How To Play Good Golf In The Morning (5 Tips)

Golf is a wonderful game whether you play in the morning, afternoon or evening.

There are many golfers who prefer to play in the morning as it allows them to get out as the sun is rising, play a quick round of golf and then head off to the rest of their day.

Playing golf in the morning can bring about some challenges that are unique to the morning times.

These include:

  • Morning dew
  • Body tightness
  • Maintenance workers
  • Weather changes
  • Green speed

I play close to 50% of my rounds at 6am in the summer mornings.  I love the opportunity to get out early, play 18 holes and then take care of the rest of my responsibilities.  The course is empty, the pace of play is wonderful, but there are challenges.

Below, I will dive into my top 5 tips to help you play good golf in the morning.

How To Play Good Golf In The Morning?

The golfer should be prepared for a variety of situations and should consider the following:

  • Have a quality pair of shoes that are waterproof to combat the morning dew.
  • Wake up extra early and spend time walking or stretching.
  • Focus on the shot at hand, while being respectful of the maintenance workers.
  • Dress in layers to deal with some morning coolness and the quick rise in temperature.
  • Be aware of the greens playing faster as the greens dry out from the sun and the warmth.

Tip #1: Have a Good Pair of Shoes

There is nothing worse than a wet pair of feet while trying to play golf.  Investing in a quality pair of golf shoes that are comfortable and keep your feet dry is vital to your overall comfort and success while playing golf.

If your feet are wet, you will be miserable and distracted.  Spend the extra money to make sure you have a quality pair or shoes that will resist the water and keep your feet warm, dry and comfortable.

Tip #2: Walk and Stretch

One of the most difficult part of playing morning golf is that first tee shot and the first several shots of the day.  Often time, we have just slept for 6-8 hours and 30 minutes later might be standing on the first tee.  Your body is probably thinking, what is going on here!  

Try waking up at least 15 minutes earlier and go through a stretching routine and consider some light walking, jump rope or other cardio based movements to wake up the body.

You don’t want to wait until the 4th hole to start feeling comfortable and awake.  When you play afternoon or evening rounds, the body has had plenty of movement, steps and is more prepared than the tee shot at 6am.

Tip #3: Focus On the Shot

Another barrier to morning golf is the amount of maintenance workers that are out.  One thing that us morning golfers must accept is that there are going to be workers out trying to get the course prepared for the day.

There will more than likely be someone cutting the greens, cutting the tees and collars, changing the cups, raking the bunkers, cutting the fairways and maybe even cutting the rough.

Rule number one is be respectful of the workers and keep them safe.  The second key is to make sure once it is your turn to hit, focus on the shot at hand.  While it may feel like people are all around, settle in, pick your target and make a confidence swing.

During these easily distracting times, I like to fall back to the Shawn Clement method of picking the target way off in the distance, selecting the flight plan and then launch the ball.

Tip #4: Dress in Layers

In some parts of the world and in some seasons, the morning coolness quickly gives way to the afternoon heat.  Depending on your location, you will want to be prepared.  For me it usually includes wearing shorts and a golf shirt and carrying a long sleeve, light pull over.  

This pullover usually comes off around the 2nd or 3rd hole, but it helps me be prepared for the different conditions.

If I play an early morning round in the spring or fall, it might consistent of pants, golf shirt, long sleeve undershirt, thicker pull over and even a winter hat.

Being prepared by having multiple layers will help you adjust to the weather conditions!

Tip #5: Green Speed

If you are fortunate, every green will be cut before you get to it.  Even if this is the case, the speed could increase as your round progresses.  Oftentimes, the morning dew, even if the greens have been cut, they aren’t completely dried out yet and can cause some slower putts.

When you get to the 2nd part of your back nine, be aware of those downhill putts as the speed increases. 

The key with all putting is to be aware of every putt and pay attention until the ball stops rolling.  This will help you adjust during the round and your awareness of the potential speed increase will play a role as well!

Advantages of Playing Early Morning Golf?

Golfers to prefer to play in the early morning for a variety of reasons:

  • Pace of play
  • Busy schedules
  • Cooler weather

These top three reasons often have the golf courses packed on early weekend mornings.  Golfers who like to play a quicker round can enjoy a quality pace of play if they are one of the first five groups out.  The people who usually play this early in the morning value the pace of play and do their part to maintain a quality pace.

Many golfers have busy schedules from work or family.  By teeing off at 6am, they might be able to complete their round by 9am and start the rest of their day.

A major factor, especially in the southern climates in the United States is the importance of the cooler weather.  In some parts of the Carolinas or Florida, playing golf in 90 degree weather with high humidity can be miserable for some.   Getting that morning tee time before 8am and finishing before noon is important.

A golf simulator has allowed me to play any time of the day in any weather. See the links below for more info. It is a true game changer!

Take Action – What You Can Do Today to Get Better

What does this mean for you?  I believe in the following recipe to get better:

1 – Improve your motion in the golf swing by identifying a golf instructor.  Here are some options:

Here is a list of golf instructors that we have reviewed:

2 – Train to swing faster and improve your swing speed.  Here are some options:

Looking to gain more Speed and Distance in your swing. Two Options:

3 – Understand course strategy and work to break through your next barrier.  Here is a series on breaking through:

We have provided guides on how to break 100, 90, 80 and 70. Check out more below, if interested.

4 – Practice Frequently

Did you know that I build a golf simulator in my garage and have played over 500 rounds of golf on my SkyTrak system?  It has been a game changer and one worth checking out. Here are some of my other posts on golf simulators frequently asked questions:

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