Here are 9 strategies to playing your best golf in the winter.
The month of October is when the golf course becomes quieter and the leagues and golf groups start to wind down their official golf season. I always feel a bit sad because the cold weather is coming and usually it means putting away the golf clubs until the Spring.
Winter golf is not something I typically do, but this year I am going to try and play as much as I can. I am typically a fair weather golfer and am a bit of a tropical girl having spent many years of my childhood growing up in Hawaii.
What this means is that I am not a huge fan of the cold! However, I know there will be days where the temperatures might be cold, but warm enough to go out and play.
Living here in the New England area for the last 22 years, I have become accustomed to dressing for the weather. People in my area have a saying, “there is no such thing as bad weather, just bad gear”.
If you are planning on playing through the cold season, here are 9 essential tips to playing your best winter golf:
1. Wear Layers.
An undergarment of some sort to start with, layering underneath with a vest, a fleece and an outer layer wind shirt as a shell.
You can find all kinds of activewear with innovative materials that can wick away moisture, as well as heat insulation garments that are comfortable, breathable and lightweight.
2. Keep Your Hands, Feet, Head and Ears Warm.
Wear wool socks and winter gloves specifically made for playing golf
as the grip will be different. These golf gloves come in handy when your hands need to be able to grip the club.
Bring hand warmers as they can really help. This is a game-changer – I have a friend who has a pair of golf mittens that attach to her push cart
so her hands are kept toasty and warm while walking.
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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9 Ways to Play Your Best Winter Golf