Playing Golf In The Rain

Fall is a challenging time of year to play golf. In my area of Ontario, it is a challenge to dress according to temperature, moisture and wind because it changes quickly without notice. I have discussed wearing layers of clothing in previous articles and that is a must right now. The challenge for most players is keeping their persons warm and relatively dry, keeping their equipment dry, and determining if walking or riding is the best mode of transportation. Regardless of what is decided, carrying more stuff is better than doing without.

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Remaining Calm During A Pressure Golf Shot

I am sure you have heard the saying “a calm before the storm’. These five words cover a plethora of situations but none so dramatic as when trying to make a pressure, must have golf shot. I have explained how I hit clutch shots under pressure before, but yesterday’s round reinforced my view that remaining calm throughout my entire round is key to shooting low golf scores.

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Golfing in the Rain

Well my first two days of the golf tournament were postponed. In the last 36 hours our area received about 80 mm or rain.  Our course is under water and it is draining very slowly.  It is unlikely we will be able to play on Friday, so the entire event will be delayed one week.  Of course I am disappointed, but at least the event is not cancelled all together. But, as always, each experience is a learning one; so now we talk about playing golf in the rain.

IMG-20130710-00061Many golfers dislike the rain. Personally, it does not bother me because I believe I have a fool-proof system to keep the important aspects of my equipment and body as dry as possible. The first important point has to do with equipment. I carry the following when I suspect it is going to rain:

  • Plastic cover that actually covers my entire golf bag;
  • a 64 inch umbrella that can be attached to my golf cart (which I push so it does not hurt my shoulder);
  • clear plastic freezer bags to keep my score card dry;
  • spare socks in a clear plastic bag;
  • spare clothes in the car for after the round;
  • two towels so I can hang them under the umbrella; and
  • a hat and rain suit.

All of these things keep me very dry unless it is really pouring, then I just have to suck it up and be grateful I can still golf. When making a shot, expect on the green, by routine is very simple:

  • I point my clubs into the wind because it cuts down on spray;
  • I remove my club while under my umbrella and wipe the grips (if required) with one towel and my hands with the other;
  • I normally do not take a practice swing, so I walk out behind the ball and visualize;
  • step up and hit the ball;
  • walk back under the umbrella, wipe my grips and replace the club; and
  • seal up my plastic cover and move on.

When putting, I use a slightly different routine:

  • I take out my putter and wipe the grips and my hands;
  • I take the umbrella with me – my clubs are covered with plastic;
  • stand behind the ball and read my line;
  • adjust my ball still holding the umbrella;
  • place the umbrella at the one o’clock position with the top facing the wind. It is usually about 6-10 feet away; and
  • make my putt and collect it from the hole. If I miss, I go mark the ball (if required) before retrieving my umbrella.

Playing in the rain will mess with a golfer’s normal routine. However, I have found that by following my routine, the rain does not bother me as much as others. Following a routine is the best way to break 100 or lower your score; following a routine in the rain only helps more. A couple other things to consider when playing in the rain:

  • most shots will need an extra club due to lack of roll and the rain hitting your ball during flight;
  • greens will play slower than normal;
  • if you are wearing a rain suit or outer clothing, your swing will feel different. Focus on contact not swing mechanics and this will help ensure solid ball striking;
  • course management may have to be adjusted due to the rain reducing the distance your ball carries; and
  • the noise of the rain hitting your umbrella, rain suit or the ground may affect your concentration – just ignore.

Golfing in the rain can be difficult, but if you develop a routine, understand the impact of the wet weather, and focus on what you already do well, your score should remain the same.  If not, always remember you could be working!

If you have any suggestions on how to improve my routine, I would love to hear them.

I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!