Here are 9 essential winter golf tips to increase your enjoyment when the weather dips.
When fall and winter arrive, it’s not time to put those clubs away.
I used to feel a bit nostalgic as the colder temperatures arrived. Golf courses became quieter and the days started to get shorter and shorter.
With the official golf season winding down, it meant less golf and putting the golf clubs away until warmer temperatures returned.
What I have learned though, over the years living in the north is that there are ways to continue playing golf in the fall and winter.
As long as you are prepared.
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 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 Essential Tips for Playing Winter Golf
1. Layer Up With Your Winter Golf Apparel
As the cooler weather approaches, there may be days when you head out and it is cold, but then warms up a bit.
Wearing layers allows you to adjust your wardrobe. Taking off or adding a layer while outside in the elements is important to your comfort.
For example, I like to wear a light long sleeve tech shirt as the 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. Just be sure they can wick away moisture, are comfortable, breathable, and lightweight.
I like this lightweight vest because it isn’t too puffy and 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. You could even wear a light fleece jacket and a down jacket as the final layer if the temperatures are really dipping down. The key is to be warm enough but not have too much bulk.
Keep the jacket lightweight like the photo above.
If you wear a big puffy coat, you’ll run into the issue of being restricted in swinging the golf club, so layering is helpful to your golf game.
Wearing a pair of warm golf pants will help keep your bottom half cozy.
I get cold easily, so once the temperatures start to dip, I like to wear these fleece lined women’s winter golf pants to keep warm especially if there are any windy days.
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.
They have an instant warming effect especially on those hands and fingers that can get so cold. I love bringing these whenever I am outside for a good amount of time as the rawness and cold can really get to you. Just pop a few of them in your golf bag and have them available when needed.
I have a friend who has a pair of golf mittens that attach to her pushcart so her hands are kept toasty and warm while walking. Oh yeah, I got these last year and it was a game-changer. Hands get nice and toasty while walking and pushing your cart.
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, it will also get the blood flowing and keep you warmer.
Most courses won’t have electric carts available through the winter months, so you will have to resort to walking anyways.
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 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 exact distances 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.
Make sure you do warm-up exercises and stretches to get the body looser.
Bring a friend or several friends so you can catch up, socialize, and have a good time. It’s always more fun with companions.
When I go out and see other groups, besides the typical 2 somes and 4 somes, I’ll also see 5 somes and one time even a 7 some. The more the merrier in golf, especially during the offseason when things are a bit more laid back.
Schedule a weekly tee time/meet up so that you are held accountable for meeting up and getting out there. Many times, when we are inside our warm homes, it is much harder to get the motivation to go outside and golf in the freezing cold.
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 if it is too cold outside.
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 summer.
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 anyway.
Most importantly, have fun. You’ll be happy you went out and will appreciate when spring comes!
Preparation is key in playing golf in the winter season
These are some great tips and strategies on playing golf in the winter or rather playing golf outside in the cold.
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 to from you. Let us know any other ideas or thoughts you might have.
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