Golf day is finally here! You grab your clubs, head for the door, and step outside into the…rain. It’s not exactly the sunny golf game you were planning.
This is a common scenario for golfers. Does a sudden rain shower mean you need to cancel your golf day?
So, can you golf in the rain? Playing golf in the rain can be an exhilarating experience and brings challenges to the game. If there’s no lightning, it’s perfectly safe to golf even in a downpour.
Let’s look at the pros and cons of golfing in the rain.
Five benefits of golfing in the rain
1. Cooler Temperatures
Sometimes, a nice cool breeze can be a lifesaver on the course. Golfing on a beautiful sunny day has its benefits.
But when the temperatures rise to 80 degrees and higher, it can quickly become sweltering. Heat can also make your hands sweat and make it harder to grip your clubs.
Sometimes a nice cool rain can make a round of golf enjoyable.
2. You Can Have The Course To Yourself
It’s a fact that most golfers stay home when the weather turns wet. This means there’s more room on the green for you!
No waiting for someone ahead of you to clear out. It means you can take your time playing each hole and not worry about the people behind you either.
Plus, a round of golf will move more quickly with nobody else holding you up.
3. Bullseye Shots Become Easier
Wet ground makes the ball stop shorter, and in fact, it may not roll at all.
Especially when putting, it becomes easier to zero in on the flag and putt for right where you want it to land.
If you tend to over-putt, this is a great opportunity to practice hitting the mark every time.
4. It Will Make You a Better Golfer
Golf takes practice. Golfing in pristine conditions is a wonderful thing, and it might be enough for some people.
But learning to adjust your game for a soggy fairway and unfavorable weather conditions is par for the course (sorry) when it comes to golf.
Wind speeds and direction make a big difference in how you choose to play a hole, and wet weather is no different.
Balls don’t fly as far on the fairway, don’t travel as far from the rough, and don’t roll as far on the green. Learning to adjust your swing and your game to match the conditions will make you a better player.
5. You Can Play When Others Won’t
Some golfers choose to play only when the weather is favorable. Unless you live in sunny California, near the desert, inclement weather is likely to happen eventually.
If you learn to play in the rain, you can play while others stay home. That means more golf days for you, and what could be bad about that?
Five Downsides Of Golfing In The Rain
1. Rain is Wet!
If you’re going to play golf in the rain, there’s a strong likelihood you will get wet. Make sure you check the forecast before heading out for the course. (So you don’t try to take your motorcycle to the golf course.)
You don’t want to wind up in the middle of your game with no rain gear when the weather takes a turn.
By the time you make it back to the clubhouse, you’re bound to be cold, wet, and shivering.
2. You Need Extra Gear
Playing golf in the rain is entirely possible. But it will be a lot easier and much more enjoyable if you have the appropriate rain gear.
A rain suit, rain gloves, and the right shoes with spikes to keep you from sinking into the wet ground can all help improve your game in the rain. (You can also try to play golf barefoot if you want!)
A cover for your golf bag, a golf umbrella, and extra towels are also necessary to keep your clubs dry. You will also want to dry off your club before and after each swing.
3. It’s Harder To See The Course
Rainy conditions can lessen visibility, making it much harder to see the lay of a hole from far away.
Sand traps, bunkers, and even the green can be difficult to make out through a rainstorm. But that adds to the sense of adventure you get while golfing in a downpour, right?
4. Rain Can Turn To Lightning
If there’s any place you don’t want to be during a lightning storm, it’s in the middle of a golf course holding a metal club above your head.
That sounds like a science experiment gone wrong.
A gentle rainstorm can quickly turn into more, including thunder and lightning. It’s always best to check the forecast before heading out.
And if you see any lightning, it’s time to put the clubs away and head for the 19th hole for a cold beverage instead.
5. Your Score Will Suffer
Many adjustments to your game are necessary while playing in the rain. Wet weather affects how the ball travels, both in the air and on the ground.
Damp air is heavier than dry air, so your ball won’t travel as far.
The green will grab the ball, preventing bounce or roll out. Shots from the sand or rough won’t go as far. Putts won’t roll like they normally would.
In short, you’re going to need to take more shots, which will affect that number on the scorecard.
But think of the upside. More swings made means more practice, and practice makes perfect, right?
How To Play Better Golf In The Rain
So, can you golf in the rain? Yes, but it certainly helps to be prepared. Here are some tips for surviving the rain on the golf course.
Gear Tips For A Rainy Golf Day
Wear the right gear
Rain gear can make the difference between an enjoyable golf game and a miserable one. A waterproof jacket, pants, and shoes are a must.
You can buy specially made rain gear at any local golf store or clubhouse, but there’s a good chance it’s not going to be cheap.
So, if you spend the money on rain gear, you might as well get out there and use it!
Wear rain gloves
You can’t grip the club correctly with wet hands, so make sure you have a good pair of gloves (or two).
You can snag some rain gloves designed to improve your grip in wet weather.
Bring a quality golf umbrella
A good golf umbrella is the key to keeping your gear dry.
Make sure you get one large and sturdy enough to withstand the wind.
Keep your clubs dry
Either a specially made umbrella for your clubs or a waterproof cover is essential when playing in the rain.
It’s probably better to use both to ensure your clubs and bag stay dry.
Bring extra towels
You can never have enough towels. Bring extra towels and keep them out of the rain while golfing.
This way, you will have a dry one when you need it.
Bring an extra scorecard
Your scorecard may get wet and smudge, so to avoid arguments about who is winning, keep an extra on hand.
Bring extra balls
Shots are harder to make in the rain. Bring a few extra balls, just in case yours wind up in the drink.
Bring a change of clothes
A dry set of clothing for the round of drinks that comes after your round of golf is a smart idea.
Tips For a Better Game
Use a marker
Leaving your ball exposed to the rain for even a short amount of time will affect the carry.
Use a marker whenever possible and only drop your ball when ready to hit.
Use woods and hybrid clubs
Irons are great when it’s warm and dry, but woods and hybrid clubs tend to counteract the effect of the rain.
Hit the ball harder
Wet air, moisture, and even the rain itself will shorten your shots. Put a little extra on it.
Grip the club lower
Lowering your grip will give you more power and help the ball travel farther.
Adjust your putts
A wet green will have a noticeable effect on how your putts roll out.
Use winter golf rules
Golfing in wet weather comes with its own challenges, and there are special rules to help you combat the elements.
Using winter golf rules allows you to move your ball away from standing water. You can also lift a muddy ball to clean it before shooting.
Can you golf in the rain? It’s not for everyone. If you’re up for the challenge, it might be time to brave the elements and get out there. Make sure you come prepared and always keep an eye on the sky for any sign of worsening weather. But go for it!
Playing in the rain will improve your game and make you a better golfer. And the next time you’re out on the course with some friends, and it starts to rain, you’re sure to blow their game out of the water!