As with any outdoor sport, golf can be subject to the weather.
It might be rain and high winds in the south or blizzards and cold in the north, but wherever you go, there will be something.
When the weather gets less than ideal you have two options – go ahead and play anyways, or pack up your clubs and go home.
Dealing with the weather:
The biggest thing about dealing with the weather is to be prepared. Check the weather forecast before you go out. Are you going to be dealing with rain that day? Are they predicting a drizzle or a downpour? Pack your bags accordingly.
Also, keep in mind that your golf performance is not going to be as good as usual with the weather against you. Chance are it will slow you up, so you might not be able to play as many greens or holes that you usually do. You can use this as a way to help improve your short game.
If rain is in the forecast, plan for it. Put your rain suit on before you head out for the golf course, not once it has started raining.
It is also a good idea to warm up in your rain suit to get used to the more restrictive feel. Buy golf shoes that are waterproof. If you wear golf shoes all the time, you will get used to the feel of them.
Umbrellas and gloves are also a good investment if you plan to hit the golf course on we days. Keep a spare pair of gloves in a place where they will not get wet, such as a plastic zipper bag.
Make sure that you have extra dry towels for your hands and clubs as well – wet grips and gloves will make your grip tighter, which will mess up your golf swing.
When playing in the rain, it is also important to consider the effect of rain on the ball as well. Rain often reduces the distance off the tee and the ball travels shorter in the air. Putting on wet grass is slower and harder.
Wind can put a damper on your golf game as well. If you try hitting the ball low it helps against the wind.
Other golfers prefer to maintain a solid contact. Move the ball back in your stance, so that you strike the ball squarely, which will help lower the ball in flight.
Watch your balance – it is easy to lose in the wind. Make it a little wider for extra stability. Do not allow wind gusts to mess up the rhythm of your sings – try to maintain an even rhythm with every shot. Make sure to compensate enough for the wind.
A headwind will lose you an average of 18 yards for every 10 miles per hour. A tailwind will help you to gain 10 yards for every 10 mph. Also try to think ahead when you are shooting – you want to be able to make the shot easily and not end up in a position where the wind makes your shot impossible.
Cold is another factor that can make golfing difficult, particularly in the northern areas of the United States where a large portion of the year can be cold.
Never start a round of golf cold. Warm up inside and dress accordingly before you leave the locker room. Warming up is especially crucial in cold weather, so do some extra stretches.
Dress in layers, so that you can shed clothes if you need to as the game progresses. Long underwear and wind-breaking suits can help keep you toasty. A lot of heat escapes from your head, so always wear a hat.
It is also super important to keep you hands warm, while you play, so consider ski mittens over your golf glove. You can even get disposable heat pads like hunters use to slide down inside.
On the course, walking from hole to hole will keep you warmer than in the cart. Balls travel less in cold weather – you lose approximately two yards for every 10-degree drop in temperature. You may have to vary up your club selection if you feel the cold is affecting your golf swing.
With a little planning and preparation, you can beat the weather and play golf whenever your heart desires. Just remember to think ahead about all of your options and you will do just fine.