12 Tips For Playing Golf In The Rain

Struggling to replicate your summer golf in rainy weather? Here, we provide 12 tips to help maximise your potential in wet conditions

A golfer holds his hands in the air
(Image credit: Future)

Golf in the rain... Not everyone is a fan of it, especially when the wind is also hammering the golf course, but there are a number of ways to combat it. 

Often, when playing in the rain, you will find your clubs and grips will get wet, making it difficult to hold onto them, let alone swing with them. However, in this piece, we have taken a look at 12 ways to make playing in the rain as easy as possible, from protecting your equipment, to making sure you are prepared before your round gets underway.

Check out our 12 simple tips in this article and video below and why not also take a look at our advice on how to play golf in cold weather, as well as why winter golf is easier than you think.

1. When to use an umbrella

It may sound like we are stating the obvious here, but using an umbrella in rainy conditions is one of the best ways to keep yourself and your equipment dry when out on the golf course.

However, if you are faced with windy conditions, it may be best to ditch the umbrella. If you decide to use one though, then a handy bit of advice is to put a dry towel under the canvas. Whether you hang it or tie it over one of the stretchers, it is one of the best ways to guarantee a dry surface to wipe and clean your hands or golf grips.

2. Attach your bag's rain hood before heading out to play

All the best golf bags come with a protective rain hood that will keep your clubs and valuables dry from the persistent conditions. If you know the weather is bad, then it is worth attaching the rain hood to your golf bag before you go out to play.

Whether it is in the house before you leave for the course, or the changing rooms of your golf club, by attaching the hood in dry conditions you don't need to worry about fiddling around trying to clip or fasten the hood in place.

Golfer lines up his drive

A good pair of waterproofs is crucial for golf in the rain

(Image credit: Tom Miles)

3. Speed up your play/Reduce your pre-shot routine

We've all been in that situation where we want to be in the comfort of the bar as the rain takes a turn for the worse. Now, some may disagree with this point, but reducing your pre-shot routine and speeding up play is a very good way of keeping equipment dry.

Obviously this doesn't mean rush and go at a million miles per hour, but maybe take one less practice swing before you strike the ball. In fact, by taking less time over the ball you may seem some improvement. This is because you aren't overthinking when addressing the golf ball.

4. Wipe the clubhead before putting it back in your golf bag

A little handy tip is to make sure you wipe the club head before putting it back into your golf bag. Whether you give it a quick wipe under your arm, or with the towel under your umbrella, this is one of the easiest ways to keep your valuables dry.

The reason for this is so that all the moisture and water that your club picks up through impact won't drip down into your bag and wet your golf grips. This is particularly useful on a day where the rain is not heavy.

5. Learn the embedded ball rule

This rule can really help you out on the golf course, especially when it is wet underfoot and you are finding plugged lies. Under the pre-2019 rules, this was only the case if you were on the fairway or other closely mown areas. That has now been extended to include the general area.

What is the rule then if your ball is plugged? Well, importantly, make sure the golf ball is in its own pitchmark. Once that is agreed on, you can mark it with a tee peg and move it one club length (no nearer the hole) to choose the best place to drop your ball. Remember that a club length is now the longest club in your bag on that day, except your putter.

A golf ball in its pitchmark

(Image credit: Tom Miles)

6. Storing your glove

Similar to the towel mentioned above, it is important that you store your golf glove correctly in wet conditions. Some users will opt for rain gloves in this situation but, if you aren't a fan, then make sure you are keeping your glove dry via the medium of the umbrella.

Obviously, this won't guarantee it being dry throughout the round, but it will certainly keep it protected for longer. Another way is to make sure you stock up on golf gloves prior to your round. By storing three or four pairs in their own casing, you can grab a fresh glove for when your current one is no longer gripping well.

7. Transporting your clubs around the course

There will be conflicting opinions on this because some people will want to carry, while others have no choice but to use a trolley. If carrying, you can be more direct with your route as you can go where trolley users can't, but it is worth noting that carrying an umbrella and keeping equipment dry tends to be harder.

If you do use a trolley, then investing in an umbrella holder that you can attach to your centre console is crucial, as it can keep the umbrella in place and you can solely focus on your golf game and keeping your equipment dry. A number of the best push carts and best electric trolleys have space to add this accessory, so it's important you use it.

8. Learn your carry yardages

Put simply, in the rain, you aren't going to get any roll on your golf ball, with the moisture on the grass making it seem like your ball is rolling through custard. That's why it's crucial that you know your carry yardages, as this is what will be doing 90% of the heavy lifting in the horrid conditions.

Another way is to work out what your cold weather yardages are as, in wet and cold weather, the ball isn't going to go as far as if you were in prime sunshine and high temperatures. Therefore, it may be worth going up a club as the ball won't be going as far.

A golfer adjusts his gloves

Rain gloves are an important item when it comes to golf in the rain

(Image credit: Kevin Murray)

9. Use a yellow golf ball

Many people wonder whether you should play with a yellow golf ball and here at Golf Monthly, we believe that a colored ball is a very good idea in rainy conditions.

There are a number of fantastic models on the market, with the best yellow golf balls coming from brands like Titleist, Callaway and TaylorMade. The reason for using a yellow golf ball, other colors are available, is that it is easier to see in flight and on the ground plus, at address, it can sometimes make the club look slightly larger, thus inspiring confidence.

10. Purchase a decent pair of rain gloves

One of the best tips for wet-weather golf is to purchase a pair of wet-weather gloves. It may sound simple, but your hands are the only part of your body that are in contact with the club. Therefore, it is important that you have as much control over them as possible.

Some of the best golf rain gloves actually grip better on the club when wet and can really help you to stay in control. This is thanks to a variety of technologies and materials used by brands and the best models really help take the uncertainty out of playing golf in the rain. It may sound simple, but that's the whole point in wet conditions, simplicity.

11. Wear your hardest wearing spiked golf shoes

The best spikeless golf shoes may be more comfortable and look smarter but, when the rain arrives, you should leave them in the cupboard. This is because they won't provide you with the sufficient grip needed when battling with the conditions.

In this scenario, we recommend a pair of the best spiked golf shoes, specifically a pair with strong leather and that are waterproof. By donning a spiked pair, it will extend the life of your spikeless pairs and also give you ample grip, meaning you can fully commit to your golf shots.

Golfer hits the golf ball

Make sure you have plenty of grip on the bottom of your golf shoes

(Image credit: Kevin Murray)

12. A bucket hat

A bucket hat is a slight fashion statement, but they are also fantastic for wet conditions. Firstly, they stop water from dripping under your waterproof jacket and down your back and they also provide protection for those who wear glasses.

The best golf bucket hats will not only help you deal with the rain, but can also be used to shield you from the sun if needed too. They can also be worn off the course, but this may not appeal to all users.

Neil Tappin

In July 2023, Neil became just the 9th editor in Golf Monthly's 112-year history. Originally working with the best coaches in the UK to produce instruction content, he has also presented many Golf Monthly videos looking at all areas of the game from Tour player interviews to the rules of golf. 

Throughout his time with the brand he has also covered equipment launches that date back well over a decade. He clearly remembers the launch of the Callaway and Nike square drivers as well as the white TaylorMade driver families, such as the RocketBallz! If you take a look at the Golf Monthly YouTube channel, you'll see his equipment videos dating back over a decade! He has also conducted 'What's In The Bag' interviews with many of the game's best players like Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson and Jon Rahm. Over the years, Neil has tested a vast array of products in each category and at drastically different price-points. 

Neil is currently playing: Driver: TaylorMade Stealth Plus Fairway Wood: Titleist TSR2 Hybrid: Titleist TS3 Irons: PING Blueprint S (4&5), PING Blueprint T (6-PW) Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM7 50˚, 54˚, 60˚ Putter: Odyssey Triple Track Ten Ball: Titleist Pro V1X

With contributions from