14 Winter Golf Tips
14 golf tips for winter golf - tips for warmth, winter tees, winter greens & winter strategy.
These winter golf tips are courtesy of Shotmiser, UK Golf GPS Specialists.
Update: Shotmiser ceased trading in Nov 2013
Winter Golf Tip #1 - Walk don't drive
- Don't use a cart in winter, you will get cold and your swing will suffer. Walk to stay warm.
Winter Golf Tip #2 – Warm hands
- Ways to keep your hands warm -
- Velcro or otherwise attach mits to your trolly so you can put your hands straight in as you push.
- Become Tommy Two Gloves for the winter. US PGA Tour player Tommy Gainey always wares a glove on each hand regardless of the weather. Winter gloves have improved considerably in recent years, I use a pair of Forgan winter gloves and find I still have good feel.
- Carry some hand warmers in your pocket.
Winter Golf Tip #3 - Warm balls
- Cold golf balls don't fly as far as warm balls. Warm 2 balls on a radiator before you leave for the course. Keep them in your pocket until needed. Use each ball on alternate holes, keeping the other in your pocket to keep them as warm as possible. As long as you do not artificially heat the balls during the round you are within the rules.
Winter Golf Tip #4 – Know your winter club distances
- Check your club distances now in readiness for winter - go to the practice ground and use the practice feature on your golf GPS to accurately measure your distances for each club. You will find your distances are significantly less in cold winter weather and little ground run.
Winter Golf Tip #5 - Allow for soft greens
- Unless it is frosty then you will get little if any run on green approaches so factor this into your club choice.
Winter Golf Tip #6 - Adjust your strategy & expectation for winter
- Just because it says par 4 on the card and you easily hit the green in 2 in summer does not mean you should expect the same in winter. If you are not going to make it in 2 consider mentally adjusting it to a par 5. Play it as a 3 shotter with a strategy that leaves you a preferred lay up distance to the hole. This allows you to swing within yourself and maybe use a couple of mid irons to get in position. If you have taken the time to know your winter wedge distance and take account of the soft greens you stand a good chance of producing a satisfying deadly accurate approach to set up a chance of a par/winter birdie.
Winter Golf Tip #7 - Use the winter green function for accurate winter green distances
- Until now, it was difficult to judge distances accurately to winter greens. A laser rangefinder was the only really easy and accurate method and even that failed on blind holes. Lots of the GPS devices now offer a winter green facility.
Winter Golf Tip #8 - Be smarter from the rough
- Wet grass can grab the hosel of the club which often produces a snap hook. On longer shots from the wet rough consider using a rescue club as this cuts through the grass more effectively than a iron. For the shorter shots cock the wrists earlier than normal to create a steeper angle of approach which will help to get to the back of the ball without getting caught up in the grass before contact.
Winter Golf Tip #9 – Change to Metal Spikes
- If your club allows it, change your soft spikes to the original metal spikes for the winter, this gives much more stability mid swing but also will help to prevent injuries from slipping and falling. These type of mis-haps are all too common through the winter months.
Winter Golf Tip #10 – Ensure a solid set up on winter tee mats
- Widen your stance slightly to form a more solid base on slippery tee mats. Don't assume the mat is lined up correctly for the hole. Pick your line and address accordingly ignoring the line indicated by the position of the mat.
Winter Golf Tip #11 - Continue to Keep Your Stats Through Winter
- Use the Tee Position mark on your GPS – Turn off Auto Advance in the options menu. When standing on a winter tee tap the Tee icon on the bottom right of the screen to set the Tee position. This sets the exact point that you are teeing off from even if its half way down the fairway. When you get to your ball simply tap the top of the screen, with Stats set on, to record accurate vital carry distances. Great information for your approach shots throughout the year.
Winter Golf Tip #12 – Always clean your ball whenever possible
- Use the Winter Rules/Preferred Lies – Don't get lazy here the R&A have given clubs the provision of allowing this local rule to "to protect the course or to promote fair and pleasant play". So make sure you take advantage when this lift, clean and place rule is in play. Lift and clean your ball even if you look down and it appears clean and to be lying well. Any mud on the bottom of the ball will affect the flight of your next shot so make sure the ball is totally clean. Just be careful not to wipe your ball on the green as this can be construed as "TESTING THE SURFACE".
Winter Golf Tip #13 – Play the "Gimme2Rule"
- If the winter greens are not the best, or you are worried that your game may suffer through winter then this tip is for you. For non-competition rounds adopt the "Gimme2Rule". The rule allows you the option to pick up and 'take two putts' if your ball is anywhere on the putting surface. If you choose not to pick up then you must hole out.
Lots of better players choose not to play through winter, one of the reasons is that conditions are so different they feel it can affect their game. They feel that it could affect their chances of winning through the summer when the more important competitions are up for grabs. The best example of this is that the greens will not run as smoothly and as fast as they will in summer. The change to adapt to winter conditions has the potential to permanently affect your putting stroke. With uneven greens and holotined surfaces naturally more putts are missed. It's easy to let your mind start believing that you need to make changes.
Don't hang up your clubs for winter. Instead adopt the "Gimme2Rule" and you can continue to play through winter without worry. It's also a great way to speed up play when we don`t have as much light to play with.
Winter Golf Tip #14 – Make the most of empty courses
- Get out there and you will most likely have the course to yourself. Play as fast or slow as you like. Experiment with different strategies. Enjoy yourself.
Have a great golfing winter and please share our tips and share your own in the comments below.