How to Beat the Heat and Stay Cool Golfing in Hot Weather
Golfing in hot weather can be dangerous if you are not prepared. I learned a few Summers ago what that was like.
It was not fun as I came home with a parched mouth, a pounding headache, skin that was hot to the touch and some dizziness.
The key I have learned to staying cool and safe and being able to complete a round of golf as comfortably as possible (in 90 + degree heat) is preparation and awareness.
I am much better now and am sure to check the weather beforehand and be as prepared as possible.
Here are some tips to staying cool while golfing in a heatwave.
Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate!
This is by far one of the most important things you can do when playing golf in hot weather. If you know you are golfing and high temperatures are coming, start hydrating the day before and the day of – with lots of water.
This provides a good base to start with.
Once you are dehydrated especially out on the golf course in the heat, it is really hard for your body to catch up.
It is also extremely important to continue hydrating when you are out on the golf course.
In these hot temperatures, I drink at least 32 ounces of water just on the front 9 and refill my water bottle at the turn.
Replenish with Electrolytes
When you sweat, you lose not only water but also salt and electrolytes.
These need to be replenished so your body can function properly. There are many sports drinks on the market like Gatorade that have electrolytes however, these contain a large amount of sugar. If you want to avoid the sugar load, try adding something like Nuun tablets or even as simple as a pinch of sea salt to your water bottle.
Wear Golf Clothes & Accessories To Keep You Cool
Performance Tech Golf Clothes With UPF 50+
Who wants to be in sticky hot heavy clothing on a hot humid day. Um, no thank you – not me.
Golf clothes have come a long way since I started golfing. Back then I wore heavy cotton pleated khakis and heavy cotton golf polo shirts. The synthetic fabrics used today are so efficient at keeping golfers much cooler.
To combat the hot temperatures, you can now find loose-fitting, light-colored performance golf clothing. Look for clothing that mentions “wicking”, or “wicks away moisture” or “quick drying”. These are the fabrics that will help keep you dry in hot weather or if you sweat a lot.
I really like the feel of a Nike Dryfit Golf Polo as they are lightweight, really comfortable and is quick drying so sweat doesn’t stick to my skin.
Make sure to select UPF clothing if you can to help with sun protection.
Many brands are now offering UPF 30+ sun protection in most of their fabrics.
Golf Skorts and Shorts
A golf skort is such a wonderful addition to golf fashion today. Basically a “skort” is a skirt with built in lightweight or mesh shorts underneath.
You can wear shorts as well, although I personally prefer a skort versus shorts if you are choosing between the two.
For me, shorter shorts tend to ride up a bit and longer shorts tend to not be as breathable or airy as a skort can be.
Trust me, it makes a difference on a hot humid day.
My favorite skort brand and style for golfing in hot weather is the Golftini Pull-On Tech Skort.
They have a nice cool fabric, are not clingy and look amazing.
Plus they have many different patterns and looks.
I’ve even worn these off the golf course out to lunch!
Sun Hats for Golf
Wearing a hat in golf is a must. For sun protection as well as shielding your eyes from the sun’s rays when hitting a golf ball.
There are many you can wear, just be sure that on a hot day, you find one that has good airflow.
I purchased a hat once that had a nice wide brim, but the airflow was terrible and my head felt like it was baking underneath.
Here’s more on Best Hats for Sun Protection.
Moisture Wicking Socks
Yes, even wearing the right socks can make a difference.
Try the tech socks with moisture wicking so your feet stay dry and as cool as can be in your shoes.
Light Breathable Golf Shoes
Golf shoes have come a long way with the many different fabrics you can wear on your feet.
I have a pair of leather golf shoes I wear for wet weather and also a pair of athletic sneaker-type golf shoes from Adidas that I love.
And the great thing is they have a breathable mesh that keeps my feet a bit more cooler on a hot day.
I have a post on Best Golf Shoes for Women if you want to read more.
Golf Gloves That Are Breathable
Wearing a golf glove or 2 golf gloves like I do gets pretty hot in the warmer temperatures.
In fact, I like it when I have to take them off to putt so my hands can breathe and air out a little.
I love my gloves as they are very light, soft, and not as heavy and restrictive as some of the other brands.
I did a review of these golf gloves by Nailed Golf that you can read for more info.
This brand also has tipless gloves which can be another way to add breathability.
I have also seen many ladies wearing mesh golf gloves. Here is a good quality mesh glove by Footjoy.
Use Cooling Golf Accessories
I love and swear by these cooling towels.
I used to live in the Washington DC area of the US, which can get really hot and humid in the summers.
When I discovered these amazing cooling towels, it was a game-changer for me.
I saw someone wearing it around their neck like a scarf on one of the hottest days and come to find out, it was actually cooling them off.
They are almost magical.
Soak them with water (the colder the better), wring it out and somehow the airflow with them creates a coolness that is much needed on any hot day.
If you are riding in a cart, you have the space to bring a small cooler with extra drinks and ice. The ice is great to have to dip your cooling towel in (above) and to keep your beverages and any snacks cool.
We have one of these cooler bags and it works great.
If you want a more heavy duty cooler that keeps everything cold and even the ice from melting for the whole day (maybe even a couple of days), try a Yeti cooler.
It will last a long time and you can use for other day long activities like camping, hunting, fishing, picnics and boating.
Golf Cart Fans
When you are riding in a cart or walking with a pushcart, bring a long a portable clip fan that you can clip on to your golf cart.
It provides instant air. On a hot humid still day, just a little air flow or slight breeze can have a wonderful cooling effect.
Golf Cart Seat Covers
Let’s talk about the hot seats of a golf cart. Ouch.
When I am wearing shorts or a skirt, the vinyl golf cart seats can get burning hot and can make you sweat as well.
Enter in golf cart seat covers. I saw a few ladies at the golf course I play using these and I thought “what a great idea”. This particular seat cover one is light for a hot blazing day and is reversible as well for a colder wet day on the golf course.
I also recently read about something called “Chilly Cheeks” to help keep your bottom and tush cool. Anything goes when keeping you cool on the golf course!
Insulated Water Bottle
I like the Swell bottles when I am walking with a pushcart because they aren’t too bulky or heavy and still keep the water ice cold.
Just put a few pieces of ice in the bottle before your round or during and it will stay that way for hours.
If I am riding in a cart, I take my Hydroflask, which is heavier and bulkier, but it holds more water in it. I purchased this for my daughter who was going hiking in Death Valley in 110+ degrees and she was really happy to have had it.
Kept her drink perfectly cold for the whole day.
Take Shade and Ride in a Cart
Riding in a cart will provide you some shade. If the temperatures are going to hit 95 or higher, I usually take a riding cart because my course can be a bit hilly.
Either way, whether you are riding in a cart or walking, be sure to take cover and find shade when you can. Usually it is when I am waiting for my partners to hit their ball that I look for shady areas nearby.
Shade can provide a nice break from the beating sun and can feel like it’s 10 degrees cooler.
If you are walking, try attaching a golf umbrella to your pushcart. It can make a huge difference. Many pushcart brands sell accessories like umbrella attachments.
Be Careful and Be Aware of Any Signs or Symptoms
The first time I was hit with heat exhaustion, I was not aware that it could be dangerous.
Be sure to know that if you start feeling the symptoms of heat-related illnesses like heat stroke and heat exhaustion, you need to stop playing and go to a cooler place preferably indoors with air conditioning.
Watch for symptoms such as dizziness, nausea, headache, or muscle cramps.
The CDC has a complete list here. It is always better to be on the safe side and to be aware and prepared.