As a golfer, you know that the game requires focus, precision, and patience. But what happens when the temperature drops below 50 degrees? Do you pack up your clubs and wait for the spring thaw, or do you brave the cold and hit the links?
I have played over 100 rounds in my life in temperature right around 40 degrees. Over the years, living in Ohio, if the course is free of snow and the weather hits 40 degree or higher, chances are my group of friends is playing golf! This is common in December, January, February and even March. When we get our chance to play, we take advantage of the opportunity for many reasons.
In this guide, I’ll share tips and tricks for playing golf in 40 degree weather, including what to wear, how to improve your game, and safety considerations.
The Challenge of Playing Golf in Cold Weather
Golf is a game that demands peak performance from both body and mind. When the temperature drops, it can be challenging to maintain your focus and concentration. Cold weather can also affect your swing, reducing your accuracy and power. But despite these challenges, there are many reasons why you might want to play golf in 40 degree weather.
There are several things that happen:
- The golf ball will travel around 10-15% less in the air, plus very little roll will take palce with the driver.
- The golfer will be wearing multiple layers, which can make taking a full swing more complicated or restricted.
- The greens will not roll like the summer and putting becomes that much more difficult.
The bottom line is that many of us are just grateful to be out of the house, walking 18 holes and hitting the golf ball! We all dream of summer and the better weather that will be here before we know it!
How about a winter golf trip?
Related: Best Winter Golf Trips on a Budget
Benefits of Playing Golf in Cold Weather
First and foremost, playing golf in cold weather can be a great way to stay active and enjoy the outdoors during the winter months. It’s also an opportunity to test your skills and push yourself out of your comfort zone. Many of us practice all winter whether at a covered driving range or on a golf simulator and want to test our progress with our skills and game.
Playing golf in cold weather can help you improve your game in a variety of ways.
For example, the cold weather can make the ball travel less distance, which can help you focus on your accuracy and precision. Additionally, the cold weather can make the greens harder and faster, which can help you develop a better feel for your putts. Finally, playing golf in cold weather can help you develop mental toughness and resilience, which are essential qualities for any golfer.
When you play in 70 degree weather, the game seems easier compared to the winter golf we endure in 40 degree weather.
Related: Winter Golf vs Summer Golf
How Cold is Too Cold to Golf?
I stop at anything below 40 degrees fahrenheit or if the wind chill is pushing below 35.
While playing golf in cold weather can be a great way to stay active and improve your game, it’s important to know your limits. So how cold is too cold to golf? The answer depends on a variety of factors, including your personal preferences, your level of experience, and your physical condition.
In general, most golfers can comfortably play in temperatures between 40 and 50 degrees, as long as they dress appropriately and take precautions to stay warm. However, if the temperature drops below 40 degrees, it may be too cold for some golfers to play safely and comfortably. One more factor is the wind chill. 40 degrees with a 20-25 mile per hour wind can make golf impossible. Be safe!
Tips for Playing Golf in 40 Degree Weather
If you’re planning to play golf in 40 degree weather, there are a few things you can do to stay warm and comfortable. First, make sure you dress in layers, so you can adjust your clothing as needed to stay warm without overheating. Wear a base layer made of moisture-wicking material, followed by a warm layer like a fleece or wool sweater, and finish with a wind-resistant outer layer like a jacket or vest.
It’s also important to wear warm, winter golf gloves to keep your hands warm and dry. Many of the golfers in my group use hand warmers throughout the 18 holes.
You may also want to consider wearing a hat and scarf to protect your head and neck from the cold. Finally, make sure you bring a thermos of hot tea or coffee to help you stay warm from the inside out.
Preparing for the Cold: What to Wear for Winter Golf
As mentioned, dressing in layers is essential for staying warm and comfortable while playing golf in 40 degree weather. But what specific items of clothing should you wear? Here’s a breakdown of the essential items you’ll need to prepare for the cold:
- Base layer: Look for a moisture-wicking material like merino wool or polyester to keep you dry and comfortable.
- Warm layer: Choose a fleece or wool sweater to provide insulation and warmth.
- Outer layer: A wind-resistant jacket or vest will protect you from the elements.
- Pants: Look for pants made of a breathable, stretchy material that will allow you to move freely.
- Socks: Choose wool or synthetic socks that will keep your feet warm and dry.
- Shoes: Opt for waterproof shoes with good traction to prevent slipping on wet or icy ground.
Winter Golf Tips for Improving Your Game
Playing golf in cold weather can present unique challenges, but it can also help you improve your game in a variety of ways. Here are some winter golf tips to help you get the most out of your cold-weather rounds:
- Focus on your short game: The colder weather can make it harder to hit long shots, so focus on improving your chipping and putting skills.
- Adjust your swing: The cold weather can affect your swing, so consider shortening your backswing and focusing on a smooth follow-through.
- Use bright golf balls: In low light conditions, it can be difficult to see the ball, so use bright-colored golf balls to help you track your shots.
- Stay hydrated: Even though it’s cold outside, it’s important to stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water or sports drinks throughout your round.
- Stay loose: Take time to stretch and warm up before your round to avoid injury and maintain your flexibility.
Related: Golfing in the winter (15 Tips)
Safety Tips for Playing Golf in Cold Weather
Playing golf in cold weather can be a great way to stay active and improve your game, but it’s important to take safety precautions to avoid injury or illness. Here are some safety tips to keep in mind:
- Stay dry: Wet clothing can lead to hypothermia, so make sure you stay dry by wearing waterproof clothing and avoiding wet areas on the course.
- Protect your skin: Even though it’s cold outside, the sun can still do damage to your skin. Wear sunscreen and lip balm with SPF to protect yourself from UV rays.
- Watch for signs of frostbite or hypothermia: Symptoms of frostbite include numbness or tingling in your fingers or toes, while symptoms of hypothermia include shivering, confusion, and drowsiness. If you experience these symptoms, seek medical attention immediately. (We do not recommend playin golf in conditions that would cause this)
Can You Play Golf in the Snow?
While playing golf in cold weather is certainly possible, playing golf in the snow is a different story. In general, most golf courses close when there is snow on the ground, as it can damage the greens and make the course unsafe to play on.
However, if you’re determined to play golf in the snow, there are a few things you can do. First, make sure you use brightly colored golf balls to help you find them in the snow. You may also want to consider using a colored flag to mark the hole.
Keep in mind that playing golf in the snow can be dangerous, as snow can hide hazards like rocks, tree roots, and water hazards. It’s also important to dress warmly and take precautions to avoid frostbite and hypothermia.
Winter Golf Alternative – The Golf Simulator!
The golf simulator option! I built a setup in my garage in 2017 and have played over 1,100 rounds. The opportunity to play golf regardless of the weather or time of day makes it a great investment. Plus, who wouldn’t want to play Augusta, Pebble, or St. Andrews on a snowy January day.
The ability to get better and improve your game is impressive. I have taken my game to the scratch level from a 4 handicap by playing year round and using the key data that my Skytrak provides!
Price out the Skytrak, other simulator and Package Offers at Rain or Shine Golf (Linked below):
Winter Golf Course Maintenance
Finally, it’s worth noting that winter golf course maintenance is essential for keeping the course safe and playable during the cold months. Golf course managers must take precautions to protect the greens and fairways from damage caused by frost, ice, and snow. Some golf courses will not allow play if there are conditions that will damage the course more long term.
This may include applying anti-desiccant sprays to protect the grass from drying out, using sand to provide traction on slippery surfaces, and installing temporary greens to protect the regular greens from damage.
Conclusion: Embrace the Challenge of Playing Golf in Cold Weather
Playing golf in 40 degree weather can be challenging, but it can also be rewarding. By preparing properly, dressing appropriately, and taking safety precautions, you can enjoy the benefits of playing golf year-round. So don’t let the cold weather keep you off the course – embrace the challenge and enjoy a round of golf in the crisp winter air.