Are you a golf addict? Then you’ve probably played in the rain before. What’s a little moisture in the face of a great game, right? Golf is famous for being a sport that prompts some obsessive behavior in its aficionados. So unless there’s a hurricane brewing and they’ve been kicked off the course in order to prevent damage to the grass, it’s not uncommon to see golfers galore tough it out in the wind and rain.
That said, even if we still want to play through the rain, that doesn’t mean we don’t have to change our strategy a bit when it’s pouring cats and dogs. If you’re playing during a downpour you have a bit more to worry about than keeping your socks dry — you’ll have to alter your strategy in order to get the results you want. Here are some of our top tips for playing well in the rain.
1. Get the right gear
- Get yourself a nice pair of rain gloves — they really are different than your standard leather golf gloves. Usually made with a new simulated suede material, the wetter they get, the better they grip. You can even rub them in the wet grass to activate their stickiness. Wear one on each hand to keep your club firmly in hand.
- Invest in a golf-specific rain suit. Waterproof pants and a waterproof jacket will keep you warm and dry and able to stay out on the course for all 18 holes. That said, even nice, quality rain suits can sometimes seem a bit bulky and alter the feel and motion of your swing. How do you counteract this? Practice in the suit. You may feel silly wearing your rain suit during a dry day at the driving range, but your handicap will thank you.
- Wear waterproof golf shoes. Leave your canvas golf shoes in the closet and break out your waterproof kicks with anti-slip grips/cleats.
- Actually use that rain hood jammed in the bottom of your golf bag. Most newer golf bags include a thin, rayon cover that zips or straps over the top of the bag to keep your clubs dry during play.
- Wear a wide-brim hat to keep your head and hair dry. You’ll be able to stay out longer on the course and keep driving rain out of your eyes while you focus on your swing thoughts.
- Carry one of those giant golf umbrellas. This last piece of rain gear isn’t for everyone. Some golfers love using one to stay dry in between shots and when walking from hole to hole. However, carrying one of those giant things can feel a bit fussy and keep your hands too busy. If you’re wearing a hat, gloves and a rain suit, carrying a big, unwieldy umbrella may not be necessary. This one is really a personal choice.
- Carry more than one golf towel to dry your equipment off in between shots.
2. Alter your swing
Wet turf encourages giant divots. You’ll want to avoid this by swinging your irons along a shallower arc than usual. An iron that hits wet ground will scoop out more grass than you want. Aim for “thinner” shots, rather than “fatter” shots. Make sure your feet are really grounded before you swing.
Wet grass also makes slippage much more likely. Hit harder through the rough. The rougher the turf, the more water clinging to the blades of grass. You’re also going to need a firmer hit than usual to get the same distance. Balls tend to sit down better on wet greens, so keep this in mind during your approach shot.
3. Be careful when hitting out of sand
Wet sand usually acts hard and thin, so your ball will actually come out harder and faster than normal. Adjust your hazard strategy accordingly.
4. Be bold when putting
As the greens get soft and bumpy with water, remember you won’t get as much release during your approach. The same goes for putting across a wet and bumpy green. Swampy conditions slow the ball down when putting, so you will need to be bolder and hit more solidly in order to get your desired path and distance.
— C. Pedroja