“Chamber of commerce” is a term golfers use to describe days with perfect weather for golfing. But it’s not always the weather will be calm and on your side. If you plan on getting serious with your game, you must learn to play in adverse conditions.
I say “learn” because weather conditions affect your performance on the Golf course. Below are some different weather types you can expect to encounter on the course, and how they affect your play. Understand each condition so you can turn a disadvantage into your advantage on the golf course.
Note: An 18-hole round of golf lasts for four to five hours, depending on your pace of play. During this time, you can experience multiple kinds of weather.
Air temperature affects your body and equipment on the course. When playing in cold weather, the body is stiffer, resulting in a less fluid swing and reduced range of motion. In my experience, to counter the stiffness, you should warm up properly and wear clothing that keeps you warm without restricting movement. On the flip side, hot temperatures can cause fatigue and dehydration.
It helps to take breaks under the shade and lots of water throughout the round. During hot weather, you should also wear golf gloves to keep your hands dry. I have found hitting accurate shots is difficult when the club keeps slipping off your hands.
As for equipment, temperature also affects the golf ball’s flight. The ball travels a shorter distance in colder temperatures due to decreased air pressure compression. Conversely, the ball travels further in warm weather due to increased air pressure and greater compression.
Through my practical knowledge, adjusting your club selection and shot strategy to account for these differences is key to optimizing performance in varying temperatures.
Humidity is the amount of moisture in the air, a reading that has a huge impact on golf ball flight and grip. When humidity is high, the air is denser, which causes the ball to travel a shorter distance.
Additionally, high humidity makes it difficult to maintain a secure grip on the club since moisture and sweat cause the club to become slippery.
Use clubs with moisture-wicking grips to counter these conditions, and carry a towel to keep your hands and clubs dry. Adjusting your golf swing and club selection to account for the decreased ball flight in humid conditions can also help maintain game consistency.
I have found that wind is perhaps the most noticeable weather factor affecting golf performance. Wind alters the ball’s trajectory, so it is crucial to adjust your strategy and shot execution. Here are some tips for managing windy conditions in your game of golf:
- Use a lower lofted club and adopt a more penetrating ball flight when playing into a headwind. This helps to reduce wind impact on your shot, allowing the ball to travel a more predictable distance.
- When playing with a tailwind, take advantage of the added distance by selecting a higher-lofted club and aiming for a higher ball flight.
- Crosswinds can be especially challenging since they can push the ball off course.
In these situations, adjusting your aim and accounting for the wind’s effect on the ball’s trajectory is essential. For example, if the wind blows from left to right, aim further left to compensate for the wind’s push.
Based on our firsthand experience, we created a post with Tips for golfing in the wind.
Wet grass can cause the ball to skid or roll unpredictably, making it difficult to judge distance and control. Additionally, heavy rain impacts club and ball contact, resulting in less control and potential mishits. Below are some strategies for managing your game in rainy conditions:
- Use rain gloves: Rain gloves provide a more secure grip on the club in wet conditions, helping to maintain control and consistency in your swing.
- Keep your equipment dry: Use a waterproof golf bag or Golf bag rain cover to protect your clubs from the rain. Carry a Golf towel to dry off your clubs, balls, and gloves as needed. Also, consider using a Golf umbrella to shield yourself and your equipment from the rain.
- Adjust for slower greens: Wet greens tend to be slower than dry ones, so be prepared to putt with more force to compensate for the added resistance.
- Be mindful of footing: Wet conditions make the ground slippery, increasing the risk of slipping during your swing. Be extra cautious in your stance and foot placement to maintain stability.
- Adapt your strategy: Wet conditions also affects the ball’s flight and roll, so be prepared to adjust your club selection and approach to account for these changes.
- Keep your feet dry: The quickest way to ruin a round of golf is by having cold and wet socks and feet. The Best waterproof golf shoes are worth every penny you pay for them.
I have found that playing in the rain, especially when I am wearing quality Golf rain gear gives me an advantage over my opponents that use the rain as an excuse for poor performance.
Turn the poor weather into a positive.
Sun and visibility
When it’s sunny, it can be difficult to track the ball’s flight and judge distance accurately. Sun glare can also be a distraction during your swing. To minimize these issues, consider the following:
- Wear Golf sunglasses: Polarized sunglasses help to reduce glare and improve visibility in bright conditions.
- Use a Golf bucket hat or visor: Wearing a hat or visor helps shield your eyes from direct sunlight, making it easier to focus on your shot. We even researched and tested several varieties of hats including Large golf headgear.
- Be aware of shadows: Shadows can alter your perception of the ball’s position and the contours of the green. Take time to study the shadows and adjust your aim and approach accordingly.
- Track the ball: In bright conditions, have a playing partner watch your ball’s flight to help locate it more easily.
- Protect your body from the sun by using Sunscreen for golfers and consider wearing a Golf sun sleeves for those high UV types of days.
Weather conditions impact your performance on the green, but with the right strategies and adjustments, you can optimize your game regardless of the elements. Understanding how temperature, humidity, wind, rain, and sun affect your performance is the first step to making adjustments to improve your game.