With modern equipment and a few simple hacks, there is no reason golfers need to shut up shop over the winter months. Sure, the course may not be in the best condition and you may need to wear more clothes, but that’s not to say you can’t have some class days on the golf course.
But if you turn up to play without planning your day, golfers can be in for a shock. The cold temperatures and course conditions a particular set of skills – thankfully, we have acquired these skills over a very long career…and we’re now going to share them with you.
These are some tips to keep in mind to enjoy your winter golf.
1) Winter mitts or pocket warmers
Playing golf with frozen hands is really tough. You lose all feel, a thinned iron shot will cause some serious pain, and it just generally isn’t comfortable.
Find yourself a pair of winter mitts or hand warmers, which can be used in between shots. The time you actually spend swinging compared to the time spend outdoors on the course is fractional, so it’s a good idea to thaw your fingers between strikes.
2) Carry your bag
Often golf clubs will ban trolleys in wet winter months because they churn up the course, but there’s another reason carrying should be an option in winter – it keeps you warm.
Not only does is provide an extra layer, it will also keep you moving more which should warm you up.
It’s also an idea to get a waterproof bag to keep your clubs dry when it chucks it down.
3) Keep a ball in your pocket
You’ll be staggered how much further a warm golf ball travels compared to a cold one. With that in mind, keep one ball in your pocket on every hole and switch it into play at the end of each hole.
4) Winter golf gloves
This is the only time when it’s acceptable to rock the double glove. Winter golf gloves are thicker and more durable than their summer counterparts. They’ll also perform a lot better in the wet – just remember to dry them out at the end of the round.
5) Base layer
We’re talking top and bottoms – when the mercury goes the wrong side of 0, it’s the difference between being comfortable on the course and hateing every minute.
Not only will it keep you warm, but if you do start to heat up it will help dissipate the sweat so you don’t freeze when your body temperature drops.
6) Invest in quality waterproofs
Waterproofs are obviously useful for when it rains, but they also stop the wind permeating your clothing.
Make sure you invest in a decent pair so they do what they are meant to. It’s no fun finding out your waterproof is in fact not waterproof, and rather a sponge, after six holes.
7) Don’t layer up too much
It’s tempting to raid the wardrobe and put on as much clothing as possible, but too many layers will lead to a hampered swing.
Modern golf clothing is made to be both warm and flexible, so you don’t have to wear a ridiculous amount of layers and risk looking like the Michelin Man on the first tee.
8) Wear spikes
Time to sub out the mouldies for the winter – you’re going to need maximum grip, and that means spikes.
Even if you turn up to a frozen golf course which may seem like spikeless conditions, the frost will melt and the fairways will become wet.
9) Change your strategy, and your expectations
There’s no point getting frustrated with your scores or your driving distances in the winter. You need to factor in you will not get as much roll as in summer, the greens will probably be shambolic, and your body will be cold and not working at a premium.
Don’t try and play the course the same way you would in the winter. You’ll need to plot a new path and try different shots. Be creative with it.
10) Consider your ball
Should you be playing a coloured ball? Should you go for a ball offering more distance? Is it worth playing a premium ball in the winter months?
It’s worth mulling over and considering your options.