Very few golfers will venture to the course if even the smallest blip of rain hits the weather radar map. But for those brave/passionate souls that stay true to their tee-time, here are some helpful tips for golfing in wet weather, including rainy, and even soggy conditions.
Be prepared for the Elements
Dress appropriately for nasty weather which includes waterproof golf pants and a pullover to keep the rain from drenching your clothes. If you’re dry, you’ll obviously play much better than if you are freezing cold, wet, and distracted.
Keep a few dry hand towels in your bag to occasionally wipe your hands to keep clubs from being slippery. A dirty or “junk” towel is also helpful to clean mud off of clubs. Sometimes he fancy $75 golf towel you bought at the Pebble Beach Golf Shop as a souvenir is not always the best one to use…keep that one tucked away.
If conditions are exceptionally wet, it can be a good idea to have a washcloth or other small square towel available as well. In a pinch you can actually wrap the washcloth around your club grip to dramatically improve your ability to handle a slippery club.
Be Aware That the Ground Will be Soft
If its raining or especially if there has been heavy, sustained rain in prior days, the ground will most likely take on a swampy, sponge-like consistency. Keeping that conditional change in mind, make sure not to make too much contact with this type of surface during your swing. We’re all aware that a normal iron shot could require taking some dirt to get a nice loft, but soggy turf can result in irons cutting through the ground and often right under the ball (especially when hitting wedges).
Keeping this in mind, try to alter your swing a bit to make more contact with the ball and less contact with the turf when conditions are extremely wet. A smoother swing with less ground contact will help prevent you from winding up with huge chunks of fairway flying further than your ball.
Focus and Play Your Game
Don’t rush your shots or dismantle your pre-shot routine just because the conditions are unfavorable. You can’t control the weather, and remember that these conditions are likely affecting everyone else and on the course equally. Much like a normal shot on a sunny dry day, devote your entire attention to the shot you are about to hit.
Perhaps our most important bit of advice here is to keep your wits about you and stay safe out there. As always, make sure to leave the golf course immediately when you see lightning or hear thunder. Far too many golfers are injured each year by lightning strikes.
Additionally, if you’re riding in a golf cart make sure to stick to cart paths. Golf carts are not specifically designed to drive in the rain and they can easily sink into mud or even worse, slide or spin out of control.
Don’t be this guy