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Essential Tips for Cold Weather Golf
When fall and winter arrive, you don’t necessarily have to put your clubs away.
I used to feel sad when the colder temperatures arrived here in New England. Then, I heard about a group of golfers that actually golf throughout the winter. Unless there is snow on the ground that prevents them from golfing, they are out there every week playing through cold. Talk about hardy die hard golfers!
What I have learned though, over the years living in the colder north is that there are ways to stay warm, and so I thought I could probably continue playing golf at least through the fall and parts of the winter.
The most important tip is being prepared and knowing what to expect.
And honestly, if I can do it, you can do it.
I grew up in Hawaii, so cold is not something I absolutely love. For years, I was a fair-weather golfer but as I have become more passionate about golf, I have learned to adapt and play golf in cold weather.
My husband has a saying, “there is no such thing as bad weather, just bad gear”.
Below are the 9 essential tips on how you can be as prepared as possible to play golf in the cold weather and continue to enjoy this amazing game.
9 Ways to Play Golf When the Temperatures Drop
1. Layer Up With Cold Weather Winter Golf Apparel
As the cooler temperatures dip, layering up is key to being prepared.
Having multiple layers allows you to adjust your comfort level depending on how cold it is. It may be cold earlier in the morning and get warmer during the round. Taking off or adding a layer while outside in the elements is going to make a big difference in how you feel.
For me, especially later in the Fall, I like to wear a long-sleeve athletic base layer. You can wear this layer under a vest, or jacket, or even under a collared golf shirt.
There are all kinds of activewear these days with innovative materials.
I like the North Face lightweight vest because it isn’t too puffy or bulky and allows you to move your arms freely. This can be worn alone or with a jacket or coat on top.
The jacket or coat on top will depend on how cold it is outside.
A light fleece jacket tech golf jacket like below works well for a fall crisp day.
If you need one final layer for winter golf, I like to wear a soft down jacket with not too much bulk.
The upper body is important to keep warm, but layers help to keep yourself warm, comfortable, and swinging as freely as possible.
Wearing the right pair of golf pants will help keep your bottom half cozy and warm.
If you want a pair of fleece-lined athletic pants that are comfortable to move around in, my favorite all-time are these fleece-lined women’s winter pant which are great for golf, hiking, dog walking, and snow shoveling!
2. Keep Your Hands, Feet, Head and Ears Warm.
What I have experienced playing golf in the cold is that my fingers and toes are the first to get cold. If you are walking, the exercise will most certainly help, but the worst is when your hands are too cold to grip the golf club.
These winter golf gloves specifically made for playing golf have been great for me. They were a little snug, so I’d go up a size. They also come in standard black but also a few different fun patterns.
Also, I highly recommend bringing hand warmers, which can be stored easily in your golf bag when you need them.
Here is what really saved the day for me on the colder days when the fingers start to get too cold.
Golf mittens that attach to the pushcart so my hands are kept toasty and warm while walking. Oh yeah, this was a game-changer. The biggest thing for me when playing golf in the winter is my hands. If they become too cold, I don’t like to play. These mittens keep your hands warm while pushing your cart between shots.
Wearing a winter hat, well that is a must for everyone. Heat can be lost through your head if it is unprotected.
I like to have a winter hat with a visor to keep the sun out of my eyes. TrailHeads Fleece Ponytail Cap with Dropdown Ear Warmer is a hat that perfectly combines keeping your head warm while protecting your eyes from the sun’s glare.
Keeping these extremities warm is very important to your winter golf enjoyment.
3. Walk the Course.
It will not only feel great to walk because you will be getting exercise, but it will also get the blood flowing and keep you warmer.
Most courses won’t have electric or motorized carts available through the winter months, so you will have to resort to walking anyway.
4. Practice Different Shots.
This is the perfect time to experiment with different shots on the course. Since there are usually temporary tee boxes and greens, the distances and yardages will be different than what you are used to playing on the same course during the golf season.
So, why not practice your short game during this time.
A fun way is to measure the distance to the temporary pin or hole and try to get the ball as close to the pin as possible without much roll. This can help your short game tremendously in determining the exact distances or carry for each of your wedges.
5. Be sure to stretch.
Because of the colder air, your body won’t be as flexible and the bulkiness of having extra layers on, may not allow you to have as much flexibility.
It is really important to do warm-up exercises and stretches to get the body looser. Golf is all about being loose and free, but winter golf tightens you up. Exercises to help you loosen up will help your golf game and may even help prevent any cold-related injuries.
Bring a friend or several friends so you can catch up, socialize, and have a good time. It’s always more fun with companions.
In golf, groups are limited to four people. However, once the courses shut down and add temporary tee boxes or greens, it is a much more laid-back round. In fact, with so few golfers on the course, I have seen groups of five, or even six people just golfing around. The more the merrier, especially during the offseason when you aren’t really holding anyone up.
Schedule a weekly tee time/meet-up so that you are held accountable to others. Otherwise it can become much harder to get out the door. Many times, when we are inside our warm homes, it’s easier to come up with excuses than to go outside in the freezing cold and golf.
7. Be Flexible.
Play 9 or 18 holes and be flexible as it will be dependent on how cold it feels once you are out playing. If you end up being too cold, don’t keep playing. It is not worth it to be uncomfortable. It is best to go inside and get warm.
8. Bring a nice hot beverage in a warming thermos or water bottle.
I have been on the fields many times for my children’s soccer games in the freezing cold. Having a nice warm beverage to drink can help warm the insides. There are many heated water bottles that keep a beverage warm for over 8 hours.
9. Lower your expectations and have fun.
The cold air affects the distance the ball will travel and the golf ball will not go as far as it would in the warmer weather.
Place and lift the ball as needed, and don’t worry about your score.
In the colder regions, the official handicap program is closed after a certain date so scores can’t be entered.
Most importantly, have fun. You’ll be happy you went out and will appreciate it when spring comes!
Preparation is key in playing golf in the winter season.
Follow these great tips and strategies on how to play golf in the fall and winter.
The best way to combat this and to have the most enjoyment is to prepare with the right layers and gear and the right mindset.
If you are a winter golfer and know how to brave the cold and play golf through the winter months, I’d love to hear from you. Comment below with any other great tips!
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