playing golf in winter

Golf Tips For Winter Golf

With the end of day-light saving here in Europe this weekend and the colder months approaching, I was chatting to Maurice the other day about how this impacts (literally!) our golf game and what we can do to minimise the impact and maximise our scores…

If it’s summer where you are, make sure you store these winter golf tips away for when your winter starts! But if you happen to be visiting somewhere with a colder/wetter climate for a game, then you’ll find them invaluable!

Winter golf brings a whole new set of problems to an already difficult game including:-

  • The ball doesn’t travel as far – either in the air or along the ground
  • Dirt will often stick to your golf ball
  • We often have to play from temporary tees
  • Poor putting surfaces (there’s not much you can do about this one)
  • Trying to keep ourselves warm!

So – what golf tips can we offer to try and help you get through the cold winter months and keep shooting low scores?

Winter Golf Tip #1
Keep Your Golf Balls Warm!

Warmer golf balls travel through the air further than cold ones. This is mainly because the core gets harder when it’s cold so you need to generate more swing speed to hit the ball your usual distance.

To help overcome this firstly ensure you arrive at the first tee with at least two warm golf balls. Even put them on a radiator the night before and then keep them in your pocket until you get to the first tee.

You are allowed to change your golf ball between holes, so you can alternate the golf balls and try to re-warm the one you’re not using by keeping it in your hands or trouser pocket. Trust me – this one really CAN make a difference…

Winter Golf Tip #2
Always Take Advantage Of The ‘Lift and Place’ Rule

WARNING ! Ensure you know what your club’s rules are for lifting and placing – they vary from club to club.

However – assuming this rule is in play, always take advantage of it when you can.

This is for a couple of reasons. Firstly, it gives you the opportunity to clean any mud off of your ball which would of course affect the strike and the flight. Secondly, it allows you to have a better lie on the fairway – which can become quite bare in the winter.

Winter Golf Tip #3
If In Doubt OVER Club Don’t Under Club

With cold golf balls, an often cold golfer and usually some winds to contend with, don’t try and bust a 5 iron 180 yards or so when an easy 4 iron or 5 wood will get you there.

I remember one really cold winter playing from 150 yards out into a strong wind with a 3 iron which I normally hit around 200 yards. My friend couldn’t believe I needed that much club and hit a 7 iron – coming up 20 yards short. My 3 iron was pin high!

Winter Golf Tip #4
Keep Yourself Warm

Maybe an obvious one this, but I’ve seen so many golfers getting cold playing in the winter and this is not only dangerous (it could lead to a muscle injury), but it also doesn’t allow you to swing at your best and is also not a lot of fun!

Thank goodness there are no golf fashion rules…

In harsh winters I always used to wear some thermal underwear (very sexy!), a good pair of socks, a wind proof sweater and probably a hat.

You also need to try and keep your hands warm so you still have some feel when you’re putting. A set of golf mittens work well or one of those little hand warmers you simply squeeze and keep in your pocket.

A Couple Of Final Winter Golf Tips:

  • Make sure your golf shoes’ spikes are in good condition – you need all the grip you can get in muddy/wet conditions.
  • Remember the golf greens are usually softer during the winter so don’t be afraid to go right at the flag stick.

And finally the very last tip about winter golf is to remember that spring/summer are not that far away!