This is the time of year where many of us have to deal with some very cold and unforgiving weather…
I recently played a round and the temperature reached a high of 47 degrees, which is fairly cold here in sunny South Carolina. Today, we had a cloudless, perfectly North Carolina blue sky. A moderate breeze kept playing conditions comfortable and playable. I played 9 holes yesterday, January 9th, and it was miserable. The temperature was 42 degrees and the wind was blowing a steady 20 mph plus which equates to a wind chill in the high 20¢s to low 30¢s. The wind made it really tough to stay warm, and swing with the clothes I had to wear. As I played, I thought about both days, and a few cold weather preparation and playing tips came to mind.
I always watch the weather forecast the night before I am playing, especially if it is in a tournament. And I will usually check it again the next morning for an update. The weather report informs me of all the conditions I can expect and thus how I need to dress, and if I need any extra equipment like jackets, warmer hats, mittens, rain suit and umbrella and extra towels. Note: It always boggles my mind to be at the course and the high temperature is predicted to be in the high 40¢s to low 50¢s, and I see golfers in shorts, or if rain is predicted they don¢t have rain gear and an umbrella. Watch the weather, and be prepared.
Now for a few other tidbits that will help your cold weather play. Since you know the night before that it is going to be cold, go get your clubs and shoes out of the trunk. The big and most important piece of equipment not to leave in the cold are your golf balls. Cold golf balls don¢t go! They feel heavy, slow off the club and will not go anywhere near as far. When you play, keep at least 3 balls in play, two in your pockets keeping them warm, and switching every hole. Note: A player can use hand warmers, but you cannot use it to keep your golf balls warm.
On the way to the course I will always keep my golf balls, and my shoes on the floor so the heat can blow on them and warm them up to toasty. And speaking of toasty, you need to keep yourself toasty out on the course. You need adequate clothes starting with a hat as most heat is lost through the head. Next you need a long sleeve shirt, or thermal underwear in extreme cold. For average cold, I always wear an undershirt, as they help keep warmth in especially on my back, which helps avoid it getting cold and stiffening up. Lastly you need warm socks and mittens.
Outerwear is also critical.. Today, technology has brought micro fiber windbreakers and rain suits into play. These are great because they keep the wind out and warmth in, with the super bonus of being light, quiet and allow free swinging. For those extreme days , you can use a cart cover, and you can also throw in a propane heater for extra heat.
If you are a cold weather player either for fun or necessity of tournament play, be like the Boy Scouts¢¦Be Prepared !!! Both for yourself and your equipment !!!
That's it for today. Enjoy!
“The Swing Surgeon”