There’s never a bad time for outside fun, but the COVID era provided a serious force multiplier for fresh air. For instance, golf surged in popularity in the United States since the start of the pandemic, adding 500,000 new sand trap junkies to the sport.
From the perspective of the knife world, that begs a question: what blade is in your pocket when you’re working on that birdie?
Enter Golphers, a company turning out everyday carry (EDC) knives worthy of a PGA tour.
EDC Knives for Golfers
It was nearly guaranteed that the push in recent years toward urban EDCs—high-performance folders that don’t raise eyebrows—would yield knives tailored to sports and hobbies. Golphers got out ahead of the curve with its catalog of blades purpose-built for the putting green.
In addition to being tidy EDC designs, the three knives that make up the core of Golphers—the Ace, the Scottsdale and the Wichita—feature a bottle opener, a fold-out divot tool and a detachable ball marker.
How Not to Lose Your Ball Marker while Golfing
The built-in marker is a stroke of genius I didn’t fully appreciate until talking with a few golf enthusiasts. These small discs constantly get lost or misplaced through nine or 18 holes.
Attaching the marker to something with presence clipped into a pocket, like one of these Golphers knives, solves that problem with style.
Even better, Golphers will customize your ball marker for you. This would be great for gifts or just as something cool to have.
Divot Tools for Golf
The Ace, Scottsdale and Wichita come with fold-out divot tools, the lemonade to the iced tea of these knives. Some designs are smarter by half when it comes to multitools, but this addition is entirely necessary and baked in seamlessly between the frame and the handle scale.
A person could start to feel spoiled by the time and attention spent on these designs. But how do they actually perform?
How Do They Perform? The Ace
Golphers sent in three knives for this review. I’ll tackle each one at a time.
The Ace is an Eric Ochs-designed flipper with a three-inch S35VN blade, available with a variety of handle materials. I received the blue carbon fiber version, much to my enjoyment. The Ace includes a bottle opener, ball marker and divot tool.
Three-inch blades are the right size for EDC, and this flipper snaps into place with a crisp “click.” It’s infinitely fidget-able (not a technical term, but close enough), which isn’t to be discounted while waiting for the duffers up ahead to finish.
When I showed off the knife, the divot tool always surprised and delighted. It waits inside the Ace for a sneak attack. It’s a simple thing, sure, but this divot tool could’ve easily been bungled in the design. Simple is hard to do.
Honestly, the Ace would be a respectable EDC on or off the course. I’d be happy to include this in my regular rotation.
That said, I wish the design allowed my index finger to choke up on the blade a bit more. I’m missing a little jimping, too. That’s my personal preference, though, and certainly not a knock on the knife itself.
Along the same lines, a three-inch blade may be overkill for the golf course. This feels to me more like a knife that plays to the culture of golf, like a T-shirt with a logo on it, than something to be used for its stated purpose.
Again, that’s a personal preference. If three inches is your style, you won’t be disappointed with the Ace.
If not, Golphers still has you covered.
The Scottsdale is the 2.5-inch blade version of the Ace. It sports the same golf-friendly features, but in a more compact package. For me, this is the sweet spot, and it made the Scottsdale my favorite of the three.
Golphers wisely went with framelocks on each of their knives, and the Scottsdale I received made it clear why that’s the right choice. The blade locked up nicely each time, maintaining its sturdiness for each task I put it through.
The detent arrived hard out of the box, too, which is always a plus for staying secure in the pocket.
Other than the blade length, the key difference between the Ace and the Scottsdale is the flipper tab. The Ace has it, while the Scottsdale doesn’t. This isn’t necessarily good or bad. It’s a preference thing, and it’s worth keeping in mind in case thumb studs alone won’t do.
And if you don’t want thumb studs at all, Golphers didn’t stop at the Scottsdale.
Like the Scottsdale, the Wichita also wields a 2.5-inch blade. However, the belly on the Wichita’s blade is a bit beefier, and a thumb hole is in place of the studs.
Golphers calls the Wichita the “holy grail” of its knives, and it’s hard to disagree. The Wichita is the most classed up of the trio, ready for an experienced caddy to open with two gloved hands. Of course, the Wichita can be opened with one hand, too, but this is the picture it paints in my mind.
To the point, the Wichita is only offered with G10 handles in swatches that shout “urban EDC.” Were this knife to pop up on TV during the Masters, I doubt anyone would find it out of place.
That’s saying something for a knife that retails a hair under $100, as of this writing.
The Scottsdale takes the cake as the best of Golphers’ three knives, but that’s just me. Golfers will find at least one Golphers knife to suit their tastes.
Golphers shows why there’s so much vitality in the knife industry. Just when you think you’ve seen everything, along comes another wave of innovation and creativity. Golphers is good news for every knife enthusiast, whether they golf or not.
If you do hit the links, you seriously need to consider getting one of these knives. They may not stop you from pulling too hard to the left on your drive, but they will make your time on the green more enjoyable.
And isn’t that what it’s all about anyway?