How To Stay Warm When The Temperature Drops

Photo by Micky**
Photo by Micky**

Golfing in cooler weather can present a challenge. The golf ball doesn’t travel as far and your body takes longer to loosen up.  I’ll give you a couple pointers to guide you through the colder days.

Have you ever heard of golfers using a microwave to heat up their golf balls before a round?  Before I got in the golf business I may have tried this tactic.  Sorry to burst your bubble, but the radiation (and the heat) won’t last!  Instead of ruining your golf balls in the microwave, try doing this: use two golf balls intermittently during your round.  Keep one in your pocket and alternate with the ball in use every other hole.

There are companies that sell portable propane heaters for use in your golf cart.  If you haven’t seen one on the golf course yet, you soon will, as they are becoming very popular.  They are portable and are designed to fit in the drink holder of your golf cart.  These portable propane heaters, coupled with the use of a cart cover are the way to go when golfing in cold weather.

For those golfers that are looking for an even more portable product, I’ve got one for you –  Hot Hands!  These little gems are the shape of a small packet, the size of a large tea bag, and will give you up to eight hours of heat.  These heat pads are not going to burn your hands, but they will keep your hands nice and warm so you still have the touch to pull off the Phil Mickleson-esque flop shop!

The next tip will shed some light as to where you should store your golf clubs during the cooler weather and the side effects if you don’t.  It’s tough but try to be proactive about your upcoming round of golf and avoid storing your clubs in the trunk of the car or in the garage when the temperature drops.  Store them inside, somewhere that is nice and warm, like the closet. I like to make the clubs think they are in time out, and they need to think about how they can perform better, in hope that my next round will be better!

If you choose to store your clubs in the car or garage during the cooler months, these following scenarios may be in your future.  When you hit a golf shot the clubhead will feel harder, the result of the combination of the cold clubs and a cooler golf ball.  The club shaft will also become stiffer in the cooler weather.  Graphite shafts tend to be affected to a much larger extent than steel shafts.

My last tip for you will be that you should always stretch and warm-up before playing a round of golf.  Flexibility is a big factor when playing in cool weather.  Flexibility helps create the motion to move a body part through its full and normal range with minimal resistance.  In order to stay flexible you need to stretch on a regular basis.  Stretching will help decrease the susceptibility to injury and potentially improve your performance.

During any sporting activity, muscles continually contract and remain in a tightened position once the activity has ended.  Therefore, stretching is recommended after your round of golf in order to decrease muscle tightness and prevent the onset of delayed muscle soreness.  A pre-round flexibility program should be preceded by several minutes of warm-up in order to increase body temperature.  Here is a brief list of some good pre-round areas to stretch that you can do in a matter of minutes:

  • Hamstrings
  • Quadriceps
  • Hip Flexors
  • Hip Abductors
  • Calves
  • Lower Back

I would recommend checking with your primary care physician, physical trainer, or other medical professional before you begin a specific routine.  Golf is as aerobic as you want to make it.  I’m an advocate for walking during a round of golf, and walking is obviously better than riding in a cart to keep your muscles active.  I have actually seen people jog between shots!

I hope you take advantage of these tips and find your way to better golf as the seasons change!

Alan Unruh

Alan Unruh is a Class “A” member of the PGA of America, and holds PGA Certifications in General Management, Golf Operations and Player Development. With these certifications, he is among the 1% of PGA members that hold multiple PGA Certifications. He has a profound passion for the game of golf along with extensive experience and knowledge regarding planning and strategy for golf operations, rules of golf, tournament operations and golf swing fundamentals. Alan has also played a crucial role helping manage multiple high profile tournaments throughout his career including the USGA Women’s U.S. Open, PGA and LPGA Tour events, and multiple NCAA and AJGA events.