I love early morning golf. I find everything about my morning rounds perfect, well most of the time. There are some challenges this time of year (Mid August) that affect my game, but over years of experience, I have found several fixes that are no fail. They are minor changes, but greatly enhance my overall playing enjoyment and helps keep my scores lower. I think they will help you as well.
As an amateur golfer, I do not have a support team that does many of the mundane tasks needed to play early morning fall golf. It is all on me and if I forget something, then I only have myself to blame. So, the first thing I have is a mental check list of the things I need. This list of items is important and fortunately, I do not have to write them down (yet). As I prepare for my round here is what I think about:
- Dress in layers. It will cool and whether I am walking or riding, I need to dress warm. I have two pullovers; one is a lighter blend and the other is heavier. As the season progresses, I have a couple other pullovers that are even thicker. By the time we hit the 6th or 7th hole, I will remove the outerwear and play in my golf shirt. Point of note, ensure the pullover fits comfortably as to not affect your golf swing. This is a personal choice.
- Rotate my golf shoes. If I play multiple days, I wear different shoes. This is to allow them to dry because of the amount of dew on the ground. My golf shoes are always wet at the end of the round and need to be dried. I find wet golf shoes (any shoes for that matter) uncomfortable to wear and I avoid this as much as possible.
- Bring two towels. One towel is to clean my clubs and the other to keep my hands dry. By handling the ball and other equipment, my hands do get wet and need to be dried. Wiping them on my shorts just does not cut it. Carry two towels.
- Hit an extra club on most approach shots. Because the air is cool and damp, I find that if I club up for the first few holes, I score much better. Additionally, I do not have to swing very hard and this allows me to control the ball better and produce better results.
- The putts will be slow. Because of the dew on the greens, I can be more aggressive with my putting. The greens will be slow at first; however, be aware that as they dry out through the round, they will speed up. Generally, the back nine is where I notice an increase in green speed.
- Take time to enjoy my surroundings. Early morning golf is serene. It is quieter than the rest of the day, the birds are chirping and we often see deer or other animals roaming about. By taking time to enjoy the moment, my golf game improves and I am mental attitude remains positive and refreshed.
There are just some of the things on my mental checklist when I play early morning golf. It really is my favourite time of day to play for a plethora of reasons. The early tee times do have some challenges, but I mitigate those by being prepared a head of time. Speaking of early morning golf, I am off to loop the course. Have an awesome day!
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!