I’m a dad. I’m not the guy who needs a gift. It sounds sappy, but my boys, they truly are my gift.
But almost 20 years into this fatherhood thing and seeing Mother’s Day always be such a “thing,” I’m tired of Dads getting the short end of the parent love straw. My wife feels the same way as I do; it’s why it makes it even more fun to do things for her out of the blue on days not labeled “Mother’s Day.”
If you really must go this route, let’s ditch the sleeve of golf balls, Billy the Bass, and the ties. We’re doing our part in this space, giving you some suggestions for giving the dad in your life some experiences that are thoughtful and get him out of his recliner and out of his comfort zone.
Golf that doesn’t take four hours: Not all of us have four hours to play, it’s just a fact. A lot of young dads especially – they want to take up the sport but just don’t have the time to invest. Luckily, there are a pair of new businesses addressing this need.
Give your dad a gift card to Palmetto Dunes’ TopTracer Golf Range (palmettodunestoptracerrange.com). The resort re-did their driving range with the technology behind TopGolf and that you see on every golf broadcast. See stats on every drive you hit, play contests against others using TopTracer across the country, play courses as you learn the game at the range.
If he really would rather play with air conditioning, give him a gift card to Chronic Golf, the new simulator hotspot opening on New Orleans Road on the island (mychronicgolf.com). Play full rounds at courses across the country, or go with the family and use the simulators to play 13 different sports.
Golf Among Friends: Rendezvous Bluffton hosts events every Friday, Saturday and Sunday with their indoor golf simulators on Pennington Drive and bring in food from R Bar & Grill. (rendezvousblufftonsc.com)
May River Excursions: Let your dad become a tourist for a day with a dolphin-watching cruise, a sunset cruise, or a water taxi out to Daufuskie to explore a spot he’s never seen.
Or charter with skipper Chris Shoemaker and his crew for a fishing trip with friends or a private journey with Shoemaker to learn how to fish so we can finally show off the skill to our kids.
There are great options all over for charters, including plenty at Shelter Cove and Palmetto Bay marinas, but for Bluffton-based fun, Chris is the man with the plan (mayriverexcursions.com).
The gift of flight: If your dad is anything like me or my dad, there has always been a fascination with the sky. A helicopter view of the Lowcountry is a fantastic stress reliever. Hilton Head Helicopter (flyhhi.com) has charters available daily.
Or, if he wants to go a step further, give him flight lessons. True story: Being a pilot is far cheaper and less hoity-toity than you thought. You can buy a plane for less than a crew-cab Ram 1500 these days, but it starts with lessons. Hilton Head Flight School is a great starting point (hiltonheadflightschool.com).
Pro tip: If you see Bluffton Flying Service, thinking it’s closer to home, it’s actually in Ohio.
Boats without mortgages: Everyone tells me the two best days for boat owners are the day you buy it and the day you sell it. So get that experience of boating by renting a vessel from Carefree or Freedom Boat Club and let them take care of all the maintenance.
They both operate out of Shelter Cove Marina on the island and membership gives you chances to rent unlimited boats at marinas all up and down the East Coast. Plus, Carefree lets you go halfsies with another friend in splitting the membership. (carefreeboatclub.com, freedomboatclub.com)
The gift of culinary knowledge: H3 Healthy Kitchen (hhhealth.com/resort/h3-healthy-kitchen), part of Hilton Head Health, offers a full array of cooking lessons and nutrition classes.
For something a little more personal, check out the ongoing discussions on the Hilton Head/Bluffton Ask and Answer and What’s Happening in Bluffton Facebook groups, where private chefs are consistently advertising private lessons.
Happy Father’s Day!
Tim Wood is a father of two, and a veteran journalist based in Bluffton. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.