Empty fairways are a great plus when playing during the winter (Photo: Justin Bretherton
1. More club
Check your ego before you start! Your ball will not go as far in the
cold. You might have to hit 1-2 clubs more (so, a 5 iron instead of a 7
iron) on every shot, but at least you’ll be sure to get to the hole.
Because the ball doesn’t go as far, you might also consider playing one
tee up from your normal length. A quick round will get you back to the
fireplace a lot sooner.
Make sure to use those low irons when it's cold (Photo credits: Liam Minty - Unsplash)
2. Keep walking
If you can, then choose to walk rather than to use a buggy or cart. You
will be surprised how much walking will warm up your body. You will also
stay looser and your swing won’t suffer too much.
3. Use two balls
Cold golf balls don’t fly as far as warm balls, so use two balls. Use
each ball on alternate holes, keeping the other in your pocket to keep
them as warm as possible. As long as you do not artificially heat the
balls during the round you are within the rules.
4. Proper clothing
You’re gonna need your essential winter golf gear! We advise you to wear
multiple layers. It’s up to you what you like to wear, but consider
wearing a (long sleeve) thermal t-shirt, thermal underwear, a sweater
and a light-weight windbreaker. And, don’t forget a good winter hat (we
generally lose 15% – 25% of our body heat through our head). Don’t wear
too much though, you don’t want your swing to suffer.
5. Softer balls
Some golf balls are softer than other golf balls and in cold weather you
will want a ball that is easier to compress. A hard rock ball like a
Top Flite XL will feel like a steel ball on a cold day, so go for a
6. Warm hands
Good gloves really make a difference in winter (Photo credits: Tom Britt - Flickr)
Invest in some good winter gloves. Not normal gloves, they should be suited for golf. Keeping your hands warm and dry while keeping a good grip is crucial!
7. Stay hydrated
Many people will substitute water and energy drinks with coffee and hot
chocolate when it’s cold, and their game suffers. Your body needs
nutrients and hydration especially when it’s cold, and coffee just
doesn’t cut it. Have your hot chocolate, but don’t forget to drink water
or an energy drink every hole to stay properly hydrated.
8. Yellow balls
More and more high-end brands are offering yellow balls (photo credits: Eric Ryu - Pixabay)
Not so long ago, yellow balls were the preserve of driving ranges and
rock-hard budget balls. But now brands like Titleist, Volvik, Srixon or
Bridgestone offer some of their premium balls in yellow as well. Yellow
balls are easier to spot among leaves or frost as yellow is actually
the most visible colour in the spectrum.
9. Smart spotting
The sun is often quite low during the winter and following the flight of
your ball can be tricky. Track your ball from the moment it takes off
until just before it reaches the heart of the sun. Instead of continuing
to follow it – and losing it – turn your attention to the spot where
you think it will land; you’ll soon see it come into view.
10. Winter rules
It’s good to know what to do during winter time and when local rules apply, like:
- preferred lies: this is a local rule, the club determines how far the player is allowed to prefer the lie.
- embedded ball: local rule, check if relief also applies to the rough.
- cleaning the ball: local rule, it allows you to lift your ball and clean it before playing your next shot.
- casual water: local rule, this entitles you to free relief if water is visible under your feet or the ball when you make your normal stance.
We hope you liked our tips and enjoy your round of golf. The main advantages of playing during the winter are empty fairways
(so nobody will be pushing you) and the fact that you will be in shape
when the season starts! And if you $#@%^ winter greens like us, then just go to Leadingcourses.com
and book a golf trip to some warmer countries!