There's not a lot of golf being played these days in the Chattanooga area.
The days are shorter, temperatures are colder and skies are cloudier than peak season.
But when warmer weather returns and the Masters appears on the horizon, golf season will be back. Golfers will flock to the courses, hit the ranges and tinker with new equipment.
Until those days, golfers will tell tales of summers past and anticipate what golfing gift may be under a tree.
Jon Williams, owner of Golf Headquarters in Chattanooga, said golf bags, TaylorMade clubs, range-finders and GPS devices have been the hot items through this holiday season.
"For golfers, the sport is a passion," Williams said. "Almost anything golf appeals to them."
The holiday season has been steady in his store. He doesn't rely on the Christmas season as much as other retailers. The spring launch of new equipment is equally busy.
"Golfers tend to enjoy anything that will help their game or help them enjoy playing the game," Williams said. "After all, you don't have to be good to enjoy it."
With that, here is a little last-minute golf gift-givers guide.
General item: The Tin Cup
Details: It's a stencil to put over a golf ball to create a unique design.
Uch's approval: Par -- It's a cute stocking stuffer but overpriced. Anybody who loses more than two balls per round shouldn't waste time stenciling in a four-leaf clover or Jack Nicklaus' logo on their golf balls.
General item: TaylorMade Penta
Details: It claims to be the first five-layer golf ball on the market.
Price: $39 per dozen
Uch's approval: Par -- Reviews and results seem to indicate that it may be too soft. One golfer said it spun back like a Smothers Brothers yo-yo. Also, it's too much money to spend for high-handicappers.
General item: Ashworth shoes -- Cundiff
Details: A casual golf shoe with a two-year water-damage warranty.
Price: $119.99 (sales available)
Uch's approval: Eagle -- The two-year warranty on its waterproofing shoots it above the Adidas model. Because, after all, who likes playing with wet feet? Plus, with rubber soles, they could be worn to a casual company meeting.
General item: Tifosi Sunglasses
Details: High-performance shades
Price: $69.99 and up
Uch's approval:Birdie -- Tifosi shades are rarely polarized and come with three lenses that enhance different light conditions. A man or a woman could enjoy a pair of these.
General item: Sky Caddie SGX-W
Details:The latest in golf GPS technology
Uch's approval: Albatross -- Sky Caddie has the best golf GPS system available by a long shot. This version allows a course to be downloaded via Wi-Fi. Buy it. Hit Starbucks on the way to a new course and play it like you've been there before.
General item: Bag of tees
Details: A bag of tees
Uch's approval: Bogey -- This is a classic gift for golfers. But it says, "I went out just before midnight on Dec. 24 and thought of you." A token of advice is to give golf balls, even cheap ones, before gifting tees -- yet gifting both is kind of cool.
David Uchiyama is a sports writer at the Chattanooga Times Free Press who began his tenure here in May 2001. His primary beats are UTC athletics — specifically men’s basketball and athletic department administration — and golf, which includes coverage from the PGA Tour to youth events. He also covers other high school sports, outdoor adventures, and contributes to other sections of the newspaper when necessary. David grew up in Salinas, Calif., and began working ...