Tips To Help You Shoot A Better Score
When Playing in Bad Weather
Growing up in Britain, as I did, you get used to playing in bad weather. It's a routine matter, often changing every couple of hours, so golfers play in it.
Even if you're lucky enough to live in a warm weather state, you will still have the occasional round, or club tournament, that falls on a poor weather day. For those who live up north, trying to squeeze in a few rounds in spring or fall will create some weather related challenges.
The types of conditions we are referring to are cold, wet, and wind, or possibly a combination. Of these the most common is wind, and it's arguably the most challenging.
The first, AND MOST IMPORTANT step is getting over the mental challenge. This involves lowering your scoring expectations. If you doubt this look in to scoring averages on the PGA Tour when it is very windy, the scoring average goes way up.
The other big metal barrier is to embrace the challenges of the day, and relish it. Playing in strong wind, or other adverse conditions, requires being much more creative with your club selection, course strategies, and modifying your stance and swing to fit the given shot.
This is why it can be a lot of fun, creativity keeps things fresh and interesting.
Again though, if your expectations are unreasonably high and you fail to be creative and make adjustments you will struggle, and likely won't enjoy it.
Lets deal with these three conditions separately. Cold weather is a lot about preparations and equipment choices.
Today's technology offers some light weight, breathable types of garments that allow you to layer but maintain the ability to swing relatively freely. It is also vital in cold weather to factor in that the ball will not travel as far as it normally would. This happens for several reasons, a cold ball doesn't compress as easily, a cold body is not as mobile, and the extra clothing further limits mobility.
Wet weather is similar. Dress accordingly, and do anything necessary to keep your equipment dry. Also, play conservatively. A wet ball, club, and soggy ground make it more challenging to control the flight of your shots.
As I said earlier, most common condition we face is wind.
There are several keys here. Vary your club selection considerably in a strong wind. A tour pro that hits their 7 iron about 175 yards may drop to anything from a 4 iron to a pitching wedge in to or against a lot of wind. Amateurs rarely adjust more than a single club.
In a cross wind don't just play for the amount of curve you anticipate, but remember that after the ball lands it will roll sideways, especially on the green. This applies to chips and pitches as well.
Lastly, balance is harder to maintain in the wind, so swing at pace that fosters good balance.
Work on these principles, and remember to have fun when you face these playing conditions!
Adam Bazalgette is a teaching professional that grew up in London, England, where he learned to play golf. Adam has been teaching the game of golf to all skill levels since 1992. Adam worked for David Leadbetter and in 1994 was promoted to the Director of the Leadbetter's Naples facility. Adam currently holds the position as Director of golf at The Club at Mediterra in Naples Florida.