Imagine Golf Blogs

Tips for Winter Golf

Don't be a fair weather golfer, keep on playing

Posted Dec 16, 2011 by Tips and Techniques

Playing golf in winter presents a whole new challenge to golfers

When the sun disappears and the rain and snow comes pouring in, a lot of people see that as the time to stash the golf clubs away at the back of the garage and wait until the following April to take them out again, when the weather has improved. However, just because it’s winter doesn’t mean you have to stop playing, after all, golf goes on all year around. You just have to adapt.

Adapting to the conditions is a major part of golf, having to play in different ways because of the course, the weather conditions and the position of the ball, so making some simple changes to your game will allow you to carry on come rain or shine this winter.

First and “FORE”most, we’ll start with your shot off the tee. Most courses favour the artificial tees for the winter, protecting the ground so it looks its best during the peak season. The first thing you should bare in mind is that the artificial position restricts where you can play your shot from, and your stroke may not go in exactly the direction you want it to, because of the location of the mat. Make sure you take several practice swings to make sure you’re going at the pin, and not the deep rough off to the left.

Another factor to bare in mind with the artificial tee is the position of your feet. On the grass, your studs can help to keep you stable. On the mats, however, widening your stance will ensure you get a solid foundation to play from, leaving your body at least unaffected by the wind.

With your strokes, you need to remember that the fairways and greens are unlikely to be anywhere near as quick as they would be in the summer months, so laying up becomes more important. The ball won’t run on as much as it would in the dry, so where you would normally play an iron and let the ball run onto the green, you may prefer a fairway wood during the winter.

Your short game will also be dramatically affected by the cold, wet conditions. Normally, you may choose to putt from off the green, allowing the ball to run down the slopes onto the putting surface before taking the putter out of the bag. With the conditions more damp and boggy in some cases, a rescue club or fairway wood will get the ball rolling and then you would putt normally, maybe with a little more power than normal.

Keeping the ball low will be a huge benefit. You find during the winter that the winds pick up and the ball is more likely to be blown off course, particularly with your tee shots. Keeping the ball low and under the wind will provide more value for shots.

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