December is here and for much of the country, the golf season is over (Boo!). In states where courses are still open, cold temperatures can make rounds hard. Diehards won’t be deterred from getting their rounds in, though. When the mercury is low, here’s what you need to know to play golf well in winter.
Golf Well in Winter
Layers, layers, layers. This is the mantra a seasoned winter golfer lives by. Base layers, knit hats, and winter gloves are examples of essential pieces to keep you warm. Keeping your body warm lets you make your best swing and protects from injuries, like pulling a muscle. If the weather warms up enough, you can take off a layer or 2 to regulate your body temperature.
For some suggestions on some layers, check out one of our recent posts.
Wearing layers could also prevent you from taking a full swing. To solve this, we get to our second tip.
Pick the Right Club, Swing Easy
Hitting one club more (at least) is needed for playing golf well in winter. In the colder air, the ball doesn’t travel as far as it does in warm air. So, expecting that 8 iron to go 150 yards will leave you chipping from 5 to 10 yards short of the green all day long. The yardage you get from hitting a longer club leads to the second part of this tip; swinging easy.
As we mentioned, taking a full speed swing can be hard with the extra layers. Taking the extra club(s), you know that you can swing easier and still get the distance you need.
Also, no one likes the pain and tingling that resonates through your hand after a mishit, especially when its cold out. Swinging easy and playing the ball slightly further back in your stance than normal helps prevent these shots.
When it’s cold, it takes longer to warm up and get loose. It’s also hard to stay loose for the whole round. To combat this, get to the course early, leaving enough time to loosen up before you tee off. You don’t have to change your warm-up routine you normally use. If anything, you want to add a few more stretches in to make sure your muscles are loose.
Once on the course, keep moving as much as possible to stay loose. Walking your round, versus taking a cart, is the best way to do this. If you decide to ride, consider alternating holes with your playing partner; one of you drives, one walks.
Next time you and your group decide to form your own Polar Bear golf club, keep these tips in mind. But, most importantly, have fun. That’s the real reason we all play this game.
Other Winter Golf Guides