7 Top Tips For Playing (And Surviving) Winter Golf

7 Top Tips For Playing (And Surviving) Winter Golf

Winter is when many casual golfers put their clubs into storage for a few months, opting instead for the warmth and comfort of central heating and watching the pros on TV.

But for hardcore golfers, winter golf is the start of an entirely new season.

Golf can feel like a different game in the winter, and you need to approach it differently than you would if the sun was shining.

But while it can be challenging teeing off when you can see your breath, winter golf is completely worth it.

If you’re thinking of trying a few rounds this winter, here are our top tips for getting through it.


1 - Dress for the weather

First and foremost, ensure you wrap up warm and don’t risk frostbite when the temperature plummets.

Whether you want a snug base layer, a comfy golf jumper or golf jacket, or need to buy a hat to keep your ears warm, make sure you’re dressed for the weather.

At the very least, you don’t want a cold shiver to knock your swing off course, do you?

A golf snood and some gloves can also come in handy when you’re waiting for your next shot.


2 - Get the right winter golf equipment

If you’re used to playing golf in the blazing heat, you might not have thought about waterproofing and keeping your clubs and equipment dry.

But in the winter, it can be a real issue.

A waterproof golf bag can help keep your clubs and equipment dry and give you one less thing to worry about.

The last thing you need is your grips getting slippy and risk the club flying out of your hands.

If you don’t already have one, you might also want to consider investing in a golf umbrella.

A golf umbrella is an excellent bit of kit for keeping you dry and providing a barrier against any heavy wind, but you can also use it to protect your golf bag while lining up your next shot.

A golf umbrella doesn’t just have to be a winter thing either. Depending which one you buy, you could also benefit from protection against UV rays in the summer.


3 - Understand the rules of winter golf

When we said at the beginning that golf is a different game in the winter, in some respects, it literally is a different game.

That’s because most clubs and courses change their rules over the winter period, taking into account the conditions the course faces.

Each course will have its specific rule changes, but here are a few common things you’ll likely find:


Preferred lies

In adverse weather, some courses may allow for a ball to be picked up, cleaned and repositioned without incurring a penalty.

This is known as a preferred lie.

It’s common in winter as players often find themselves in unofficial “hazards” that only exist because of the weather.


Dealing with “casual water”

When a fairway gets oversaturated (like during heavy downpours), puddles of water can form on the surface, creating a potential hazard that can disrupt a player’s shot.

In these circumstances, most clubs will allow the ball to be marked and moved to the closest point outside of the hazard (but not closer to the hole) and dropped – without a penalty.

This also ensures the course doesn’t suffer excessive damage from players trying to hit balls out of shallow puddles and creating large divots.


Embedded ball rule

This rule isn’t specifically for winter golf, but the harsher conditions tend to make it more likely.

An embedded ball is a ball that gets stuck when it impacts the ground because the surface is so soft.

In this circumstance, you should be able to pick the ball up and take a drop.

Again, this is as much to protect the grounds from unnecessary damage from players trying to hack a ball out of the ground.


4 – Take a club higher than you normally would

In the winter, the air can become denser because of the cold, meaning it’s harder for a golf ball to travel because of the increased drag.

Plus, if golf balls get cold, they compress less on impact, which means they won’t perform as well.

All this reduces the distance you’ll be able to hit the ball.

So, in winter, be prepared to hit with a club more than you usually would.


5 - Get your steps in

If you’re a player who likes to zip around the course in a buggy to get to the clubhouse quicker, winter could be the perfect time to make up those steps.

You’ll be cold enough as it is on the course. But walking can help regulate your temperature better and keep you warmer.

Walking will also lessen the risk of your muscles cooling down between shots, reducing the chances of injury.


6 - Go to the driving range if it’s easier

Depending on your tolerance for the cold, it might be just too much to think about a full 18 holes in the freezing temperature.

But you still want to keep practising for when you come back.

If the idea of a full round in the frost sends a chill down your spine, you could always hit some balls at the driving range instead.

You can easily pick a part of your game that needs some work and get some extra practice.


7 - Don’t worry about the score

It can be easy to get caught up in a competition with yourself and try to beat your lowest scores from earlier in the year.

But winter golf is a different game.

So, leave the ego behind, and don’t worry about the scores you’re hitting.

Instead, take the winter months to concentrate on improving your swing and staying sharp.

When everyone else comes back in the summer, you’ll be ahead, and then you can start to look at the scorecards again.


Get geared up for winter golf with Clarkes Golf

If you’re considering braving the harsh conditions winter golfers face, you can find all the gear you need to get through it at Clarkes Golf.

From base and outer layers to golf waterproofs and umbrellas, you’ll find it all here from the biggest brands in the game.

And if you’re considering an upgrade of your golf clubs, we’ve got you covered there too.

With a selection of clubs from the likes of Callaway, Titleist, TaylorMade and Ping, you’ll be able to upgrade your clubs in no time.

And with 0% interest financing available, it’s easy and affordable to spread the cost of your new clubs over a more extended period.