James Broadhurst: I think Mark might have one he would like to mention…
Mark Townsend: One colleague once gave me a Secret Santa gift of some sort of desktop golf game which appeared to have been gift-wrapped by a six-year-old. I didn’t even begin to play with it.
James Broadhurst: He sounds handsome though.
Mark Townsend: He’s lovely.
Alex Perry: Was it better than the toilet putting game?
Alex Perry: That is not me, I should stress.
James Broadhurst: I would love that to be my Secret Santa gift this year. The game, I mean, not the bloke on the toilet.
Alex Perry: You’ve got a phone. With games on. Surely that’s what you do on the toilet?
Tom Irwin: That has become my eldest son’s first introduction to golf. He loves it.
Alex Perry: Yes but he is an infant and a solid 30 years younger than me.
Mark Townsend: Take your pick for me. They started as early as 1982 when a well-meaning godmother gave me a dozen balls from Harrods which, at the time, I thought were great. When I put them into play they weren’t combining with my Persimmon/76mph clubhead speed to get them off the ground.
Joe Urquhart: I got some novelty “keep calm” balls. Worse than the usual four boxes of Lynx Africa sets.
James Savage: I once received a rangefinder which looked a bit like a laser rangefinder but there was no laser involved. It was far more high tech than that. You had to look at the flag and then depending on how big the flag looked on the screen there were lines to say how far away it was. It was supposedly accurate to 50 yards as there were 0-50, 50-100, 100-150, 150-200 and 200+ markers running up the right hand side of the screen. There was a little line at the bottom of the screen which you had to line up with the bottom of the flag. If you couldn’t see the bottom of the flag you couldn’t really use it.
Alex Perry: At least you can round up your 7-iron to 200 yards.
Joe Urquhart: I got some Leeds United tees once.
Alex Perry: Something about Leeds crumbling at the first sign of pressure. The joke needs work.
Joe Urquhart: Leeds are falling apart, again?
James Savage: Every day, we tee up our balls with our LEEDS. TEE. PEGS.
Mark Townsend: Every year for at least a decade, my “table present” was a variation of this…
Mark Townsend: And this, of course…
Mark Townsend: All of which was put in the shade by my first set of irons and woods – Wilson Augusta, since you’re asking – in 1984. It was my Christmas and birthday present. They were lined up, in club order, in my mum and dad’s bedroom on Christmas morning. They were £150 from Sandown Golf Centre, the Andy Beans were £160.
Alex Perry: Would you say it was the best present you’ve ever had?
Mark Townsend: And ever will have. It was supposed to be a surprise but I’d been through their wardrobe in early December and found them.
James Savage: If we’re onto good presents – my wife, then girlfriend, bought me a round at Lindrick back in the days when I had to pay to play golf. At the time it was easily the best course I’d ever played. Since I started working in golf I stopped getting golf presents. Shame really.
Mark Townsend: What golf present would you want? I’m not going to buy it for you, just out of interest…
James Savage: A round of golf somewhere nice.
Alex Perry: What’s my budget?
Mark Townsend: £50.
Alex Perry: I need a new umbrella. But then I don’t like to play in the rain. The question is too hard.
Mark Townsend: Think I’d raid a bargain bucket and try and get three 5-woods in the hope that one was the Holy Grail.
Alex Perry: Is there any other sport that provides as much novelty tat at this time of year? “What shall we get Derek?” “Well he likes bowling. Maybe a game where he can bowl while on the toilet?”
Mark Townsend: A bowling ball soap on a rope would make very good sense for taking care of your shower requirements.
Alex Perry: Well I know what I’m getting you next year.