Updated: Feb 8
Golfing in winter may sound intimidating, but it has numerous advantages to keep your golf game going and get ready for golf season.
A frosty day at Kirtlington Golf Club
Although the temperature may not be as balmy as it is in the warmer months, playing golf in the wintertime can still be an incredibly enjoyable experience. The winter months offer a great opportunity for golfers to work on their skills and get ahead of the game before the golf season officially begins. With less pressure and fewer crowds on the course, you can focus on developing your technique and working on the areas of your game that need the most improvement. Whether you're a seasoned player or just starting out, playing golf during the colder months can provide numerous benefits and help you prepare for spring.
With some preparation and a positive attitude, you can keep your game sharp and ready for golf season.
Here are some tips to help you make the most of your winter golfing experience:
It's important to stay warm in cold weather, so wear multiple layers that can be easily added or removed as needed. Wear moisture-wicking clothing as a base layer and add insulating layers on top will keep your body warm and dry.
Waterproof shoes with good grip are also a good idea, as they will keep your feet dry and improve stability during the swing.
Choose the right equipment
Using the appropriate equipment does make a difference in your experience on the golf course during the winter months. A ball that has a lower compression for better performance and longer tees can help you compensate for the harder ground and slower ball speed in cold weather.
Weather conditions can affect the ball's flight, so the choice of your club will make a big difference. Getting your club fitted during the winter months is also a great step to take during the off-season, as you can get used to your new club during quieter times on the course.
Keep your hands warm
Keeping your hands warm is essential for a good grip on your club. You lose a lot of feel if your hands get cold, so try to avoid that by wearing gloves and, for especially cold days, you can also slip your hands into a hand-warming pouch between every shot.
Stretch and do some light exercises to warm up your muscles before starting your session. Taking some extra time to warm up before playing during colder days will help you improve your performance and avoid potential injuries.
Adjust your putting
When playing golf in the winter, you need to take into consideration that there will be more friction when the ball rolls due to increased surface moisture and longer grass. Putt will therefore be generally slower and break less, so you will need to adjust your technique accordingly; changing the length of stroke is advised as opposed to the speed of the stroke. The more time you spend practicing on the course during winter, the easier it will be to play at your best in these conditions.
Practice, practice, practice
Take advantage of any opportunity to play, even if it's just a few holes. Practicing your short game and putting can help you keep your skills sharp and maintain your feel for the game before the season starts. And if there are days in which you can't spend time outdoors, there is still plenty you can do to keep your game going.
You can still play golf by taking advantage of indoor training facilities. This is a great way to work on your swing, fine-tune your technique, and stay in shape during the off-season. Training at Indoor studios, like my studio in Bicester, that provide a variety of tools and training aids will help you take your game to the next level. You can practice and analyse your swing, making adjustments accordingly to build strength and improve your technique. The use of launch monitors will measure the accuracy of your shots, allowing you to work on your ball striking and increase your accuracy.
Staying up-to-date and learn
When you're not hitting the course, there are other ways to take advantage of the winter months and stay mentally prepared. Watching golf tournaments, documentaries and TV series (an interesting one is coming on Netflix this month - I've talked about it in my last blog), reading golf books, and watching instructional videos or taking online courses can help you stay sharp and even introduce you to new techniques and strategies.
By following these simple tips, you can make the most out of your winter golf season and be ready to hit the greens come spring.