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Cold Weather Golf vs Warm

March 9, 2010 - Jim Stephenson

A  novice golfer asked me the following question today: "What is it like playing golf in the cold and what can you expect in the transition to warmer weather?"

In both cold and warm weather especially if you are a "Senior" be sure to warm up properly before teeing off. Cold weather usually has a negative effect on your golf game. 

  • You have to wear warmer clothing, sometimes bulkier, making your golf swing more restrictive.
  • You are usually thinking more about your comfort, which is a distraction, than your game.
  • The golf ball will not travel as far in colder weather, so many golfers find themselves swinging too hard in order to overcompensate.  Just swing naturally and take what mother nature gives you.  You can expect with the cold sometimes strong wind gusts, further shortening the distance your ball will travel.
  • Cold weather will adversely affect certain medical conditions you may have, such as minor arthritis.
  • Be cautious to prevent chapped lips and wind-burned faces.

Obviously, golf is a warm weather sport.

  • Shorts and short sleeved golf shirts allow you to move freely and more fluidly. Cotton or polycotton clothing with the "wicking" feature are best.
  • People are more relaxed when playing golf in nice, comfortable weather.
  • Drink plenty of water to keep yourself hydrated, particularly on hotter days and when the humidity is high.
  • Don't over eat before playing.  A light breakfast or lunch will do.  Take along an energy bar or two to snack on as you play.
  • Be sure to take along an umbrella with a fiberglass shaft (not metal), and/or a rainsuit in case of a sudden storm.

The worst condition I ever played in was in October, 1968 in northern Indiana at the Fort Wayne Country Club..  It was a 54 hole "Assistant Professional"  tournament over two days in 40 degree weather in the rain.  I went through four golf gloves, put my golf shoes on the heater in my motel room, and had to pack four towels in my golf bag to wipe off the grips on my golf clubs.  It felt like it was below freezing when the wind picked up.  Even though I wore a golf rainsuit, I also went through four pairs of socks. BRRRRR. (But I won $300.00).


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