How To Play Golf In Extreme Conditions: 5 Types Of Weather That Affect Your Game (2023)

Golfers like to use the term “chamber of commerce” day to describe a day with the perfect weather to be on the golf course.

Unfortunately, we aren’t always that lucky. If you love the game, eventually you will have to learn how to play golf in extreme conditions.

Weather conditions can affect your equipment and your body.

It is much harder to get your body loose when it is cold outside. Golf balls travel farther in warm weather. Wind, rain, and thunder all affect your game.

To master playing golf in extreme conditions you must understand how the weather will impact your game.

Learn to handle the conditions and you will have a competitive advantage over other players. You might even start to hope for poor weather!

Below we discuss the 5 types of weather you may experience on the golf course and provide tips on how to play golf in extreme conditions.

Let’s get into the swing of it!

How To Play Golf In Extreme Conditions: 5 Types Of Weather That Affect Your Game (1)

Golf In Extreme Conditions: What Types Of Weather Will you Experience On The Golf Course?

An 18-hole round of golf can take up to 5 hours. You can experience three different seasons of weather in that amount of time.

To play golf in extreme conditions you need to be prepared. Always check the weather before you leave the house and bring the correct equipment to the course.

What types of weather should you expect? If you are playing in Alaska you might see some sleet and snow, but we are going to focus on the more common elements.

You need to know how to play in the following conditions:

  • Extreme Heat
  • Cold
  • Wind
  • Rain
  • Thunderstorms
How To Play Golf In Extreme Conditions: 5 Types Of Weather That Affect Your Game (2)

Below we explore each topic and provide you with tips for playing golf in extreme conditions. Let’s get started!


Golf In Extreme Sun: 4 Tips To Survive The Heat

Summer is the perfect time to play golf, but extreme heat can be challenging for golfers.

#1: Don’t Forget The Sunscreen

The most dangerous hazard on the golf course isn’t a lake or a river. It is the harmful UV rays from the sun.

A bad sunburn can have a short-term and long-term impact on you. Too much sun may not seem like a big deal, but it is the leading cause of certain types of skin cancer.

Stay safe. Put sunscreen on before you leave the house and re-apply at the turn.

How To Play Golf In Extreme Conditions: 5 Types Of Weather That Affect Your Game (3)

#2: Stay Hydrated

You are already trying to play golf in extreme conditions, there is no reason to make it even harder.

Drink plenty of water or sports drinks during your round. It is hard to break 80 for the first time if you are out of energy with 4 holes to play.

Don’t rely on golf course-provided water coolers or the “cart girl”. Bring your own hydration to the course.

#3: Keep Your Hands Dry

It is hard to hit great golf shots if your hands are slipping off the club. Similar to playing in the rain, it is important to keep your hands dry.

A golf glove will help – but always carry at least two in your golf bag. In extreme heat, they can become saturated.

How To Play Golf In Extreme Conditions: 5 Types Of Weather That Affect Your Game (4)

If you know you will be playing in the heat, bring an extra towel or two. Keep the sweat off your hands and arms.

#4: Your Golf Ball Will Be Hot

Here is a positive when you play golf in extreme conditions. Your golf ball will travel farther in the heat.

Longer drives are great, but hitting your approach shots over the green can impact your scorecard.

Be sure to factor in the heat during your club selection process.

(Video) Extreme Weather Golf Battle | Dude Perfect

Golf In The Cold: 4 Ways To Battle The Chill

Playing in cold weather presents a unique set of challenges.

#1: Wear Layers

Staying warm in the cold is all about options. Dress in layers so that you can be comfortable throughout your round.

How To Play Golf In Extreme Conditions: 5 Types Of Weather That Affect Your Game (5)

Always have on just enough clothes to stay warm without restricting your golf swing.

You never want to be stuck on the back 9 and wish you hadn’t left your jacket in the car.

#2: Extra Warm-Up Time

It will be harder to get your body loose on the driving range. Give yourself extra time to warm up before your tee time.

Do plenty of stretching and ease into hitting full shots. You are more likely to pull a muscle or tweak your back in the cold.

Don’t be the golfer limping to their car. Get your body ready to play when playing golf in extreme conditions.

#3: Understand The Course Conditions

The golf course can play much differently in the cold, especially if the ground is frozen. Have you ever tried to hit an iron shot to a frozen green?

Your ball could bounce as if it landed on a ping pong table. If you suspect the turf is frozen you will need to hit less club and play the bounce.

How To Play Golf In Extreme Conditions: 5 Types Of Weather That Affect Your Game (6)

Two things to remember on a cold day. Is it hard to get your tee in the ground? Is the green in the shade or in the sun?

#4: Consider Walking

It is much easier to stay warm on a cold day if you are walking the course. Riding in a golf cart will keep your body stiff and you will have to deal with the cool breeze.

Walking will help your body acclimate to playing golf in extreme conditions and increase your heart rate.

If possible, hire a caddy, carry your bag, or use a pushcart.

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Golf In Extreme Conditions: 3 Tips To Manage A Windy Day

Wind can be tough. A stiff breeze is more challenging than heat, cold, or rain.

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#1: Test It

When playing on a windy day, you should never hit a shot until you have tested the wind. The simplest technique is to toss some grass into the air.

You are trying to learn 2 things. The direction of the wind and how strong it is blowing.

It is a good idea to try and estimate how much the wind will impact the distance your ball will travel. Is it a 1-club wind or a 2-club wind?

Club selection is the biggest challenge when playing in the wind.

#2: Use It Or Fight It

Before every shot in the wind, decide if you are going to use the wind or fight it.

For example, if the wind is blowing from right to left, you can aim more right and let the wind bring it back (use it).

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The other option is to hit a fade into the wind to hold it online. Low handicaps and scratch golfers are more likely to fight the wind.

There are pros and cons to both approaches. The key is to decide before you start your backswing.

#3: Flight The Ball Down

The easiest way to play golf in the wind is to try and avoid it. Flight the ball down and keep it out of the gusts.

This will take some practice, but hit extra club, take a shorter swing, and play punch shots.

There is always less wind closer to the ground. Truly great wind players know how to flight their shots under the breeze.

Golf In Extreme Wet: 3 Ways To Play A Rainy Day

No one enjoys playing in the rain, but if you know how to handle it you can still shoot a low score.

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How To Play Golf In Extreme Conditions: 5 Types Of Weather That Affect Your Game (9)

#1: Keep Hands & Grips Dry

You must be diligent to play well in the rain. Your number one priority should be to keep your hands and grips dry.

As long as you can grip the club, you can play well. If your hands start to slip, it is impossible to shoot a good score.

To be successful when you golf in extreme conditions you must be mentally strong. You must maintain your focus, which isn’t easy if your hands are slipping all over the place.

#2: Bring Plenty Of Towels

If you know you are going to be faced with moisture, bring plenty of towels. Use one at a time and keep your spare ones dry.

Most golf bags are waterproof, so you can store them in their pockets.

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Pro Tip: use an umbrella and keep a towel hanging from the inside of it. You will have quick access to dry your hands before each shot.

#3: Try Rain Gloves

A fairly recent product to hit the golf world is gloves designed for the rain. If you play a lot of golf in the rain, they are a required piece of equipment.

They are designed to get wet. In fact, the wetter they get the better the rain gloves grip.

If you have rain gloves you can toss the umbrella and towels. Your grip will be secure throughout your round.

Top Tip For Playing Golf In Thunderstorms

Thunderstorms are the most extreme weather you will experience on the course. Heavy rain, lightning, hail, and the potential for tornados.

How To Play Golf In Extreme Conditions: 5 Types Of Weather That Affect Your Game (11)

#1: Run To The 19th Hole

If there is only one piece of advice you follow in this article, let it be this one. Don’t play golf in a thunderstorm.

Is that simple enough? 🙂

You can be enjoying a beautiful day when all of a sudden dark clouds appear on the horizon. As soon as you hear thunder or see lightning it is time to take a break.

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Thunder and lightning will not only hinder your game but can be dangerous to your health and the health of your precious equipment!

Enjoy a drink and wait for it to blow through. It doesn’t matter how well you are playing, it isn’t worth it.

How To Play Golf In Extreme Conditions: 5 Types Of Weather That Affect Your Game (12)

Golf In Extreme Conditions: Deep Drive On Golf In The Rain


How do you play golf in bad weather? ›

How To Practice Golf In Bad Weather Conditions
  1. Invest in a golf simulator system. All the pros use one so, if you're looking to really take your game to the next level, why don't you? ...
  2. Hit up the driving range. ...
  3. Watch golf and read about it. ...
  4. Invest in outdoor practice aids.
7 Oct 2021

What is the coldest weather you can play golf in? ›

There's almost no lower limit. I'd say about 30 degrees. But that's on a mild day. If there's wind or rain that number creeps higher very fast.

What are the best conditions for golf? ›

Golf Weather

A vast majority of dedicated golfers love cooler weather with low humidity and no breeze (or just a little bit of a breeze).

How do you play extreme heat in golf? ›

How to play great golf in hot weather, according to Tour players
  1. Find shade wherever you can. ...
  2. Start hydrating early. ...
  3. Bring supplements. ...
  4. Use your body's quick-cooling points. ...
  5. Conserve energy. ...
  6. Keep your focus.
4 Aug 2021

How many yards do you lose in cold weather golf? ›

Cold air is denser than warm air and creates additional drag on a ball. According to Trackman, the difference is approximately one yard of carry for every 10-degree change in temperature. So theoretically, you're looking at a loss of four yards if you're playing in 40 degrees as opposed to 80 degrees.

Is 12 degrees too cold to play outside? ›

In general, playing outside in temperatures or wind chills below -15° Fahrenheit should be avoided. At these temperatures, exposed skin begins to freeze within minutes. Several thin layers will help keep kids warm and dry.

What are the 3 most important rules in golf? ›

What are the most important rules in golf? A player must play the ball as it lies. There is a maximum of 14 clubs allowed in a player's bag during play. A player must tee up their ball behind the tee markers.

What are the three most important skills in golf? ›

Necessary Golf Skills

The skills involved for golfing range from grip, stance, and swing, to strategies. Grip is where it begins with the skills needed for golf. The correct grip is what allows someone to develop a solid swing.

Why do golfers wet a towel? ›

Wet Golf Towels Provide Many Uses

Drying the grip to increase the stickiness and get a better hold on the club or putter. Clear away any sweat from a golfer's hands or forehead. Wipe the club or putter to reduce the risk of rusting.

Why do golfers carry a wet towel? ›

Additionally, damp or wet courses can make your clubs especially dirty. A towel ensures that you can wipe off your driver or your putter before putting it in your bag, so it is ready to use for your next turn. Golfers of any ability will want a clean putter to secure their best shot.

What is the best way to survive extreme heat? ›

Everyone should take these steps to prevent heat-related illnesses, injuries, and death during hot weather:
  1. Stay in an air-conditioned indoor location as much as you can.
  2. Drink plenty of fluids even if you don't feel thirsty.
  3. Schedule outdoor activities carefully. ...
  4. Take cool showers or baths to cool down.

What is better extreme heat or cold? ›

Extreme heat is responsible for the highest number of annual deaths among all weather-related hazards. Similarly, severe cold weather can cause a higher risk for hypothermia, frostbite, carbon monoxide poisoning, heart attacks from overexertion, and even car accidents due to snow and ice.

How do you train in extreme heat? ›

Give your body a chance to acclimate and work up to exercising in those conditions.
  1. 7 Tips for Exercising in the Heat. ...
  2. Avoid the hottest part of the day. ...
  3. Drink plenty of fluids. ...
  4. Regularly use sunscreen. ...
  5. Wear light, breathable clothing. ...
  6. Know your limits. ...
  7. Replenish your electrolytes. ...
  8. Create a training plan.

How do you hit a golf ball when it's raining and muddy? ›

To ensure that you hit the ball first and minimize the wet turf's effect, aim for a spot on the ground an inch in front of the ball. Make sure the clubhead and your right knee reach the ball simultaneously. Time it right and you'll hit all ball—and be putting for birdie.

What wind speed affects golf? ›

In my research, I have found that a 10 MPH breeze will move your ball 1 club worth of distance in the direction it is blowing. That means that a 10 MPH breeze will move your ball 12 yards if that is the yardage you hit between clubs, 8 yards if that is the gap between clubs, etc.

What golf ball goes the farthest in cold weather? ›

The longest golf ball for cold weather is the Bridgestone E6. BUT this ball is better suited to average to below average swing speeds. Higher swing speeds will get more distance from the Titleist TruFeel or TaylorMade Tour response.

Does cold ruin golf balls? ›

It is certainly not a good idea to hit a ball when it is at freezing temperatures, because this will not only cause damage to the ball but probably the club as well, never mind the potential damage to your body if you are not warmed up properly.

Do cold golf balls go shorter? ›

Cold weather will make the ball fly shorter for a couple reasons. Cold air is denser than warm air and creates additional drag on the ball. More lift and drag makes the ball go higher and shorter. Tests show a loss of two yards of carry for every ten degrees below 75°.

Is it OK to bleach golf balls? ›

Will Bleach Damage Golf Balls? Using bleach to clean golf balls will not damage them. If you were to use bleach and then scrub them with a wire brush, the hard wires would probably scratch and damage the balls.

Do hot golf balls go further? ›

Now as for the golf ball itself, when its warmer, the rubber materials used to make the balls respond better. So, a warmer ball will come off the clubface with more velocity and spin than a colder ball. Plus, it will carry a bit farther because warm air is less dense. Golf ball selection also plays a part.

What happens if a golf ball hits a fan? ›

If your ball is moved by an outside influence, such as an animal or a spectator, there is no penalty to anyone and the ball must be replaced. If your ball is moved by a natural force, such as wind, water, or gravity, you will usually play the ball from its new location without penalty.

What temp is OK to play outside? ›

The safest temperature to go outside to play is 30 degrees or higher. Yellow zone. Playing in temperatures between 20 to 30 degrees should be carefully watched by parents as the weather will affect body temperatures to cool quickly.

How do you survive extreme cold outside? ›

Wear a hat, because 40%of your body heat can be lost from your head. Cover your mouth to protect your lungs from extreme cold. Mittens, snug at the wrist, are better than gloves. Try to stay dry and out of the wind.

What temperature is not safe outside? ›

When Is Cold Too Cold? Experts agree that it's best to stay indoors if the temperature falls below zero degrees Fahrenheit or the windchill dips below -18. If you must go outside, you should do your best to limit any skin exposure to no more than 30 minutes.

Which is better 3 wood or 3 hybrid? ›

If you can only choose one club, a 3 hybrid is better for a high handicap golfer than a 3 wood. A 3 hybrid is a more versatile club across the board and, as a result, plays better from different spots. Even for an intermediate golfer, we would give the same advice.

Can you use a 56 degree wedge as a sand wedge? ›

A 56-degree wedge is considered a sand wedge and is mainly used for hitting out of the sand and chipping around the green. A 56-degree wedge is one of the most used clubs and is the highest loft an average golfer should carry.

What are the 4 skills used in golf? ›

Golf's 7 Essential Skills
  • Pre swing fundamentals - Grip, Aim and Setup. Grip – Most golfers have never held a golf club properly. ...
  • Club face control. Accuracy is a combination of aim and clubface control. ...
  • Strike, don't scoop. ...
  • Swing Plane. ...
  • Pivot. ...
  • Effortless power, not powerless effort. ...
  • Width in your golf swing.
29 Jun 2015

What is the 75% rule in golf? ›

Rule of 75. The rule of 75 applies to a player who meets the following criteria: Over 75 years of age. Has an index that normally qualifies them to compete in the A-flight and therefore play from the pine tees.

What is the golden rule of golf? ›

Play the ball as it lies. Don't move, bend, or break anything growing or fixed, except in fairly taking your stance or swing. Don't press anything down. You may lift natural objects not fixed or growing, except in a water hazard or bunker.

What is the number 1 rule in golf? ›

Purpose of Rule: Rule 1 introduces these central principles of the game: Play the course as you find it and play your ball as it lies.

What is the most important move in the golf swing? ›

You have to look closely to see the lateral sit-down, which is why I call it the “smallest, most important move in golf.” Fundamentally, the inside (hips) move the outside (the clubhead), so even though this transition from lateral to rotational is remote from impact, it is none-the-less the cause of impact.

What body part is the most important in golf? ›

The three most important areas of your body for golf are:

The Hips / Glutes. The Core / Pelvis. The Scapula (shoulder blades) / Upper Back.

What is the hardest skill in golf? ›

The hardest shot in golf is being a foot or two off the green in rough with the pin 15 feet or less away on the green. Brian S. A greenside shot with the ball sitting down in deep rough or a fried egg in a trap to a tight pin with the green running down to a water hazard.

Why do people put Vaseline on golf clubs? ›

Any kind of grease on the face (Vaseline, sunscreen, ChapStick, etc.) will reduce the sidespin you create with a bad swing—which means the ball won't curve as much.

Why do golfers wash their golf balls? ›

Simply put, you should clean your golf ball after every hole. The dimple pattern on golf balls has been specifically designed to provide the best flight and performance. Any type of debris and blemish can affect the flight of the ball. That can mean reduced distance, diminished accuracy, or even extra strokes.

Why do people put duct tape on golf clubs? ›

It'll prevent you from swaying by putting your spine into flexion at the top of the backswing. It'll increase the length of your arm swing, which will result in more clubhead speed.

Why do golfers have a notebook in their back pocket? ›

The yardage book are ubiquitous on the PGA Tour. Players and caddies carry them in their pockets and consult them before each shot. They show yardages to various targets on each hole, different points of elevation, and a close-up of the green that shows detailed contours and yardages.

Do PGA players use the bathroom? ›

Almost every man on the tour has put the P in PGA at some point, and some of them are even willing to admit it. "I guarantee you, everyone has a story," says the touring pro Kevin Na. "We've all gone out and found a tree or a bush at some point." Or as his fellow pro Joe Ogilvie puts it: "We all have to pee."

How many towels should be in a golf bag? ›

Keep to a minimum the number of tees (10 tops), ball markers (two tops), towels (one) and golf balls (six, max).

Do you hit down on a 7 iron? ›

With a 7 iron, you will need to ensure that you hit down and through the ball and take a slight divot. The divot helps ensure that the golf ball gets some excellent ball flight and the spin that it needs to stop on the green.

Do you pivot when chipping? ›

The key to get the club accelerating through the ball is to pivot your body. Your body drives your arms, your arms drive the club.

Can you hit a 60 degree wedge out of sand? ›

Can you use a 60-degree wedge as a sand wedge? A 60-degree wedge can work well out of the sand but it's important to have at least 10 degrees of loft. A wedge with more loft can help you get the ball out of deep bunkers or fly a shorter distance.

What do you do in golf during a thunderstorm? ›

Go to large permanent buildings or get into a fully enclosed metal vehicle (car, van or pickup truck). Avoid trees since they "attract" lightning. Avoid small on-course shelters: they are intended only for sun and rain safety. Don't wait around for the next strike, please.

What do golfers do when it rains? ›

Umbrella and towel

An umbrella will keep your equipment dry and prevent water from getting onto your ball, while a towel helps improve your grip. The minute your grip is slippery, golf becomes unplayable, so a towel is vital – you should ideally pack a few towels in case the one you use outside gets too wet.

Why is it a bad idea to play golf in a storm? ›

A golf course is an especially dangerous place during a thunderstorm because it has isolated, tall trees and wide-open spaces where golfers can be the tallest target.

Can you play golf in a thunderstorm? ›

You shouldn't need a reminder to avoid playing golf during a thunderstorm. Really, you shouldn't do anything during a thunderstorm except cower in your own home. You're not even supposed to keep the TV plugged in. Seriously.

How many golfers are killed by lightning? ›

John Jensenius, a lightning safety specialist at the National Lightning Safety Council, said there have been 12 golf-related lightning fatalities in the U.S. since 2006.

What should you not do during thunder? ›

Avoid windows, doors, porches, and concrete.

Stay away from windows and doors, and stay off porches. Do NOT lie on concrete floors or lean on concrete walls during a thunderstorm. Lightning can travel through any metal wires or bars in concrete walls or flooring.

Are wet greens faster or slower? ›

Play less break: Wet greens are slower, so play less break than you would under dry conditions and hit the ball more firmly. Also, pay attention to whether the green you're on has been mowed.

What should I bring on a rainy day golf? ›

Here are nine must-have accessories to make sure you get the most out of your golf game... rain or shine.
  1. 9 Accessories for Rainy Weather Golf Games. Golfing in wet conditions presents a whole new set of challenges, even for the most experienced golfers. ...
  2. Waterproofs. ...
  3. Umbrella. ...
  4. Grips. ...
  5. Gloves. ...
  6. Footwear. ...
  7. Lotion. ...
  8. Golf Bag Hood.

What winds are bad to golf in? ›

At what wind speed is golf unplayable? Frankly, even with what is said above, winds of 20 mph are going to be tough and demand exacting ball striking. As we move closer to 30 mph it becomes extremely difficult and beyond that will be next to unplayable.

What golfers are good in bad weather? ›

Undoubtedly the best ball striker of all time, Tiger Woods is almost unbeatable when playing in windy conditions. His ability to take spin of the ball allows him to control his shots off the tee and into the greens. His ability to see shots that no one else can gives him that extra edge when playing into the wind.

Can you play golf in heavy rain? ›

With a few tips and some common sense advice, you can make the most of your round and have some fun while playing in the rain! Just be sure to dress appropriately, take care on wet surfaces, and be prepared for some less-than-ideal golf course conditions.

How can you protect yourself from lightning in golf? ›

Seek Shelter Immediately.
  1. Do not stand under tall trees or sit in a golf cart. ...
  2. You must get away from your cart and away from your golf clubs quickly.
  3. Stay away from water.
  4. If you are old-school and have metal spikes on, take them off.
7 Jul 2018

How often are golfers struck by lightning? ›

The odds of being struck by lightning on a golf course is 1:3,000. The odds of becoming a lightning victim in the US is 1:700,000. Lightning can kill people or cause cardiac arrest, severe burns, permanent brain damage, memory loss, and personality changes.


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