WINTER PLAY TIPS

The change in weather during the winter months brings additional challenges that have a great effect on your scores especially on wet weather days if you don’t have the luxury of a caddie to help keep you and your equipment dry. If you like to play in all weathers, there are a few things that you need to bear in mind that will help you enjoy your golf more.


THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS BAD WEATHER ONLY BAD CLOTHING

The key thing with clothing is to layer up with a thermal base layer, a mid and outer layer. If it’s raining, you will need a decent breathable waterproof suit and for those of us who wear glasses, some form of peaked cap to help keep the rain off your lenses. As your hands are the only contact with the club, a good pair of golf mitts and all-weather gloves are key pieces of equipment.


TAKE ADVANTAGE OF BALL IN HAND

Always try to get the ball on the fairway to take advantage the ‘Pick & Place’ Rule as much as possible even if it means being a few yards shorter from the tee. In the summer, most golfers scores are better with drives hitting the fairway even if they are 30 yards shorter when compared to playing from the rough which is even more important in the winter with long, wet rough.


REALISTIC EXPECTATIONS

Understand that the ball isn’t going to go as far because of the effects that cold, wet weather has on your body, equipment, and shots. You must be prepared for the fact that you can’t go out there with the same strategy as a normal day and be mentally prepared for a difficult challenge so that you can stay strong throughout your round.


FIRM FOOTING

There are two simple things to check with your footwear when playing in the winter. The first is to make sure you have a good pair of waterproof shoes and that grass and mud hasn't clog up your spikes. Make regular checks and scrape any amount or loose grass out from between your spikes.


GET YOURSELF A SWING SERVICE

Winter is by far the best time to work on your game as there are fewer competitions that will make it easier to make changes as there is less pressure to perform. Take the opportunity to make some permanent and long-lasting improvements, determine the weaknesses that exist in play and then plan to improve.


IMPROVE YOUR BALL STRIKING ON WET GROUND

Playing iron shots from wet fairways can be a problem during the winter as the grass is generally longer and the ground is less forgiving, so any shots caught little heavy just dig into the wet soil. You can reduce the risk of a bad strike by positioning the ball a little further forward in your stance to catch the ball cleanly.


GIVE YOURSELF A BREAK ON WINTER GREENS

Putting surfaces during the winter are not as good as in the summer. Maintenance work, softer ground conditions and less growth mean that surfaces are not as smooth or as true as in the summer. We have all missed a short putt and misjudged distance, but the key is to stick to a long-term plan of improvement for your putting.