Here at Barefoot, our winter weather can be relatively mild and pleasant but it is always good to be prepared for chilly mornings on the golf course during winter months. Our pros put together a list of recommendations for how to maximize your performance in colder weather.
Your cold weather gear should include:
- A winter cap – 55-60% of your body heat is lost through your head. A winter cap will help keep your entire body warm.
- Gloves or cart mitts – Having warm, dry hands is crucial for getting a good grip in cold conditions.
- Layers – Find a good balance of clothing layers – you want enough to keep you warm but not so many that your swing is hindered. You can always take off or add layers as you play, depending on how you feel.
Adjust Your Performance Expectations
When playing in the cold, your golf ball does not travel as far. You may have to hit one or two clubs stronger to make sure you can get the ball to the hole. Also, think about moving up a tee box from what you normally play.
Switch Up Your (Ball) Game
Consider playing with two golf balls. Switch the ball out every other hole and keep the additional ball in your pocket. A warm ball will fly farther than a cold one. As long as you don’t use artificial heat to warm up the ball, you are within the rules of golf.
Switch to a softer ball if you’re not using one already. In colder weather, a hard ball will feel like hitting a rock and has the potential to “sting your hands” with the vibration from the shaft of the club. A softer ball will help eliminate that feeling.
Before your group heads out to play, decide on some “winter rules”. These could include playing preferred lies or moving the ball. If the ball is embedded through the green (anywhere but hazards), move it out. If there is mud on the ball, you can clean it at any time, the exception being in a hazard.
You will be surprised how much movement from your body will increase the heart rate which in turn keeps the blood flowing to stay warm. This will also keep your body loose and your swing won’t suffer as much.
It may be tempting to drink coffee or something warm, but be sure to drink water or a sports drink as well. Your body needs nutrients and hydration when you’re active, especially when it’s cold out.
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