Winter Golf

Winter golf presents a unique set of challenges, but with challenges come opportunities and often it can be a great chance to hone other aspects of your game. Check out my 5 top tips for winter golf to set yourself up for success when braving the elements for the love of the game.

warm bobble hat for golf

1.      Layer up

Layering up during winter season, typically October to March, helps you to retain body heat but also adapt to the unpredictable weather. You want warmth but not bulk to ensure that your swing is not restricted.

Keeping your feet warm and dry is key so invest in a good pair of golf shoes and make sure that golf mitts and neck warmers are never far from reach. With the majority of heat being lost through your head, make sure you have a hat which will double up against the wind.

Nobody I know enjoys playing in the rain, but sometimes you can get caught out.  Waterproof jackets and trousers are essential, light and breathable offer the best in terms of comfort and performance.

 

2.      Spend more time warming up

This is a very much "do as I say, not as I do"! My warm-up routine often consists of necking a hot coffee and throwing out a couple of bad one liners. If time permits, arrive a little earlier than normal and complete some simple warm-up exercises. Focus on your neck, shoulders and trunk. Make a few swings with a 7-iron, working your way up to sand wedge and then back down to your 4-iron. Finally, a few swings with your driver. I like to work sets of 3, so you should aim for at least 30 warm-up swings before you tee up your ball.

 

3.      Understand winter golf rules

Golf is a game that has some of the most peculiar and complex rules. I've been playing for a long time and I'm still not sure on all the intricacies.  That said, one thing I always check is the winter rules when I arrive at the 1st tee.  Each course may introduce local rules, so be sure to check them before you tee up. Preferred lies, casual water and embedded balls are a few common rules to look out for.

 

4.      Take more club

Playing during the winter season is a different game so change your mind set and expectations. The cold, dense air will mean your golf ball will not fly as far as it would in the summer (unless you hit your wedge like a 5-iron). As a result, it is always wise to take an extra club so you can cover the distance. If your 9-iron normally goes 150 yards, then you may be better playing your 8-iron which has a stronger loft.

The fairways will likely be soft so the bounce and run from your drives will be much less, meaning distance in the air off the tee is crucial.  The greens may be slower as green keepers tend to keep the grass a little longer to protect against frost. You'll need to give that 10-foot putt a bit more welly.  Some players even switch their golf ball from their normal summer ball (I guess they can't be blamed for not wanting to loose their ProV1s!).

Bobble Hat for Winter Golf

5.      Be Patient

You will have to accept that it is winter and that your golf ball will likely be gobbled up by soft fairways, lost under the fallen leaves or simply pinched by the golf course fairies!

Remember, above all, winter golf should always be enjoyable and about having a laugh with your playing partners.

Tee it high and let it fly!

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