Have you ever hit a golf ball that hurt? I have many times and I have to say that it is not my favourite time on the golf course. There were several times when I had no choice because I hit a hidden rock, root or loose impediment. These shots usually damage my club a bit and are shots I hope I will never do again. The other shots that hurt are associated with playing conditions. There is more to this story because my preparation for playing might have been a bit ill conceived.
To set the stage, usually the temperature is hovering around 45°F (7°C) and dressing for the occasion is very important. I generally wear a toque, gloves, a couple of layers, and I carry an extra warm shirt. Usually after I start walking I warm up to a point where the temperature is a non factor…..as long as I have all the right clothes for the four hours on the course.
Well, the days where my golf swing hurts is always associated with my hands being cold. Hitting a cold golf balls is a challenge at the best of times, but hitting them with cold hands is the worst. The slightest miss hit causes lightening bolts to run up the shaft of my clubs, into my hands, up my arms and into my shoulders.
The challenge for me when playing golf in cold weather is keeping my swing on plane to reduce the changes of miss hitting the ball. The more clothes, the greater the challenge. It all sounds like the perfect storm and some days it is when I am not prepared.
I have mentioned my lack of preparation twice so far and I think you are getting the point. The day that was the worse was when I left my gloves in the car. Within one hole, my hands started to cool and I tried everything I could to keep them warm. But as the front nine progressed, my hands became less pliable. This made it harder to hold on to my clubs and really affected my tempo. As a result I remember hitting so many ‘ouch’ shots that I was dreading playing by the end of the front nine. My was so cold I actually packed it in and went to the local coffee shop for a warm beverage. I took several hours for my hands to recover and it really taught me a lesson. Planning to play well is very important and forgetting an critical part of my equipment is something I have rarely done since.
Golfing cold weather is a challenge. If ill prepared, many golf swings that hurt will be in our future.
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!