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10 Tips for playing golf in the winter

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Do you need to keep playing golf in the winter? Do you want to keep playing golf in the winter? Yes! You need to keep up the momentum you’ve built during the summer – you don’t want to stop now. And remember, the weather won’t always be nice, but not even that should stop you from playing your favorite sport. When the temperature gets close to freezing, that can only be a sign of one thing! Winter is here! However, it isn’t necessarily the ideal weather conditions for any golfer.

You can make the excuse, “It’s too cold,” which is what most people do. This is exactly why the golf course rates are cheaper in the winter because everyone is using that excuse not to get out and play. Many golfers lose part of their golf skills during winter due to a lack of practice or time spent with a golf club in hand.

You do not have to make that excuse!!! Follow these great tips if you wish to play golf even in the coldest winters. These winter hacks help you adapt and thrive on all golf courses.

Switch up on your golf balls

For every golf ball lover, there’s that one brand of the ball that we are all comfortable with. Whether it’s the Titleist or the Callaway balls, sometimes it might do good to swap the golf ball to suit winter conditions can potentially help you. Sometimes, just a change of pace will help your confidence.

You want a ball that carries optimally when the greens and fairways are soft in this unfavorable weather condition. The most expensive golf ball is not always better in this case. These colder conditions often mean that you can afford the little drop-off in feel, spin, and softness around the golf greens. 

Reiteratively, what type of golf ball should you use in winter? It would be best if you had a golf ball with low compression. A softer golf ball will compress more in the cold, hence, having a good chance of flying longer than a golf ball.

Note: the colder a ball gets, the more speed it’s bound to lose as it travels – and vice versa. Cold air is quite denser than warm air, resulting in a softer ball. The air is just one of the many variables that makes golf so hard.

Check out our best golf balls for beginners here!

Invest in quality outwear

To play at your optimal best, there’s a need for comfortability, especially in what you wear while golfing. You cannot wear a huge winter ski jacket that makes you look like the Michelin man and still maintain a proper golf swing. Should you wear a golf shirt vs polo shirt?

The technology in golf clothing in today’s world is amazing. The outerwear these days has become lighter with more breathable features for all around comfort. Golf wear has also become stretchy and thinner, thus, not having to worry about the large clothing!

Even down to the rainproof golf glove, most clothing has the waterproof feature to keep you nice and dry. This is a necessity to keep warm and dry. Waterproof clothing normally runs at more of a premium price. Simply put, it is worth spending a few dollars on some quality golf waterproof apparel that will keep you dry, warm, and play better golf. Check out our best golf beanies here.

You also need a golf base layer. If you want to stay warm on the golf course, it’s one of the essentials. Having a quality base layer will help keep the warmth in and prevent heat loss. And, of course, the base layer bottoms are essential when it gets extremely cold.

A quality base layer can warm the body in tough weather and provide adequate protection from the wind. But more importantly, you want to choose the correct winter golf base layer when investing in one. Avoid cotton base layers, as this can be counterproductive. Go for midweight base layers.

Asides from a quality and efficient base layer, you need thermal socks. Wearing more than one of these or a thick pair of winter socks will most likely make all the difference to your body temperature.

Work on your short game

An interesting statistic that you need to consider is that 65% of most golfer’s shots come from 100 yards in. This means your short game is what helps you shoot better scores. Interestingly, this can be easy to shuffle off in the winter, but you will want to keep practicing.

We recommend practicing it your short game for at least two reasons. First, you’ll be playing a variety of short game shots from different lies, and the golf ball will react differently on softer and wetter greens. Each shot you hit will be a little different from the previous one (lie, grain of grass, pin location, etc). No golf shot/putt is the same.

Check out our 6 best golf putting tips for beginners here. 

Secondly, golf courses and becoming longer and tougher, so you might need your short game more often. The longer the course, the harder the approach shot into the green is, making it statistically higher that you will have more chip shots.

Practice indoor

Speaking of working on your short game, we recommend practicing indoors. In this season, most public golf courses make golf players hit from of turf mats to keep the quality of the grass up to par. While it is understandable, it might not be comfortable for you as the player. So, it is easier to practice your game indoors.

Check out our best indoor putting mats to get started now!

Also, if you’ve got enough money to invest, you can look for an indoor golf simulator, as this will ultimately help your game efficiently. And you won’t have to worry about the subzero temperature as you’ll be practicing your shots in the warmth.

Finally, work on all your pre-shot routines, mainly putting. Be in tune with your pre-shot routine, as this will help keep your anxiety and tension levels down. The more relaxed you are as a player, the better you will play.

Keep both your hand and head warm.

Both your head and hands should be kept warm. Nothing is as bad as losing your grip in cold/wet conditions. Not only can this be disappointing, but it can also be distracting. And these two aren’t what you want when playing. A quality pair of golf gloves will improve your club grip whenever they get wet and slippery. Wet weather gloves will do the trick.

Wet weather gloves tend to be thicker than traditional ones; this feature helps keep your hands warm. They take a while to adapt to, but often, it makes a lot of difference in the winter. You can also invest in a hand-warming pouch or quality golf mitts. But make sure you slip them on between every golf shot.

You can check out our best golf gloves for sweaty hands here!

Make sure your head is kept warm too. A balaclava or knit cap will do the trick. Pull it out and put it on when the weather gets way too cold.

Do you know what a balaclava is? It’s a close-fitting garment covering the whole head. It’s a brilliant addition to cold and windy golf rounds because it will prevent drafts from getting down your top while also always keeping your neck warm. But that’s not all; you can also have it pulled over your face when it’s cold. In the winter season, functionality and warmth trumps fashion.

Opt for playing with half a set

Try a different approach to the golf game. Only bring half a set of golf clubs with you. This technique will help you acquire useful skills to execute different golf shots. It will also help you increase your creativity on the golf course. You will be forced to take half swings and play your clubs completely different than you are used to.

The common golf strategy is long and far. The mentality is to hit every club with a full swing and hit it further than anyone else. Any golfer will change their clubs quickly to hit the ball further. When in reality, it just takes practice and feel to use the current clubs you have now. Playing with a half set will help you understand the feel of the golf clubs.

Use the right golf tools.

To golf in the winter, you need to have the right golfing equipment. Playing golf in the winter can be strenuous and unpredictable. So take a closer look at your golf gear and make your time on the golf course enjoyable. Here’s what you need:

  • A high-vis yellow ball. They are easy to spot, and you’ll find a premium variant in yellow.
  • Next, add a bit of loft to your driver. When the course is soft and boggy, it will be difficult for your golf ball to roll a lot better. Using a loft will add more distance to your golf ball.
  • Lastly, get an umbrella – yes! It’s impossible to leave out. Having a good-sized umbrella in the rain or snow will make sure you stay dry. Your golfing equipment essentials won’t be complete without it.

Calibrate your putting perception

A long grass coupled with the moisture present on the greens in the winter will cause more friction when your golf ball rolls on it. This environment will cause your putt will be quite slow and break less. So, adjust yourself to the winter speed, break, and the golf course by spending enough time practicing on the golf course.

And remember, you can putt aggressively in winter because of the reduced speed and break. So if getting the golf ball to the hole feels a bit difficult, a new putter, coupled with a firmer feel off the face, could be of help.

Once you can secure an indoor putting green, you can start getting practice right away. Try to practice different putting styles and see which one works best for you. Swapping up putting styles based on the weather is a good idea to test out. There are many golfer success stories from trying these different putting techniques in the off-season.

Try out new golf clubs

Yardages are shorter in winter due to the ball’s inability to travel far enough, and you’ll get less roll when it finally lands. You are more likely to play in stronger winds, heavy rain, and dense air.  All of these will disrupt the balls flight.

Interestingly, trying out a new golf clubs is an ideal option. When you handicap does not matter.

Depending on your location, the weather can get too cold for you to count your handicap. If the golf season is inactive where you are located, you will not be able to post a handicap. This will allow you to work on different things and practice without affecting your score.

Click here to learn more about calculating your handicap!

Tune your driver

Adjustable golf clubs are your best bet in the winter. So, always try to take advantage of the versatility they offer. Meanwhile, a softer course means you’ll need more carry to achieve an optimal distance. To get this, increase the loft to launch the golf ball higher to further increase the ball’s spin. Most golf drivers make it possible to use a specific wrench. Check out how high to tee your golf ball here!

Don’t go too far – doing so will make it fall in an unfavorable spot which is why we recommend consulting a PGA or your coach to find the right set-up for you in the winter.

Long Bombs Golf Final Say:

When golfing in the winter cold, there’s one thing you should note or remember: always have a realistic expectation. Without a doubt, golfers play differently in the cold winter conditions, just as they would in the summer. For most golfers, the scoring average will slightly increase for different reasons. But despite this, it is crucial to have fun while playing your favorite sport in the winter cold. But what temperature is too cold for golf clubs? There’s no limit.

Don’t forget, the reason why you’re still on the golf course is because of the pure love you’ve got for the game. After all, playing through the winter cold will improve your game and put you at the right skill level compared to those who don’t play in the winter. To sum it all up, it is better to have excess gear than not having enough when playing winter golf.


About the Author


How we got onto 16 with a 5 minute wait at the WM Phoenix Open!

How I got on hole 16 (The Stadium hole) at the Waste Management Phoenix Open with little to no wait!! I also have tips and tricks on what to do once you are inside the gate and inside the stadium hole. Check this out if you ever plan to make a trip out! If you ever have the chance, it is definitely worth the trip.

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