It can get scorching out on the course! Just recently, I was playing down in South Carolina, and with the heat index, it was 105 degrees outside! I know some of you will avoid such temperatures and stick to the days that aren’t as unbearable. However, this page is for all of those who want to improve their golf games when the sun starts beating down on you. And yes, you can beat the heat! Just follow these Quick Golf Tips!
Checklist When Playing in the Heat
Make sure you have the following items handy when planning to play golf on a day where the sun is out. Some of the links I have put below will take you to some great deals on Amazon so be sure to take a peek!
1. Drink Water: Obvious but sometimes overlooked. When exercising in the heat (yes golf is exercise), make sure you have an abundance of water. Most courses that experience hot temperates will have coolers of water out on the course. However, they are usually spaced out around the golf course so don’t rely solely on using them. Bring your own water bottle! Preferably, abig one! Drink a few sips every 10-15 minutes so you can stay hydrated and keep your body in playing condition!
2. Bring Food: Stock up on little snacks to help restore expended energy out on the course. This can consist of energy bars, granola bars, nuts, fruit or sunflower seeds. Any food that contains nutrients will do, as long as your body doesn’t overwork itself in the heat.
3. Use a Cooler: Store your food and drinks in a high-quality portable cooler.In my experience, cheaper coolers will only keep its contents cold for around 2 hours when exposed to hot conditions. Since a golf round can sometimes last over 4 hours, better more quality coolers will need to be used. This will keep your drinks and food at cold temperatures and will help cool your body down during the heat!
4. Towel: Using a cloth on the course is essential when trying to wipe down your hands or to use on the back of your neck to cool down. Check out this neck towel you can use out on the course. Just soak in water and keep it in your cooler for when you need to lower your body temperature.
6. Sunscreen: Layers on Layers on Layers of sunscreen! The hotter the weather, the more potent the sun’s rays. Don’t try and tough it out! Remeber to put sunscreen on:
- Tips of your ears
- Back of neck
7. Clothing: The proper apparel is essential when playing in hot weather conditions. Avoid dark colors and wear light clothing!
- Shirts- Wear breathable fabric like these options here for men and women
- Shoes- Light Weight Golf Shoes are the way to go when you are on your feet for hours in hot weather. Here are a few options I like for men and women
- Hats- Use golf hats to protect your face from the sun. If you are feeling more adventurous, check out a few golf hat options that protect the back of your neck too!
8. Golf Fan: Alright so this is an optional addition you can choose to use during hot weather conditions on the course. This battery powered golf fanfits very comfortably in a golf cart cup holder and blasts wind up to 20 mph! That’s enough to cool you down when taking a break in your cart.
Golfing in Heat Tips
Great! Now we have the right equipment for handling the heat on the course! Let’s dive in now to some specific golf tips and adjustments we can make to further improve our skills during hot weather.
1. Do You Need New Golf Grips: Golf grips become faded and worn after continuous play. The standard rule of thumb is to change your golf grips once a year to have the best traction when swinging. In the heat, your hands will get sweaty, and it will be even harder to swing correctly if your golf grips are faded. Check your local sporting goods stores of golf pro shops to see if you may need to replace your golf grips
2. Heat Changes Ball Flight: In weather conditions where temperatures reach over 90 degrees, your golf ball is going to fly about 5-8 yards further due to the air being less dense. Remember this for your distance control to make accurate shots!
3. Look For Shade: In the time between golf shots, look for shade where you can rest and cool down. Constant exposure to the heat will drain your energy so take a breather when you can!
4. Take Your Glove Off After Each Shot: Golf gloves are great for improving your grip of the golf club. However, during hot days, your hands are going to collect a lot of sweat when wearing a glove. Gross! A dry golf glove will help your traction and aid with consistent swings. So to prevent having to get a new glove after your round, take it off after your shot to let it air out!
5. Book an Earlier Tee Time: When possible, try scheduling your tee times earlier in the morning to avoid the hottest parts of the day. Tee times around 7:00-9:00 in the morning are best, so you can get off of the golf course at a reasonable time. The only downfall about playing earlier in the morning is that many other golfers are also competing for the same times. So make sure you call and book your tee times in advance to reserve your spot!
6. Utilize the Beverage Cart: Most golf courses have a beverage cart that goes around the course containing drinks and snacks. So make sure to take advantage when they come around and stock up while you can so you can keep up your energy!
7. Be Careful with Caffeine and Alcohol: Watch out for diuretics like alcohol and coffee as they dehydrate your body. This will cause poor coordination and make it more difficult for your muscles to properly function during your golf swing. So make sure if you do have caffeine or alcohol that you need to drink more water to compensate!
8. Ride if you Can: Golf is a great exercise, especially when you are walking the course. However, when weather temperatures start to rise, it’s best to pay a little extra for a golf cart. It is going to be very hard to cool down if you are constantly expending energy by walking!
9. Club Up and Swing Softer: My last golfing tip on how to play in the heat is to club up and swing softer. I know earlier I said that your golf ball is going to fly further in the hot weather. While this is true, you don’t want to expend too much energy swinging hard on every shot. This is why I recommend that you club up (ex. 7iron to 6 iron) and take a nice smooth swing. Doing this will help conserve energy while allowing you to reach the same distances you usually would.
Playing golf in the heat isn’t for everyone. But, for those of you willing to give it a try, follow my recommendations and tips, and you can still perform well out on the course! The last thing you want is to be unprepared for a hot day so always look at the radar, so you are ready for the heat. Again, take a look through some of the links above so you can have the right golf accessories for your round!
On the flip side: If playing in the heat isn’t your thing and you like the colder weather, make sure to check out my article here on how to play golf in the cold, wind and rain!
Stay cool and enjoy your round! ????