Can you play golf in the rain? Yes, here we will look at our top 10 tips for playing quality golf in the rain.
When played in the elements, golf requires a plethora of skills to help you be successful out on the links. Being able to navigate golf in rain is a skill that is vital to be able to shoot a low score when conditions get tough.
Keeping things dry, staying mentally focused, and being prepared are all things that can help you manage to keep your round together in wet and sloppy conditions.
You might be thinking, if there is even a chance of rain for the day, I’m not going to play golf, so why is it important for me to be able to play good golf in the rain?
The importance comes in here because you always want to be prepared. What if you are scheduled to play in the club championship or the member guest at your club, and it starts raining? Are you going to go home then?
What about your next epic buddies trip? If it rains, are you going to sit in the hotel the entire time?
Whether you plan to play rain or shine every day, or if you only find yourself in the rain once a year, these tips will help you be prepared, which is the most important thing.
Let’s get started on our 10 top tips!
#1: Wear Proper Rain Gear
Our first and most obvious tip for playing golf in the rain is to be prepared and wear a proper rain suit.
Golfing in the rain is hard enough when you feel warm and comfortable. Getting cold and wet on the course can make a day of battling the elements purely miserable.
A good rain suit should be fully waterproof plus consist of both a jacket and pants. Finding a rain suit that still gives you the freedom to make a full turn is also essential. Don’t order your suit online, but instead, go to a local store so you can try it on before you buy.
Also, make sure you bring a sturdy umbrella with you. Even though this will add extra weight that you will have to carry, it is absolutely essential to keep things dry. You want to bring one that is light enough to carry but sturdy enough to stand up to the wind.
With the proper attire on, you are well on your way to being ready to battle the elements.
#2. Bring Plenty of Towels
There is nothing worse than playing golf in rain and running out of fresh, dry towels. Unfortunately, unlike PGA Tour pros who have fresh towels waiting for them on every tee box, we amateurs need to show up on the first tee prepared for the entire day.
Success in rainy conditions requires the constant wiping of your hands and grips. Any moisture on your grips at all will be noticeable and will either cause you to grip the club too tightly or, even worse, can cause slipping.
While playing golf in rain, a towel, at best, will stay dry enough for six holes, so you want to make sure you bring at least three fresh ones with you.
#3. Wrap A Towel Around Your Grip When It Is Not Your Turn To Play
This one seems obvious, but in the heat of the moment can sometimes go undone. While standing on the tee box, in the fairway, or on the green, wrap a towel around your grip to keep it nice and dry.
The great Tom Watson, who was masterful in the Open Championship when conditions got tough, always wrapped his handkerchief around his grips while waiting to play.
A combination of this strategy and bringing enough dry towels is key to your success while golfing in rain.
#4. Place A Small Dry Towel In The Base Of Your Golf Bag
When you are playing golf in rain, it might seem that the safest spot for you to place your clubs to keep them out of the elements would be your bag. For the most part, you are correct, but even a golf bag can succumb to saturation when left in the rain long enough.
To combat this problem, one solution is to place a small towel at the bottom of your bag to soak up any water that may find its way down there.
It is hard enough to keep your grips dry outside of the bag. Make sure they aren’t sitting in the bottom, soaking up excess water while not in use.
#5. Bring Rain Gloves
Fortunately, due to twenty-first-century technology, golf equipment companies have created rain gloves to help you out when conditions get slippery.
In a Golfweek article during the 2019 Open Championship, Maria Bonzagni, FootJoy’s senior director for marketing for gloves, had this explanation of how these key pieces of technology work while you are playing golf in the rain:
“Rain gloves have a non-woven, synthetic material in the palm”
“It allows moisture to be taken into the fiber structure. It adheres to your hand, and it adheres to the grip, so it acts as one without any movement. It literally sticks to the palm of your hand.”
When playing in light rain, you can typically get away with carefully using a regular leather glove and an umbrella.
However, when the rain really starts to come down, having a pair of synthetic rain gloves in your bag could make or break your round.
#6. Wear Proper Spikes When Playing Golf in Rain
One item that typically gets overlooked when playing golf in rain is the shoes on your feet. Naturally, rain makes the ground softer and more slick, which makes getting a proper footing that much more difficult.
In a world where spikeless golf shoes seem to be the craze, we advise putting on a pair of aggressively spiked shoes if you find yourself having to tee it up in rainy conditions.
Aggressive spikes will dig into the ground better than their spikeless counterparts and can give you a much better chance of not slipping throughout your round.
#7: Pick the Ball Off Of The Turf With Irons
If you are traditionally shallow with your attack angle, your game is built perfectly to excel in wet conditions. Since playing golf in rain means the ground will be softer, it can be easy to dig too much with irons and wedges.
To avoid the dreaded fat shot, it is essential to shallow out your golf swing and pick the ball perfectly off the turf when playing golf in rain.
#8: Consider How Moisture Will Affect Wedge Shots Around The Green
One thing that we want you to consider before playing your round of golf in rain is how added moisture will affect wedge shots around the green.
In the rain, you experience added moisture between the ball and the face of the club, as well as on the greens. This added moisture will cause shots that typically spin and stop to skid and roll out more than expected.
A great way to practice how chips and pitches will react around the green in wet conditions is to go out one morning to practice after a heavy dew.
Practicing in the morning after a heavy dew simulates how you can expect shots to react while playing golf in the rain. The only difference between dew and rain is that the greens will most likely play softer in rainy conditions compared to just dewy alone.
#9: Club Up On Approach Shots
When playing golf in a downpour, it is pretty obvious that the ball is not going to travel as far. Typically, the temperature is down, club speed is down due to added clothing, and spin is up due to added moisture on the face.
Even in a slight drizzle, this can still be the case as, unlike pitches and chips around the green, moisture actually adds spin to full shots. This spin will cause shots to come up five to ten yards shorter than normal.
When playing golf in the rain, remember to swing smoothly and club up at least once to ensure you have enough to get the ball to the green.
#10: Keep A Great Attitude
Playing golf in the rain is totally what you make it be. If you show up at the course angry about the conditions and with a bad attitude, it will be virtually impossible to play a good round.
Instead of having a pessimistic view of playing in poor conditions, look at playing your round of golf in rain as an opportunity to face adversity and conquer it.
So, can you play golf in the rain? Of course, but come prepared.
Playing golf in rainy conditions is something that no golfer dreams about. However, being equipped to handle whatever Mother Nature throws at you is part of the game we all love.
Next time you find yourself going into battle with rain keep these top ten tips in mind, as they will certainly be useful as you treat the weather as an opportunity to show it who is boss!
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