How to modify your golf game for winter

Seamus Rotherick
By Seamus Rotherick November 6, 2020 16:16

Winter is coming, and the cold weather makes playing golf that little bit tougher. Luckily, we have some great tips to help ensure your scores don’t drop with the temperature this season. There’s something for everyone here, whether you want to brave the elements and carry on golfing as usual or find an alternative without damaging your performance.

And if you do choose to take up alternative sports and games, who could blame you. But, if you do stick with golf – come spring, everyone will want to know the secret to your golfing success!

Glove up

Keep your hands warm in the cold weather by investing in a decent pair of winter gloves to wear whilst playing golf. If you’re heading to the golf course whatever the weather, be prepared with some wet weather gloves. These are a must-have for golfers because they give you a firm grip whilst wet, ensuring you keep hold of your club. Storing spare gloves in a freezer bag will protect them from the elements.

Effective layering

Bulky clothing will limit your swing, so be smart with your layering to keep warm without hindering your performance.

A thin base layer made from performance fabrics will help to regulate your body temperature by locking in heat and releasing moisture and sweat. A performance sweater is an ideal mid-layer in frigid weather. It will help you retain heat without adding bulk.

Long johns will help to keep your legs warm in chilly winds. If you have room in your shoes, wear two pairs of socks.

Waterproofing

A waterproof suit is the only solution for the most extreme weather. If you want full protection from the elements in winter, quality is key when it comes to choosing your waterproofs. Golf waterproofs have improved dramatically in recent years, and there are plenty of options on the market. Do some research before buying to make sure you get your money’s worth.

Similarly, a waterproof bag is a must in winter if you plan to play a lot of golf. Without one, all your clubs and belongings will get soaked.

Keep your golf balls warm

Warm golf balls fly further than cold ones. For every ten degrees of temperature drop, a ball carries two yards shorter. Ensure your balls stay nice and warm by keeping them in your pocket from green to tee. Chucking your ball towards the next tee to be picked up when you get there is a bad habit in winter – one which will hamper your performance!

Regularly clean the soles of your shoes

The ground is less stable in winter and can cause you to slip around and lose your footing. Make sure you keep the soles of your shoes clean to maximise grip. When out on the course, a tee is an ideal tool for clearing away dirt, ice, sand, and anything that’s lodged in your cleats, causing grip loss.

Add weight to your putter

Golf greens are softer in winter, and the grass isn’t cut as low. That makes them much slower than in the summer months. Adding some weight to your putter will give you greater ball speed to counter the effect of the winter greens. It can also provide a smoother pace to your stroke. Additional weight can be gained by adding lead tape to the sole or changing to a larger design. Alternatively, invest in a putter with adjustable weight ports.

Add loft to your driver

With softer greens, you will need to keep the ball in the air as long as possible to maximise distance. To do this, you will need to launch the ball higher. Adding some loft to your driver will help with this. Most modern drivers allow you to add several degrees of loft, which could help you improve your overall distance this winter.

Choose higher bounce wedges

On softer ground, you have to be more precise with your strike to ensure you make clean contact. Adding a wedge with more bounce will help the leading edge to stay up better on impact, rather than digging into the soft ground.

Use distance golf balls

Choosing golf balls designed for distance will help to offset some of the lost carry due to cold temperatures. Switch to bright coloured balls for increased visibility in poor weather conditions. Some brands make yellow balls, and these can often be the easiest to see on grey and rainy days.

Putt indoors

If you can’t face the outdoors when the worst weather hits, consider taking the game indoors. This is a great way to practice your skills without the discomfort of wind, rain, and freezing temperatures. Head to an indoor green if you can. If not, you can still practice at home on a carpeted floor using a cup for a hole. Whilst this won’t be as fast as the green, it’s great for practice and will help you improve your short game ready for spring.

Try a golf simulator

If you’re serious about investing in your game, a golf simulator is a good alternative during the winter season. Although a bit pricey, simulators are a great form of training that allows you to brush up on your skills. A significant benefit of a simulator is that you get instant feedback that helps you improve rapidly.

Watch golf on TV

In the worst weather, why not stay at home and learn from the pros on TV. Watching the best players in tournaments all over the world will help you gain tips to improve your game in time for spring.

Head to the gym

Keeping in good physical health is key to maximising your performance on the green. Winter is a great time to get into a regular fitness routine indoors, either at home or at the gym where it’s warm and dry. There are several areas of fitness that can help you become a better golfer. Weight training can help you build strength. Yoga and Pilates can help you improve your balance and hip flex. Core training can help improve your swing and flexibility.

Go abroad

If you really can’t stand the winter weather in the UK, but don’t want to miss out on playing golf, consider booking a golfing holiday abroad. This is an expensive way of modifying your golf game for winter, but it can also be the most effective. Top destinations include Spain, Portugal and Italy, where you can play in the sunshine even in winter.

Don’t let the harsh winter weather be an excuse to stop golfing. Modify your golf game with some of our tips, and you will be ready and raring to go out and win, whether you’re braving the elements or waiting for the weather to improve.

 

Seamus Rotherick
By Seamus Rotherick November 6, 2020 16:16
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