Just because it's raining doesn't mean you can't still enjoy yourself and play well.
Here are 10 tips to help you play golf when it's wet...
If you’re a committed all-weather golfer, don’t scrimp on the waterproof gear from head to toe - good quality waterproofs are essential. Look out for things like zippered trousers bottoms, which make them easier to get on in a hurry over your spikes. Wet feet make for miserable walking, so if your golf shoes have done their waterproof time, invest in a new pair.
Grips and spikes
There are two key points of contact in a golf swing – with the ground and with the club. If either is less than solid, your game will be compromised in the rain. Better to replace grips and cleats before they start to cost you shots rather than after.
If the rain is set in, you may well get though more than one glove, so always keep a spare somewhere dry (inside a carrier bag) to be introduced when glove number one has done its time. Special rain gloves offering extra wet-weather grip have become more popular, and it’s perfectly acceptable to wear a pair of such gloves.
Waterproof bag/trolley cover
There are a number of waterproof golf bags on the market now, but an easy-to-attach cape or cover will add another layer of protection to help keep things dry.
It can be almost impossible to make a decent swing if your grips are too wet, so a supply of dry towels is highly recommended. It’s another role for the trusty carrier bag. Hanging one from the underframe of your brolly is also a good idea.
A decent umbrella
Wind and rain is a tough combo to deal with for a large umbrella, so make sure your brolly boasts a good-quality, strong construction, ideally with those vents that help stop it blowing inside out in stronger gusts.
If you’re playing in a competition or want to keep score, a spare scorecard kept somewhere safe and dry is a good idea in case it proves impossible to stop the original getting mushed to a pulp. Writing down your scores every few holes rather than every hole will help prevent this by limiting its exposure to the elements.
Allow for less run
When the ground is wet, the ball won’t run as far. Obvious, we know, but this needs to be factored in to how you play. Less run off the tee may mean you can take more club on holes where you would normally hold back. Approach shots are more likely to stop dead on landing; chips and pitches are more likely to grab; and putts will be slower, meaning they need to be hit more firmly and will therefore take less break.
Hit more firmly in the rough
Wet grass will grab the club much more than normal and slow the clubhead’s progress. So keep everything firmer than usual through impact in wet rough to stop the grass grabbing the club with assorted undesirable consequences!
Accept that scoring won’t be as good
Most of us aren’t blessed with the luxury of caddies and even after adopting all the above measures, it can still be difficult to keep everything dry enough to score well in the rain. So don’t get too despondent when you drop shots - it's the same for everyone and others will be struggling too.
Jeremy Ellwood has worked in the golf industry since 1993 and for Golf Monthly since 2002 when he started out as equipment editor. He is now a freelance journalist writing mainly for Golf Monthly across the whole spectrum from courses and Rules to equipment and instruction. He also edits The Golf Club Secretary Newsletter, a highly regarded trade publication for golf club secretaries and managers, and has authored or co-authored three books and written for a number of national papers including The Telegraph and The Independent. He is a senior panelist for Golf Monthly's Top 100 UK & Ireland Course Rankings and has played all of the Top 100 plus 91 of the Next 100, making him well-qualified when it comes to assessing and comparing our premier golf courses. He has now played well over 950 golf courses worldwide in 35 countries, right across the spectrum from the humblest of nine-holers in the Scottish Highlands to the very grandest of international golf resorts, but put him on a links course anywhere and he will be blissfully content.
Jezz can be contacted via Twitter - @JezzEllwoodGolf
Jeremy is currently playing...
Driver: Ping G425 LST 10.5˚ (draw setting), Mitsubishi Tensei AV Orange 55 S shaft
3 wood: Ping G425 Max 15˚ (set to flat +1), Mitsubishi Tensei AV Orange 65 S shaft
Hybrid: Ping G425 17˚, Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro Orange 80 S shaft
Irons 3-PW: Ping i525, True Temper Dynamic Gold 105 R300 shafts
Wedges: Ping Glide 4.0 50˚ and 54˚, 12˚ bounce, True Temper Dynamic Gold 105 R300 shafts
Putter: Ping Fetch 2021 model, 33in shaft (set flat 2)
Ball: Varies but mostly now TaylorMade Tour Response
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