Contrary to conventional wisdom, fall is the not end of the golf season in Minnesota. The courses don’t cover their greens and they don’t shutter the clubhouses when the trees start to turn. In fact, fall is one of the best times to play golf in Minnesota, you just have to be prepared for any kind of weather – because could experience many of them over the course of your round. Check out these fall golf tips so you don’t miss this glorious season of golf in Minnesota:
- Enjoy the Season
The golf courses in Minnesota typically reach their peak of conditioning when the fall arrives and the harsh, beating sun is lower in the sky. The trees are turning colors, the air is crisp, the courses are typically less crowded, and it is a great time be outside and enjoying the change of seasons. But you should be aware that the weather in autumn in Minnesota can change even quicker than a birdie can become a bogie. So, be prepared.
- Watch the Weather
Make sure to check out the weather online before you book a tee time or head to the course. And because the weather can change so quickly, consider getting a weather app on your smartphone so you can stay up-to-date on the forecast and know what’s coming. You can prepare for rain and you can prepare for cold, but mix them together and it’s a recipe for a washed out round and wasted day.
- Wear Layers
Wearing layers is the key to a proper wardrobe for the course in the fall. You can always remove a layer if your activity warms you up – but you can’t put something on if you don’t bring it along to the course.
Wearing breathable materials keeps you warm and dry, and much of it is very flexible that shouldn’t impede your swing.
- Gearing Up with Rain Gear
You likely have plenty of compartments on your golf bag, so one of them should house your rain gear. There are a lot of different styles on the market, but be sure to find something that keeps you dry and allows you to take a full swing. A rain hat is also recommend to keep your head dry and it can help keep your vision unobstructed from rain.
Consider wearing some water resistant shoes – even when it is not raining, as there is a lot more dew on the fairways in the fall. And nothing short-circuits a round sooner than wet, soggy feet.
- Warm Hands, Better Touch
In cold weather, your hands lose their feel. For some older golfers, they can even stiffen up and cause all kinds of problems for your game. Take along a pair of gloves (in addition to the one you use for gripping the club) and use them between holes or shots. Your hands on the club is the most important physical contact between you and the game, so your hands should have the subtle feel of a mid-July day to keep scoring in the fall.
You can also take along lightweight hand-warmer packets – carry them in your pockets or in your gloves and stay warm when holding an ice-cold beverage.
Also take along a beanie, stocking hat or headband to keep your ears warm if there is a cold wind or you are riding in the cart. You can play with cold ears, but you will be distracted by them and might not play as well.
- Stretch Before You Swing
It doesn’t matter how old you are, a good stretch before a fall round is always a good idea. You won’t be as limber in the wind, rain and cold, so getting warm before the round and staying warm by doing stretches during the round will make the day more enjoyable.
In addition, you should stretch beforehand with your rain or cold weather gear on, just to make sure that they don’t obstruct your swing in anyway. You don’t have to swing harder to account for the gear, just make sure you have the room and flexibility to take your normal swing.
- Club Up
This isn’t a fall golf wardrobe tip, but it is sound advice for playing late in the year. The golf courses will play a little longer in the fall, whether it’s due to rain, wind, air density, or even dew on the greens, so always club up to make sure you are hitting it as far as you are intending.
And if you are playing in Minnesota, don’t forget the “leaf rule.” The courses will be filled with colorful foliage, but unfortunately it makes its way to the ground and can easily hide your ball, even in the fairway. Ask at the clubhouse if the leaf rule is in effect, and keep an eye on your ball as it heads into a pile of leaves. It saves strokes and time searching for leaf-covered golf balls.
Enjoy the season!
Explore Minnesota Golf Alliance is a non-profit membership organization whose mission is to raise awareness of Minnesota golf courses and resorts as international travel destinations. Our member facilities feature award-winning, championship golf courses and are geographically disbursed across the great state of Minnesota. The combination of exceptional quality and outstanding value make Minnesota one of the best golf destinations in the United States.