Hello golfers and welcome to another Tips & Tricks. The weather is noticeably colder and wetter so I want to give you guys the best chance of good and enjoyable weather in the winter months. If the cold, wet weather has scared you off don’t worry! We now have a seating area in the warm new shop where you can sit and enjoy a hot chocolate after your range session. If you haven’t come to say hi yet we’re missing you so come and pop your head in.
When playing golf during the winter months there are a few things that I think are essential. Some are very cost effective and can make the game lots more enjoyable as well as improving performance.
A good set of waterproofs will not only keep you dry but also keep you warm. Waterproofs can seem very expensive but they will last many years if they’re looked after. Some brands even offer a lifetime waterproof guarantee meaning you will only have to buy one set in your whole golfing career.
Shoes with good traction (grip) can help performance but also reduce the risk of looking like a dancing on ice contestant. This doesn’t necessarily mean new shoes but some new spikes could do the job. Check your spikes and get them replaced if they’re worn. If your shoes let in water it’s time to look for some new ones.
These are my favourite bit of kit when teaching in the winter. I have disposable hand warmers that heat up in 2 minutes and stay hot for 8 hours. They work out to be less than £1 per pair and mean that you can actually feel the golf club when it comes to making a swing. Put these in a nice pair of mittens for an extra toastie experience. If you’re really posh you can get mittens that attach to your electric trolley so your hands are warming as you push your clubs along!
I very often carry two towels on my golf bag all year around. You never know when you might fall in a pond or get hit by an unexpected shower. In the winter keeping grips dry can be the difference between shooting a good score and letting go of the club as you swing and miss the ball. Keeping your clubs and grooves clean can also help with performance. If your clubs are currently covered in mud from the previous round, stop being so lazy and disgusting! It takes no more than 10 seconds to wipe your clubs over after each shot. An old toothbrush or groove cleaner can really help get that muck out giving your more feel and control.
Leading on from the previous point, if you would rather let your clubs get wet then winter gloves are the way of the future. MacWets or FootJoy rain gloves are brilliant. The wetter they get the better they get. The material when wet sticks to rubber meaning you still have plenty of grip when swinging the club. Eve if it’s not raining they will keep your hands warm when playing.
Being stood out in the cold on the driving range all winter means I have a large collection of hats and snoods. I love a snood and think keeping your neck warm helps a lot with comfort and staying warm. Also with everything that’s going on in the world, the good thing about a snood is that it doubles up as a face mask!
This can sometimes be tricky in the winter at some golf clubs. I always find it easier to use a trolley playing golf but some courses put restrictions in place. If your course bans trolleys completely in the winter then maybe look into a small bag and only take a few essential clubs to save energy. This could also mean you play the course in a different way making you think a little bit more. If your course has a winter wheel policy then clip on hedgehogs are great. You can get a fully waterproof bag to sit on it keeping all of your belongings very dry.
We have all been caught out in some wind and rain with a cheap umbrella. The feeling when it blows inside out and rips is embarrassing. Almost all golf umbrellas are built with a dual canopy and are reinforced meaning this should almost never happen. Get a good umbrella to keep your head and golf gear dry as much as possible.
It’s much easier to lose golf balls in the winter. The ground just swallows them up so try and get a very precise line on the direction it’s heading. Pick a spot in the distance and walk straight towards it. Stock up on balls and try to use the same ball whenever you play. I often get asked if you should use a different ball in the winter. There is some good reasons to use a different ball in the winter because of temperate and compression rates. A softer ball will compress more in the cold sending it further. Try to keep your balls warm and dry for extra control and distance.
I don’t know about you guys but one of my favourite parts of golf is the social aspect. There is nothing worse than going to have your lunch after a round and being soaking wet and freezing cold. Try to organise a change of clothes so you can socialise in comfort after your round.
Ball striking is much harder in the winter because the ground is much softer. Any strike before the ball will lead to you being splatted with mud and the ball going half the distance it should. On the range, practice hitting irons off a small tee and sweeping the ball off the surface. I very often encourage people to hit down on the golf ball but being able sweep the ball of the surface taking only a small divot can lead to improved ball striking. Always try to get a little bit of the ground just after the ball. Pick a blade of grass a few inches after the ball towards the target and try to ensure the club is sweeping the grass through that area.
Winter golf is hard and it takes a brave soul to play in -5* with sleet and snow. If you’re organised and prepared it’s a lot more enjoyable. Ball striking is difficult anyway but you get found out more in the winter.
If you would like any help with your ball striking CLICK HERE to book a lesson.