Here, we highlight the 7 ways to modify your golf gear for winter that could make all the difference in your ability to shoot a good score
7 Ways To Modify Your Golf Gear For Winter
Winter golf presents it’s own set of unique challenges that some of your clubs won’t be fully optimised for and performance can really suffer.
The softer ground limits the run you get on your drives and make chipping from tight lies a living nightmare.
Related: Best Winter Golf Gear Deals
But there are ways you can make subtle changes to your equipment that will help you adapt much better to the tricky conditions. It might require a bit of investment, or perhaps having a rummage in your garage, but the benefits could be worth it if you plan on playing a full winter schedule.
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Below, we’ve highlighted seven simple changes you could make to your equipment for the winter and we’re confident they will make a big difference in your ability to score.
1. Add loft to your driver
Softer fairways means the distance you create off the tee will all come from carry, so you need to keep the ball in the air for as long as possible. To get your ball launching higher, consider adding some loft to your driver.
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Nearly all modern drivers have adjustable hosels that allow you to add up to two degrees of loft, sometimes independently of the face angle. As long as you don’t add too much spin, you could see overall distance increase as a result this winter. If you’re unsure as to how, your local pro will be able to assist you.
Alternatively, some drivers like the Callaway Mavrik Sub Zero or the Mizuno ST200G will allow you to move more weight further back in the head. This will increase the launch angle as well as forgiveness, so you’re getting two-for-one benefits here if you’re able to make this change. Lucky you.
2. Opt for higher-bounce wedges
When chipping on softer ground, the leading edge has a greater propensity to dig, which means you have to be very precise with the strike to make clean contact. To increase your margin for error, consider adding a wedge with more bounce on the loft you chip with the most.
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More bounce means the leading edge should stay up more through impact, encouraging the sole to glide along the top of the ground rather than dig.
Another option would be to invest in a cavity back style wedge, like the Cleveland CBX 2 or the Callaway Mack Daddy CB pictured above, which have much wider soles. This design has a similar effect, making it seem easier to nip the ball cleanly from tricky lies.
3. Add weight to your putter
Not only are greens softer during winter but they don’t tend to be cut quite as low, which means they will be a lot slower than they are in the height of summer.
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Rather than adopting a longer stroke, which can lead to a reduction in control of face angle, strike and distance, consider adding some weight to your putter. The extra mass will provide greater initial ball speed to counter the slower greens and it might even create a smoother tempo in your stroke too.
You could do it by adding lead tape to the sole or peferably by switching to a larger, mallet-style design. If you’re very fortunate though, your putter will have adjustable weight ports. The Mizuno M.Craft range, for example, comes with a weight kit so you change the weights in the sole of the putter to alter the feel – the perfect solution for putting on winter greens.
4. Switch to a distance golf ball
As we mentioned earlier, distance off the tee is all down to carry through the air and colder temperatures don’t help so why not switch to a golf ball geared for maximum yardage, like the Titleist Velocity which in our testing has shown to be a good five yards longer than the premium Pro V1 balls.
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You might think you don’t want to lose out on short game control, but remember the greens are softer and slower so this goes some way to offsetting any reduction in spin you generate versus a urethane-covered ball.
Many brands also offer the choice of a yellow golf ball, which you might discover is easier to track through the air in the winter. Another tip would be to try and keep your ball warm in your pocket when you get the chance, especially before you tee off, as the colder a ball is the slower it becomes.
5. Try a synthetic glove
When it’s freezing out on the links, the feel in your fingers goes out the window, which negates much of the performance benefits you get from a cabretta leather glove. So a good option is to switch into a synthetic glove, which is often a tad thicker (and therefore warmer) and much more durable – you might find one lasts you the whole of the winter.
- Best Golf Gloves For Winter – Warm and long lasting
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Rain grip gloves are also a good option to try because they come in a pair, so keep both hands warm, and if it’s raining they become more grippy the wetter they get, so you won’t lose control when the heavens open and your playing partners are struggling to keep hold of their clubs when they swing.
6. Choose a stable, grippy pair of shoes
Having a stable pair of golf shoes that offer good grip is essential when playing golf in the winter months. Those flexible, lightweight shoes you’ve got might have been perfect for the summer, but they just won’t cut it when it’s wet and muddy outside.
Consider investing in a winter-specific pair that has a more rigid sole unit to limit excess movement, like the FootJoy Tour X or the Under Armour Spieth 4 GTX. They also need to offer really good grip – we’re not saying you should completely discount spikeless offerings, but cleated shoes will provide you with more grip to help prevent your feet from slipping when playing from a sodden lie.
One tip would be to use a tee to pick out mud from the soles of your shoes as often as you can during a round to make sure traction is maintained.
Related: Best Winter Golf Gear Deals
7. Buy a set of trolley winter wheels
Many of us prefer to carry our bags during winter for the convenience it brings and how it gets the blood flowing on those cold mornings. But for trolley loyalists, if your course is really wet, a trolley ban will be in place unless you have a pair of winter wheels.
These are designed to reduce the wear on the soft ground, there are options available from both Motocaddy and PowaKaddy that ensure you’ll be conserving energy with your electric trolley while others struggle lugging their heavy golf bag around.
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