Playing golf in the rain can be quite a challenge. One of the main difficulties is trying to get backspin on the golf ball which helps with flight and distance.
This is best achieved when your clubface and ball is dry and there is a lot of friction. However, the rain significantly reduces the friction between the ball and the clubface. Therefore, your game would not be as good when compared to dry conditions. So don’t expect to get an amazing golf score in the rain.
Nevertheless, there are a few preparatory actions and tips that you should follow to ensure you play your best game in such unfavorable wet conditions.
Here are 10 tips to help you play golf in the rain:
- Examine the golf course
- Follow the lift, clean and place rule
- Have waterproof gear
- Bring rain golf gloves
- Have waterproof spike golf shoes
- Bring waterproof bag and trolley cover
- Bring umbrella
- Use a dry towel
- Bring pitching wedge to get ball out of wet sand
- Be patient and expect the game to be slower
1. Examine The Golf Course Conditions
Before you set out to play golf in the rain, you must first determine if the golf course is actually playable.
When the rain falls, puddles of water are formed on the greens and fairways, and there is mud all over. Therefore, it’s important that you examine the golf course before setting up and making your shot, just like you would on any other day.
If there is too much water on the golf course that is creating large puddles and soaking up fairways, then the game should be halted and the golf course should be closed until the conditions are resolved.
A lot of water on the fairways and greens may soften the ground too much causing the turf to be susceptible to damage. As a result, the superintendent of the golf course may limit the use of golf carts to protect the health and longevity of the turf.
2. Don’t Be Afraid To Invoke The ‘Lift Clean And Place’ Rule.
The lift, clean and place rule is also referred to as ‘preferred lies’ or ‘winter rules’. This rule states that golfers are allowed to improve their lies under certain conditions without penalty. According to Appendix 1 to the rules of golf, the USGA and R&A list the conditions that make fairways unsatisfactory. These include: heavy snows, spring thaws, prolonged rains or extreme heat. The rule also helps to promote fairplay and protect the turf from damage.
So how does the rule work? Well since we are on the topic of golfing in the rain, players may invoke the rule in prolonged rains where the ball may land in mud or a puddle of water. If there is debris and mud on the golf ball, then that may impact the ball’s flight and trajectory, causing the ball to fly out of control, resulting in a slice or hook.
Therefore, it’s important that the golf ball remain clean. In order to lift and clean the golf ball, you must first mark the location of the ball’s original position before lifting it. You can use a golf tee to mark the location or a ball marker.
After cleaning the ball with a dry towel, you should place back the ball no more than six inches in any direction (but not closer to the hole). Alternatively, most PGA tour players agree to a club length from the original position of the golf ball.
All in all don’t be afraid to invoke ‘preferred lies’ rule when you’ve got the chance. This will take a lot of challenges off your game when playing in the rain.
3. Carry Waterproof Gear
The main concept to know when playing golf in the rain is to try to keep everything dry as possible. You want to have waterproof gear that will protect you from the rain. If the clothes you are wearing is soaking up all the rainwater, then you’ll feel very uncomfotable and mucky during the round.
Waterproof gear will help you stay dry and comfortable underneath and will help you stay focused on the game at hand.
You may want to go for zippered trousers bottoms which makes them easier to get on in a hurry over your shoes, especially when the rain begins pouring down suddenly. You should also include a rain jacket, preferably with long sleeves as you want to keep as dry as possible on the golf course. It would be convenient to have 2 big front pockets on the jacket to keep your hands warm and dry.
Other waterproof clothing may include a shortsleeve wind shirt in misty and lightweight rain conditions, and a waterproof golf cap to keep your head dry.
4. Put On Rain Gloves
The glove that you’d usually use on a warm and sunny day should be replaced with a waterproof glove instead, particularly with rain gloves. You should also wear two gloves instead of one in such rainy conditions.
The rain gloves will not only help your hands to keep warm and dry, but it will prevent the club from slipping out of your hands. In other words, rain gloves increase your grip on the club even in extreme wet weather.
These gloves are usually made from non-woven, synthetic material that allows moisture to be taken into the fiber structure of the palm. Some of the rain gloves are designed such that they grip more the wetter they get.
All in all, you should choose rain gloves over a standard glove. A standard glove will become immediately ineffective the moment it gets wet and you will struggle to hold onto your club.
5. Wear Waterproof Spiked Golf Shoes
A pair of waterproof golf shoes that has spikes will help you stay grounded on the course. When the rain falls, the grass become slippery and your feet above the ground begins to sink under the suggy turf.
You are proned to slide or slip if you are wearing spikless golf shoes as you rotate and swing your golf club. You may even slip just by walking the fairways or green, so it’s important that you wear spiked golf shoes that offer stability and prevent you from slipping and possibly injuring yourself.
You will also gain more power from the ground into your swing when your feet are grounded by the spiked shoes. This will help to hit your irons pure and clean, allowing for more distance which is typically hard to come by in wet and humid conditions.
6. Waterproof Bag and Trolley Cover
You golf bag is where you store your clubs and other essential equipment. Keeping your clubs dry for as long as possible is the smart way to go about golfing in the rain as dry equipment typically perform better than wet equipment. Having a waterproof golf bag will help keep your clubs and irons dry for as long as possible until you take them out the bag.
You should also add another layer of protection by using a trolley cover to help keep things dry. Waterproof golf bags are generally more durable and rust. Not only will they protect your equipment from moisture, but it protects them from damage. Therefore, a waterproof golf bag is worth it even if you’re not playing in the rain.
The pockets are also seam sealed to keep the rain out.
Apart from the clubs you store in the bag, you can also store your scorecards, books, tees, sharpies, golf balls ball, markers or any valuable items you have like a camera. Rest assured that all these items remain warm and dry in your waterproof golf bag.
7. Bring Umbrella
Sometimes a cap and rainsuit is not sufficient when golfing in the rain. An umbrella is good to have in your bag in the middle of a storm. It keeps players and golf equipment dry. It’s recommended that you carry two umbrellas. One for sheltering yourself and the other to protect the equipment in your golf bag.
You can open the umbrella over the waterproof golf bag to give it added protection. The umbrella also helps a player to be more visible on the golf course, especially in morning fog and poor lighted conditions. Moreover, the larger the umbrella is the better.
Now where you place the umbrella in your bag after using it matters. If your clubs are dry, then it would be a waste to put the wet umbrella next to them. Remember, you want everything to remain dry as possible.
Most golf bag will have a section at the side of the bag to put your umbrella so you should utilize that socket.
Nevertheless, some important features to look for in a good golf umbrella are:
- Canopy Size.
- The Material Used During Manufacturing.
- The Weight Of The Umbrella
- Protection Against UV Rays Of The Sun.
- User Comfort.
- Elegance And Visibility
8. Bring Dry towel
A golf towel will help keep your equipment dry such as your clubs and golf ball. The towel is convenient in the event your ball or clubhead is covered with mud and derbris. If you allow the clubhead or golf ball to remain dirty, then you wont achieve the best golf shot. This is because mud and debris offsets the flight and tracjectory of the golf ball sending it away from the target.
It’s good to also carry an extra towel in your backpocket to wipe your face from sweat or moisture, or to wipe your hands from sweat so that you grip the club better.
9. Bring A Pitching Wedge
Getting the golf ball out of sand is challenging for some of the world’s top professional players. It become even more difficult when the sand becomes wet and compacted by rain.
To get the golf ball out of wet sand, it’s recommended to use a pitching wedge because the leading edge acts like a knife cutting through the wet sand.
Your golf irons won’t do the job as good as the pitching wedge. For example a sand iron has bounce on the soul which will strike the ground and bounce into the ball if the ground is hard.
Therefore, you’d either de-lock the sand iron grip to create more loft or use a pitching wedge instead.
10. Expect The Game To Be Slower
Expect the game to be slower as you’ll need to keep things dry. Moreover, the golf ball will not roll like it used to on dry turf and you won’t cover enough distance. To fix this problem, some golfers attempt to hit the ball lower so that it rolls instead of stopping.
When the rain falls, the atmosphere become thick and humid and this tends to slow down the golf ball as it traverses through the air, resulting in less distance. A good way to resolve the issue is to hit the ball firmer such that the clubhead hit’s the ball with full impact resulting in a pure and clean shot.
However, just because the ball is slower in the rain doesn’t mean you should over hit the ball to get more speed. If you hit the ball too hard, it could result in a slice, so be careful not to let that happen.
Golfing in the rain is not an easy feet. The key is to stay dry as possible and be patient. Don’t rush your shots and don’t expect things to go as planned as if you were golfing under the sun. Lower your expectation and come to the understanding that your golf score will not be as good compared to warm and dry days.
Nevertheless, by following these 10 tips outlined in this article, you will be playing better golf in the rain.