Golf

10 best golf values our staff took advantage of in 2023

Make 2024 your best golf year ever with:
A small sample of the best values the GOLF staff found in 2023.
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The story of pro golf in 2023 was one of disruption and turmoil, but not for recreational golf.
The golf boom is still alive, and our staff searched long and far all season long to find the best products for use in their own playing lives.
From great golf accessories to incredible tee time deals to transformative tech devices, our editors got the goods this season — and on the cheap. In case you want to follow our lead, we put together a list of the best golf values we found throughout the golf world this year.
Scroll down to see how we saved big on gear and experiences in 2023.
Nick Piastowski, senior editor (@nickpia): I like a good hoodie — and I liked a Radmor Higgins Hoodie that I received last year so much that I bought a second one this year. The size is good. The feel is good. The color selection is good. The logo is fun without being obnoxious. But here’s the value part: I wear it everywhere, too. Golf course. Home. Out and about. It’s a hoodie Swiss Army Knife.
Alan Bastable, executive editor (@alan_bastable): I first heard about Holmby Park — a municipal pitch-and-putt that nearly abuts Los Angeles Country Club — from my colleague Josh Sens, who in advance of the U.S. Open earlier this year typed up the course for the website you’re reading. “No shot longer than 50 yards,” Sens wrote. “Conditioning is hit or miss. For long stretches of the year, the greens are left so shaggy that it’s hard to distinguish them from the fairways. Finding your target gets even tougher in the afternoon; they pull the flagsticks up every day at 2 p.m.”
So, no, Holmby isn’t exactly Cypress Point, but here’s the thing: admission is only 3 bucks! When covering the U.S. Open at LACC, I had no intention of seeking out Holmby. But when I discovered the media shuttle drop-off was not 100 yards from the mini muni, how could I resist?
I wandered over and found only two golfers on the course — kids, maybe 11 or 12 years old. They looked to be having a grand time. The course manager was there, too. He was jazzed to have one of the world’s biggest golf tournaments underway next door and said he was hopeful that it might drive foot traffic to his own patch of grass. To entice visitors, he had waived the $3 green fee for the week and had loaner clubs on the offing. Free golf in the shadows of the U.S. Open? It was only June, but the best deal of 2023 had already been decided.
Holmby Park pitch-and-putt sits almost literally in the shadows of LACC. Quiet out there this morning. Spoke to the manager, who said he’s waving the $3 fees this week, and there are loaner irons available. Swing by if you’re in the area! pic.twitter.com/GEHmO3nYdO
Sean Zak, senior editor (@Sean_Zak): I am fully aware how much of a hardo I am going to sound like, but my excuse is the majority of my golf in the last two years has taken place in the U.K., where golf carts seem to not exist. The best value in golf is… walking. Not paying $20 per person to ride around in a cart … so it’s easier to carry six High Noons as you play. The best value in golf is avoiding those fees and reaping the benefits of walking. Like 99% of golfers do in the U.K.
Ryan Barath, equipment editor (@RDSBarath): As a gear guy, the one piece of equipment that changed my golfing life this year is the G-Tech Hand Warmer. It might not be the least expensive accessory I’ve ever owned, but when I consider the amount of comfort and extra enjoyment it has created by keeping my hands warm in cold conditions on the course, including some chilly rounds in Scotland and at Pinehurst, I would have paid double for it.
Josh Sens, senior writer (@joshsens): In case you haven’t heard, California has become a tad expensive. Same goes for California golf. Especially on coastal courses. But there is an exception, along the distant reaches of Sonoma County, just south of Mendocino. Sea Ranch Golf Links is part of a famously eco-sensitive community that dates to the 1960s, during the early rise of the environmental movement.
Robert Muir Graves handled the design, a light-on-the-land layout that works towards Pacific bluffs, then up into the foothills, with cypress and eucalyptus trees framing the fairways and ocean views from almost every hole. Conditioning is rustic. The fairways aren’t spit-shined. The greens are slightly shaggy. All of which feels right. There’s an unpretentious charm to the property, which, due to its remoteness (it’s a winding, 3-plus-hour drive from San Francisco), is rarely crowded. After more than 30 years of hearing about the place, I finally made the trip this year. I’m not sure I’d want to do the drive in the passenger seat without Dramamine, but it’s a worthy destination. I can’t name another seaside course in California where you can walk up on a weekend and be guaranteed a tee time. And where the prices max out at $80.
James Colgan, news and features editor (@jamescolgan26): Masters merchandise is expensive. Masters merchandise from the Augusta Goodwill store just a few doors down from Augusta National? Now that’s a bargain. By the time I reached the doors of the store on this Masters Saturday, most of the great tournament gear had already sold out. But conversations with a handful of folks in the Augusta area told me that a visit on Monday or Tuesday of tournament week might have yielded some serious goodies. Plus, hey, I managed to find a keeper or two that made it all the way back to New York with me (thanks, Phil Mickelson Masters DVD!)
Tim Reilly, VP of digital programming (@LifeOfTimReilly): Rangefinders and GPS devices come in all shapes, sizes and prices. The perception is that you need to pay a high price to receive high-quality results. If you’re a believer in that way of thinking, give the Bushnell Phantom 2 GPS a try. It quickly changed my mind. At $120, it’s the best value GPS on the market. Yeah, you can’t aim and point to find out how far away a tree is, but you get front, center and back of a green, movable pin placement and hazard mapping to go with 15 hours of battery life. For the weekend golfer, that’s more than enough.
This price point from Bushnell? Now that’s value.
Jack Hirsh, assistant editor (@JR_HIRSHey): I could say, for just £25, the rural nine-hole links of Durness Golf Club on the northwest tip of Scotland could be the best bargain of my year, but it got even better when club secretary Lucy Mackay opened up the club shop. In the era of $30 coins, $40 hats and $130 shirts, the club shop, which is run out of a glass case and a few tubs of merchandise from a closet, harkens back to a more reasonable time of golf apparel and accessories.
I ended up snagging a beanie and ball marker for just £15 and £5, respectively, but there was so much more. There were £10 shoe bags and £20 scorecard holders. I don’t remember precisely, but I believe the shirts were sub-£50 as well. Getting to Durness is a journey, about a two-hour drive from Dornoch on single-lane roads, but it’s one helluva adventure. Send me to Durness with £50 and I’ll come back with a story… and a whole haul of merch!
Dylan Dethier, senior writer (@dylan_dethier): Layers! I dunno why I read “value” and immediately thought of staying warm, but I guess golf just seems like a much better use of your time and energy when you’re prepared for the elements. In sketchy weather I am geared up with Footjoy winter gloves, this Radmor beanie, thick socks (you pick the brand!) and some Tommy John long underwear. Game-changers!
Nick Dimengo, senior editor (instruction) (@ndimengo): As the Instruction Editor, I’m always looking for the best bang for my buck in terms of working on (and improving) my game. That’s why my favorite value of the year was simply playing more par-3 courses rather than banging balls on the range. Sure, it might be different than some of the other great values listed here, but by playing more par-3s, I was able to get more on-course practice for about $20 as opposed to hitting a large bucket for $16. This allowed me to diversify my club selection and work on a slew of different shots — which goes a long way in helping lower my scores on longer courses.

INCLUDES 12 SRIXON Z-STAR XV GOLF BALLS, 1 YR OF GOLF MAGAZINE, $20 FAIRWAY JOCKEY CREDIT – AND MUCH MORE!
GOLF.com and GOLF Magazine are published by EB GOLF MEDIA LLC, a division of 8AM GOLF

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