Five Great Things About Winter Golf For The Amateur Hacker

Being brutally honest, winter golf can be a bit of a slog at times. If the rain isn’t going to get you then the strong, cold wind can turn even a dry round into something of an ordeal.

Yet it doesn’t have to be this way. Winter golf is a mindset that you need to conquer in order to keep your game in the best shape possible for when the weather improves.

 

If that means hitting balls at the range so be it, but why spend money hitting balls, when you could be hitting the course?

Here’s some handy winter tips to prepare for your first winter round…

 

Winter golf does have plenty of positives, even for the 28-handicapper and here’s five reasons why you should get out on the course this winter!

 

1. It’s Good For You

Around Christmas and New Year, many people, golfers included, eat too much and drink too much. This lead to many resolutions to keep fit, shed the weight and get trimmer. Golf is an ideal way to do this and have fun.

Dragging 10 kilo’s of club for 7 miles, not to mention the walking, talking, swinging the club and more is great exercise and can really help you keep the pounds off. And remember, when you are out on the course, you aren’t in the kitchen being tempted by all the lovely food you can’t eat!

The health benefits of golf are often understated, but if you tell your doctor you take a brisk six-mile walk once or twice a week, they are likely to recommend you keep doing it.

 

 

2. Preferred Lies

One of the greatest joys of the winter golfer is when the clubs put up that preferred lies are in operation.

Preferred lies simply mean that after a shot, you can, mark pick up and clean your ball anywhere on the fairway, then replace it no nearer the hole.

This means no need to hit a ball covered in mud and sludge, and the ability to find a nice piece of clean ground to play from, even if you are in a divot.

 

Just remember to repair your pitch marks when you play and retrieve your tee and remember, the ball must be replaced close to the original position but no nearer the hole. How far from the original spot is usually specified (it may be six inches, or maybe more).

The upshot is, you always play a clean ball from a relatively good lie, even if your shot saw your ball plug in a wet fairway. The downside is, well, you can only do this from the fairway. If you end up in the rough or a hazard, you’re on your own!

 

3. Greens Tend To Hold Your Approach Shots

Winter weather means cooler air, rain, sleet and snow and as such, courses tend to be much wetter in the summer months.

Thankfully, the days when this meant most courses closed are now over as new drainage systems have been put in place on many courses, keeping them usable even in poor periods of weather.

 

The upshot of this is that balls don’t tend to run on as much in winter as they do in summer, so your shots will be shorter, however you will find greens far more receptive to shots.

This is really helpful for beginners as they can take all the club they need to land the ball on the green knowing that it will likely stop within a few inches of where it lands.

If you are accurate enough from distance, this is a real boon when playing fairway woods or long irons into greens.

 

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4. It Enhances Your Game

Playing in the winter tests your golf game in a different way than summer play. Your shots t end to be shorter, so even playing the same course in winter is very different to summer.  Take a 400+-yard par four, in summer that may just be a driver and a eight-iron. In winter, you may find your drive is 20-30 yards shorter due to a lack of run. This changes the second shot considerably to a much tougher low-to-mid iron shot.

 

Adapting your game to different conditions will help you become a better all round player, even if you play during summer as you still get the cold, windy and miserable days then (well, you certainly do in the UK)!

 

5. The 19th Hole – Steaming Cup of Coffee and a Bacon Roll

Perhaps one of the great joys of winter golf is stowing your equipment away in your locker, a nice hot shower and then back to the clubhouse for a steaming cup of tea or coffee, followed by a bacon roll.

Quite simply, after a morning out on the course in cold weather, nothing warms the cockles of your heart more than a warming drink and arguably the finest sandwich known to humanity.

 

Of course, you may be vegetarian, so you can have a your own choice of sandwich if you prefer, but when the weather is cold, your wet and tired and stood on the 16th tee, having had a pig of a round, that bacon sandwich and coffee at the 19th is what gets you round those last three holes.

 

And then before you know it, it’s spring time and you can welcome back all the fair weather golfers, safe in the knowledge that your work over the winter puts you well ahead of the game.

 

Pictures Courtesy of Gorilla Golf Blog Stock

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