Golfers are inundated with new products at Christmas, so I sifted through the morass and picked out some items that I believe will still be valued when next Christmas rolls around.
1. Sun Mountain Speed Cart
This sleek three-wheeler rolls over terrain smoothly to make walking the course less strenuous for those who drag their bags. Fundamental difference: It's not a pull cart but a pushcart. A better, if slightly pricey, mousetrap. $200. To order, call 800-227-9224.
Training Golf Balls Practice putting with these two balls, of different weights but both heavier than a regulation ball, and your flaws will be more obvious. The extra weight makes solid contact and follow-through imperative. $24.95. 909-736-1989.
Flexibility System A mainstay in PGA Tour fitness trailers, this machine facilitates safe, effective and measurable stretching. A great way to increase your ability to make a correct swing and also to hold off the effects of aging. Devotee Tiger Woods maxes out the front straddle setting. $500. 800-388-0453.
4. Zero Restriction Rain Gloves
One of the great golf inventions of the last decade, these thin woven-cotton gloves get tackier the wetter they become, letting you swing normally in the rain. No more ruined rounds when rain makes hands or grips slippery. $17 a pair.
5. Scrabble Golf Edition
The king of board games has been slightly altered to capture golfers. It provides a list of golf terms, including ones for which bonus points can be awarded—but building your own list of slang words makes the game even better. $25.
6. "Golf and the Intelligence of Play"
This 50-minute video and accompanying booklet by sports psychologist Chuck Hogan offer a superb guide to coaching young golfers in the era of Tiger Woods. The emphasis is on the role of fun in creating an optimal environment for learning. $50. 877-529-7529.
7. "Explosive Golf"
Here's a book for the golfer who really wants to improve the physical side of his or her game. Michael Yessis breaks down the golf swing according to the laws of kinesiology and biomechanics and prescribes exercises to develop the right moves. Masters Press, $24.95.
8. "Passion for Golf"
This book is a sweet meditation by novelist Roland Merullo. It's dedicated to the idea that golf offers "lessons that point us toward a state of inner steadiness and peace." The Lyons Press, $20.
9. The Club Glove Travel Bag
The choice of touring professionals, it's heavy-duty, with a thoughtful design that allows enough room for a fully loaded golf bag, shoes and clothing, while its molded base and in-line-skate wheels make it easy to maneuver. $250.