Written by Nick Winters
Does playing in poor weather conditions make you a better player? It’s certainly reasonable to assume so. If you can play well in the elements, it should be easy (hypothetically) for you to play well when it’s sunny and calm. Players that are more willing to play in poor weather are generally considered more likely to practice and work on their game. These are the “die-hard” golfers, and they love to play at all times of the year, and in all weather conditions.
Here’s why you should like playing in poor weather too, and here’s why and how your game will improve:
Playing in windy conditions will help you to think more creatively while golfing. You’ll need to be able to visualize how the wind will affect your golf ball, and aim accordingly. This higher-level thinking and visualization will translate to the other parts of your game as well, and help you to think outside the box in order to get the ball close to the hole. Wind will also force you to curve the ball when necessary, and control the trajectory of your shots. Being able to practice these shots and perform them in the wind will help you to do so with confidence in better conditions. Always remember to keep your shot trajectory low in windy conditions, to minimize the effect of gusts.
Playing in the rain is difficult, but it certainly promotes better focus on each shot, which will translate to other conditions as well. How will the ball react on the green? How will it react in the air? Will the wet grass try to grab my club more than usual? These are all questions that get considered while playing in the rain, and the conditions force you to concentrate on each shot. Pre-shot routines are particularly useful in the rain, providing some consistency from shot to shot. Rain allows players to get used to blocking out distractions and play their own game. Over-swinging may cause a foot or hand to slip, so hitting one extra club is common (which is a good idea in general). Keep your grips and glove as dry as possible, and wipe off your clubface before hitting the golf ball.
Even playing in the cold can benefit every golfer’s ability. Cold weather forces players to be patient. Golf can be a long and frustrating game, even in nice weather. Couple the general difficulty of golf with frozen hands, and you get a recipe for a mentally exhausting day. Player mobility is limited with cold, the ball won’t fly as far, and it will be hard to keep warm. It’s quite easy to hit bad golf shots in cold weather, so having tremendous patience goes a long way to playing a decent round in the cold. Swing easy, bring hand warmers, bundle up, and have patience with your golf game to avoid a frustrating day. If you can play decent when it’s 40 degrees outside, you can play well in all conditions.
Poor weather conditions demand only a few things from players: patience, creativity, focus, and a positive attitude. Stay dry, stay warm, and dress appropriately, and crappy weather may prove beneficial to improving your golf game.