll grab a couple of clubs in the evening and walk out onto the 18th, pretending like I’m playing the final hole of a major as the sun’s going down,” Molly Faris says. “First, though, I sit on the bench where my dad used to always sit, looking out on the fairway. And it always reminds me that his love for the game is why I spend my days inspiring people to play, and play better, and have fun too.”
Faris is now general manager of the PGA Tour Superstore in Palm Desert, and she has been a PGA teaching professional since 2000. She shares her picks for Father’s Day golf gadgets with a little less emphasis on technology and more on ease of integrating the tool into your game.
Check Go Pro Ultimate Sweet-Spot Finder
This surprising centrifugal device definitely belongs at the top of the “who knew?” category of golf gadgets. By spinning 10,000 revolutions per minute, the Check Go Pro finds the sweet spot on your golf ball — regardless of what brand it is — so that rolls more accurately every time it’s hit. $39.99.
VIDEO: Matt Holm, PGA teaching pro who instructs at the PGA Tour Superstore, explains how the Check Go works – and why golfers will hit with greater accuracy and distance.
The Orange Whip Trainer
“Just about everybody who sees it wants to give it a try,” Molly says of this Father’s Day pick. This swing trainer comes with an eye-catching orange ball at the hitting end of its flexible shaft. “It’s probably our most tested product (besides the putters).” Heavier than a normal golf club, the counterweighted whip helps you work on hitting through the ball, rather than at it, by emphasizing the smooth entirety of a swing rather than merely its wind-up-and-impact. “You won’t find a better tool to help groove your tempo and rhythm,” she says. $109 ($20 gift card with purchase). Also available: The Orange Whip Compact and The Orange Whip Junior.
Molly acknowledges that the golfing demographic skews a bit old school in the Coachella Valley. “Plenty of my customers are perfectly happy keeping their golf tech-free,” she says. However, even the tech-skeptical are finding the one-click ease of the Golfwith “SmartMarker” enticing – and especially when compared to, say, higher-priced laser range finders. Download the app, and SmartMarker synchs to your smartphone to deliver, at a click, audio GPS read-outs of specific distances on over 25,000 U.S. courses. “So easy. No charging, no updating, just clicking,” says Molly. $34.99.
Bushnell’s Pro X2
This is the laser rangefinder that’s getting all the airtime on the Golf Channel for its Slope Switch technology, which gives golfers the distance of their next shot based on the hole’s incline or decline. It fits in the palm of your hand and uses Pinseeker Technology with JOLT that actually buzzes when you are locked into the pin. $499.99; Father’s Day sale, $449.98.
Using a sensor plugged into the butt of the club’s grip, Arccos Driver records distance and accuracy stats for every drive. This unobtrusive gadget permits non-pros to learn how crunching the numbers can help lower scores. $79.99; Father’s Day sale, $29.98.