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Golf In The Rain

Tips for Playing Golf in Cold and Wet Conditions

Updated February 2024

Golf in Minnesota can be a grand experience—a great walk unspoiled in the beauty and temperate climate of the area. But, like anywhere else, it can have its moments. There are cold and rainy conditions every spring, yet the golf courses are still open. You just have to be prepared—so here are some tips for playing golf in cold and wet conditions.

Dress for Success

When it’s cold and wet, we all want to be warm and dry. Pretty simple, right? Well, it starts with waterproof pants and a decent pullover to keep your core warm and flexible. Layers and warm clothes are the way to go for a golf outing. Plus, bringing a hat that will deflect rain and perhaps something to keep your ears warm in colder temperatures will help you ignore the conditions and concentrate on your game.

Throw in the Towel(s)

At the minimum, you should have two towels—one for keeping your hands dry and the other for wiping mud and water off your clubs. Have a third one (or more) in a plastic baggy in your golf bag when one of the first towels gets soaked beyond usefulness. Also, now would be the time to use that cumbersome umbrella you always bring along but never use. The more time spent under it, the dryer you stay.

Warm Hands—Good Scorecard

Rain gloves and hand warmers will help with your round. Once completely wet, standard golf gloves can become slippery and useless, but rain gloves are tacky and become more effective when wet. Additionally, keep an electric hand warmer in your bag or jacket. These are usually rechargeable and will keep your hands warm in between shots. Cold hands will lessen your feeling on the clubs and effectiveness just about anywhere on the course.

A Warm Tool is a Happy Tool

Now that you are relatively warm and dry, you have to do the same for your equipment. Golf balls reportedly travel about 3-5 yards less (depending on air density) with every 10 degrees drop in temperature. So, try carrying two golf balls and keep one in your pants pocket and switch them between holes so you’re always playing a warm golf ball.

In addition, you might want to exchange clubs prior to the round to make up for the affect of the conditions on your equipment. In some cases, replacing long irons with hybrids or fairway metals is worthwhile. Long irons can be tough in any weather, but the wetter it is, the more trouble they may present. The hybrids will give you more loft due to a lower center of gravity, and they may be just the thing to nip a shot off soggy ground.

Mind over Matter

Finally, the mental game really comes into play in tough conditions. Recognize the conditions and accept them because you can not control the weather conditions. Remember, to account for cold weather when selecting your golf club since your typical “150 club” may only go 140-yards in cold weather. Check your ego at the first tee and make the smart decisions. Solid contact is the key and over-swinging can be disastrous. Finally, know the rules – winter rules, lift clean and place, relief from casual water, etc. – they can help in the wet and cold and may provide important relief while on the course.

Be mindful of how the weather is effecting your golf shots. The ball will doesn’t roll on wet fairways and the wind will certainly affect shots, maybe even some putts. On the other hand, because of the conditions, you can be bolder with your chipping and putting. Always give it enough to get it to the hole.

Above all, stay mentally positive in the game. If you want to be out there in tough conditions, because it’s your only chance to play that week, then make the most of it by staying focused and in the moment. It can always make for a good “golf warrior” story to tell.


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