Dad’s Wish List for Father’s Day

After a long year of working, changing diapers, driving kids to hockey practice at dawn, and/or prioritizing tuition payments over trips to Aruba, most dads are probably happy on Father’s Day just to go out to brunch, kick back and watch some sports or grill in the yard, and spend some time with the family — that’s what’s really special.

But there’s nothing wrong with hooking him up with some sweet gear.

So click about for some father-tested and -approved items — apparel, exercise equipment, spirits, plenty of golf gear — that are more or less guaranteed to put a little extra smile on your favorite dad’s face. —Ken Gee

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Fender CD-60SCE Acoustic Guitar, Ecco Cage Pro shoes, TheraGun. (Photos: Handout, Gordon Donovan/Yahoo News, Handout)

Fender CD-60SCE Acoustic Guitar

Many, if not most, guys wish they had some guitar chops. Fact is, your favorite dad is only three chords and a little practice away from a quality pastime, if not actual campfire glory. Fender’s CD-60SCE features a built-in tuner and pickup, an easy-play rosewood fingerboard for the lightly callused beginning to intermediate player, and cutaway design for advanced shredding. $299

Haggar E-CLO Stria Dress Pants

Haggar may not jump out at you as the sexiest brand, but these slacks have a lot going for them. They’re washer-friendly and wrinkle-resistant. They’re versatile enough for golf, work, or a nice dinner — after which the hidden expandable waistband might come in handy. Their performance poly fabric is made in part out of recycled plastic bottles, so they have eco cred. And they sell for $35, which is nice. (Gordon Donovan/Yahoo News)

Bradley Allan Polo Shirt

This shirt combines the look of a classic old-school cotton polo with a sleek cut and breathable, quick-drying cotton-poly-spandex fabric that will keep you cool even in the dog days of summer. $89 (Courtesy Bradley Allan)

Mission Belts

Belts are one of those items a lot of men just don’t go out and buy for themselves and hence a perennial Father’s Day gift. Mission belts come in a variety of good-looking styles, with no holes. And the brand donates a portion of its sales to fighting hunger and providing micro-loans to developing nations. From $35 (Courtesy Mission Belts)

Dad’s Hat Rye and Brooklyn Gin

Dad’s Hat Rye
This Pennsylvania-made whiskey has an intense aroma and a flavor profile that features the grain and finishes with a hint of brown sugar. Great neat, but not too precious to mix with a soda or ginger and lime. Didn’t bother to look into the name, but the hat on the label is reminiscent of Bogart’s Phillip Marlow in The Big Sleep, who works some magic on the sexy bookstore clerk with the line “I’ve got a pretty good bottle of rye in my pocket. I’d rather get wet in here.” $63
Brooklyn Gin
Somewhere along the line gin became the stodgy old “other white spirit,” with vodka becoming the booze of choice even in martinis. Brands like Brooklyn are making gin relevant again. Made with fresh cracked juniper berries and citrus, it has a lively flavor that’s great for trendy cocktails like the negroni as well as a classic martini. The art deco bottle itself is almost a gift item. $45 (Gordon Donovan/Yahoo News)


The TheraGun looks kind of like a power tool, but it’s actually a powerful massager that delivers stimulating and pain-relieving deep tissue and muscle vibration therapy. Originally designed for physical therapists and chiropractors to help patients suffering from injuries and chronic pain, its appeal quickly spread to professional sports teams, trainers, and basically anyone who tried it. It’s relaxing, it helps muscles recover from a workout, soreness, or tightness, and it just feels good. Like having a personal masseuse at your fingertips 24/7. $599 (Courtesy TheraGun)

Under Armour Speedform Velociti RE Running Shoes

These springy, breathable mesh superlightweight trainers come with an added advantage: They track and analyze your running statistics and store them on the UA MapMyRun MVP app — you get a free one-year subscription with purchase, so Dad can chart his progress and set his fitness goals. $139 (Gordon Donovan/Yahoo News)

Second Skin QUATROFLX Compression Shirt and Shorts

If he’s committing to a workout regimen, having some compression exercise wear is beneficial. It’s thought to boost blood flow and help clear lactose to boost workout performance. Second Skin has double panels for comfort in sensitive areas and wicks moisture to keep you cool. And wearing it will accentuate Dad’s chiseled physique. Short sleeve top, $50; shorts, $40 (Courtesy of Dick’s Sporting Goods)

Masterbuilt 30-inch Black Digital Smoker

Serving up delicious meats, fish, and even vegetables with this durable, compact smoker is almost too easy. Just keep an eye on the digital thermometer till it reaches the prescribed temperature. So instead of standing over a grill getting smoke in his eyes and overcooking the steaks again, Dad can enjoy some backyard games, relax in his comfy chair with a beer, or read a good book… $199 (Courtesy Field & Stream)

‘The Gargoyle Hunters’

Set in New York City in the mid-1970s, this debut novel by John Freeman Gill follows the adventures of Griffin Watts, a 13-year-old dealing with girls, his parents’ divorce, and the daily threat of getting mugged. While not sparring with the cast of eccentric boarders his mother brings into their brownstone to help pay the bills, Griffin becomes involved in his father’s mad scheme to “rescue” some of Manhattan’s architectural treasures before they are sacrificed to urban renewal. The book paints a vivid and often hilarious picture of the city and builds to an epic conclusion. But on one level, the story is heartbreakingly simple: It’s about a boy’s need to spend more time with his father. $19 (Gordon Donovan/Yahoo News)

TaylorMade TP5 and TP5X Golf Balls

If your man has some golf chops, he can definitely take advantage of a high-quality golf ball. The new balls from TaylorMade have a soft feel that promotes control of the ball off the clubface as well as on the greens; the TP5 will grip and stop where lesser balls will hit and roll away into bogey territory. He might prefer the TP5X for a little more distance or the TP5 for accurate chip shots. $45/dozen (Gordon Donovan/Yahoo News)

TecTecTec! VPR0500

This rangefinder calculates distances of up to 540 yards to within a yard, has 6x magnification with ultra-clear optics, and comes with a hard-shell carrying case, battery, and strap — i.e., everything you want in a rangefinder. And it costs about a third of what quality rangefinders cost just a few years ago. $135 (Gordon Donovan/Yahoo News)

Ecco Cage Pro shoes

Ecco, which pioneered the hybrid golf shoe, is also the leader in creating high-performance golf shoes that also look totally cool. The Cage Pros are ergonomically designed to allow the foot’s natural pivot while providing maximum grip and stability. They’re also breathable, lightweight, and water-resistant. And while they’re not technically hybrids, if Dad forgets to change out of them after the round, he absolutely won’t look silly. $210 (Gordon Donovan/Yahoo News)

Odyssey O-Works Tank #7 Putter

Even pros are constantly tinkering and often changing putters, so every few years the average guy has to start blaming his putter and looking for something better. Odyssey is always there with a few great options. This putter has a bunch of features that add up to balance and stability. And the oversize grip helps keep the hands from getting twitchy. $229 (Gordon Donovan/Yahoo News)

Callaway GBB Epic Driver

Callaway’s latest driver represents a lot of technical improvements. But we’ll just share an anecdote. Our brother, a hardworking father of three, was a beleaguered driver of the golf ball. Not terrible, but inconsistent, erratic. We gave him an Epic this spring and he steadily became a longer driver of the golf ball, a straighter driver of the golf ball, a more confident driver of the golf ball. True story. It’s a beautiful club too, and the father in your life can custom-build it online. $499 (Gordon Donovan/Yahoo News)

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