Yesterday, I was talking to my friend Padraig, who lives in Ireland, about his round of golf.
At first I thought what a beautiful day, but after a quick conversation, he reminded me that it was the time of year to dress warmly because looks can be deceiving. As I hit the the links today, this article will be of great value to my game.
Golfing in cold weather is a challenge for many of us living north of the 49th parallel. Our golfing season can last up to 7 months, but during 3 of those months, we had better be ready for turbulent weather. Excluding rain, cold weather is the greatest challenge for avid golfers in the north. It is not unusual to play golf in single digit (Celsius) conditions early and late in the northern golfing season.
Many players will shrug and say to dress in layers and lets hit the links. Well, that is the simple solution and works most of the time. However, dressing in layers is not as simple as one may think. Generally, I recommend three layers. A dry-fit long-sleeved turtleneck, a cotton golf shirt, and a gortex-type wind breaker for outer wear. I recommend single layer wind pants. As a player starts to walk the course, they will warm up. The trick to playing in cold weather is not to sweat, but stay warm enough to swing the club comfortably. Layers focuses on keeping most of your body warm, but for those who have played in cold weather, they know this is only a partial solution.
Here are some other things to consider when playing in cold weather.
- A toque is a must. It will keep your head warm and as most of us cold weather dwellers know, your head is where you lose a large portion of your warmth.
- Gloves are a benefit. Personally, I wear mittens in between shots. There are gloves a player can wear all the time, but I have never been able to comfortably swing a club wearing gloves. This is where mitts are a must for me!
- Keeping hydrated is critical. Most players forget this important point. During cold weather, dehydration is a very distinct possibility. People forget to drink water and find they lack energy during the last 3 holes.
- Choosing the correct golf ball! Balls with lower compression work better in the cooler temperatures. Higher compression golf balls feel like rocks. Lower compression balls with travel farther and not hurt your hands as your round progresses. Okay, I realize this is a random thought and has nothing to do with layers, but I thought I would through it in anyway.
- Lastly, avoid getting wet. This is an obvious statement, however being wet is not your friend. Whether a player gets wet through sweating too much, walking over dew covered grass, trudging through the snow or digging your ball out of a water hazard, the affect is the same. If you are wet, you get cold. I would recommend carrying an extra pair of socks and mittens just in case.
Playing golf in the cold poses a unique set of challenges. Keeping warm and dry is very important to enjoying a round of golf. Planning your attire, before the round, will help make sure your are comfortable and ready to shoot a low score.
Do you have any suggestions to having fun on the links in cold weather? What is your recommendation for layering clothing while playing golf?
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!
Written by Jim Burton from The Grateful Golfer blog.