8 Tips on How to Play Golf in Cold Weather
No matter if you love summer heat or prefer more comfortable temperatures, one is for sure: golf in winter can be tough. With temperatures dropping, you can expect your course to get damp and cold, you’ll be obliged to layer up, and your hands will feel like two frozen sticks. However, if you’re brave enough to go out and face the elements, you might still be able to play a decent game of golf. How can you golf like a pro in cold weather? Well, here are a few tips that will show you how to play golf in cold weather getting you out there in maximum comfort and excellent results.
Prep the night before
You have to start fighting the cold even before you pack your things and arrive at the course. Use your smartphone to check multiple weather reports the night before and see whether the elements are extreme enough to affect your performance. If yes, do plan for the worst, because you will want to be prepared when you’re out there. The most important preparation step is choosing the right outfit for your winter golf game. Layering is your best choice, but not with cotton!
Since dressing well is the key to comfort and performance out on the course when it’s cold, here are a few tips on what to wear. Make sure to put on plenty of layers to provide you with insulation—that’s the simplest way to stay warm and still be able to move well. As stated above, stay away from cotton clothing since this material allows cold winds to penetrate through your clothes and cool your body. Instead of cotton, you can reach for performance gear that will keep you feeling cozy and warm from head to toe.
Also, don’t forget to pack some good rain gear that will keep you dry when it rains. Having a sturdy umbrella that can withstand high winds is also a good idea. Today, you can find all sorts of rain clothing from coats and pants to full suits that offer different levels of rain protection. When it rains, these will come in handy for obvious reasons, but they can also help in frigid yet dry weather. Also, leave your ball cap at home and choose something warmer this time. If you cover your head and ears, you’ll reduce the amount of heat your body is losing and stay warm for longer.
When it comes to choosing your cold-weather gear, it’s essential to know that most modern golf clothing is designed with precisely these extreme weather conditions in mind. If you opt for a reputable brand, you will stay dry and warm in wet, misty, and cold conditions. Also, modern lightweight design will not prevent you from hitting some impressive shots.
Keep your hands warm
While many people are concerned about losing heat from the head (a woolen ski cap can come in handy with that issue), what about your hands? To stay mobile and make some good swings, you need to keep your hands protected and warm. Luckily, there are plenty of glove choices for you to choose from. Your best option is undoubtedly specially-designed cold weather golf gloves made of durable and warm materials like neoprene, microfiber, leather, or Quik-Dry material. These gloves will keep your hands warm and dry, allowing for a better grip—much better overall than standard gloves.
It’s a smart idea to bring two pairs of gloves, so if the weather turns for the worse, you have a dry pair to keep you warm. This will ensure your grip is always optimal. Another smart idea is to bring one or two hot beverages with you. A flask of tea or coffee will warm you up from the inside but also allow you to hold something warm between shots and keep your hands from getting stiff.
If the weather is wet, you can expect some softness underfoot, so you’ll definitely want to prevent slipping and sliding. A good pair of golf shoes will provide you with a good grip, no matter what terrain you’re on. Just remember that whenever you’re taking a shot, stand in a wider stance to lower your center of gravity. This will help you with stability on damp or frozen conditions and allow you to get a decent distance.
Sure, your clothing and gear might be ready for the weather, but is your body prepared for the shock? Prepare for your rounds by taking your time to stretch in the cold. It might take you longer to get ready in cold weather, but some extra time is worth it since the risk of injury increases as the temperatures get lower. Hitting that cold, hard-packed turf all day will require a good stretch so that your muscles and joints are nice and loose. You can also get a feel for the course by taking note of the green speeds on the practice green. You’ll see that you have excellent control over your swing since your back and shoulders operate in better sync in the cold. If you aim for smooth and even strokes instead of distance, expect satisfactory results.
Sure, we all know that balls don’t like to travel far in cold weather. According to research, every 10-degree change in temperature will take away one yard of carry. So, if you want to play a good game and get the most out of your every shot, make sure to keep this in mind. Luckily, this weather issue can be combated. If you use a good tee, you can get better control over the ball and hit it at a different angle than when it’s resting on the bare ground. This will undoubtedly add a few extra yards to your hits.
It can be very easy to forget to take in plenty of fluids during the cold weather. The bare thought of a cold sip of water can make you cringe when the temperatures outside are freezing. However, you still need to practice proper hydration to stay safe and focused out there. All the extra clothing layers will create plenty of heat and even cause you to sweat, which means you’ll need to replenish liquids if you want to stay in top shape. Pack something warm to go with your water or sports drink.
Curb your expectations
You need to be realistic when it comes to playing golf in winter conditions. There’s no way you’ll play the same when the weather outside is cold and windy as you would play during pleasant, sunny summer months. Most people experience a slight increase in scoring average for many reasons. So, what you want to do during your cold golf rounds is have fun and relax. The main reason why you’re outside in that awful weather is because you love golf, so don’t expect any record-breaking results. Playing in the cold will do great things for your game, however, and give you some advantage over those who choose to go out only when it’s warm.
Conclusion: How to Play Golf in Cold Weather
All in all, don’t fear cold. Sure, golfing in sub-par weather conditions can be difficult, but it’s just weather—no point to be intimidated by some wind and chills. If you have proper gear and clothing on your side and you go through appropriate preparation, you’ll enjoy your game more than you might think. Now that you know how to play golf in cold weather go out and enjoy!