Ooh! Aah! Autumn! It’s such a beautiful time of year. And it’s a perfect time to be on a golf course.
Here are some tips for getting the most out of your fall golf days.
1. Walk. Walk the golf course if you don’t have physical or health-related limitations. Not only is it good exercise, there are added benefits in the fall. Walking the golf course gets the heart pumping and helps you stay warm and loose. You can also save a few bucks on cart fees. There’s nothing wrong with that.
2. Wear layers. As temperatures rise and drop, and as wind and rain arrive on autumn days, dress in layers—comfortable and lightweight shirts, sweater, vests, pullovers and jackets. “You can always peel layers off,” wrote PGA.com’s T.J. Auclair, “but you can’t add them if you don’t have them with you.”
3. Hit more club. Fact: The golf ball doesn’t go as far in cooler weather. There’s also the very real possibility that your muscles will be a little tighter and your swing will be a little shorter. So play smart. Use extra club.
4. Try a softer golf ball. Not only do you lose distance in the fall, you can also lose feel. That’s a double whammy. “The colder it gets, the less feel you have,” wrote Hazeltine National. “By playing with a softer ball, you can retain some of the feel that you are used to around the greens.”
5. Pack or wear extra socks. Keep extra socks in your golf bag, or go ahead and slip them on during cool or wet days. As Auclair wrote, “There’s nothing worse than cold feet and cold ears.”
6. Be realistic. For many reasons, fall isn’t the ideal time to play your best golf or shoot low scores. Relax. Try not to sweat it.
“Don’t let yourself get hung up on all the stuff you’re not doing out there because of the conditions,” said PGA professional Rob Labritz. “You usually hit a 7-iron 160 but it’s only going 145-150 right now? It’s OK. Keep repeating your motion and in the spring when it warms up, you might be surprised to see that it’s traveling 165-170.”
7. Consider hand warmers. Cold diminishes feel in your hands. Hand warmers are a simple solution on chilly days. Stick them in your pockets to warm your hands, or, if using a style to be worn, slip them on your hands between shots. This is a smart move.
8. Work on weaknesses. If you’re a serious golfer determined to work on your game late in the year, then consider this additional advice from Labritz:
“In fall golf I’d spend the most time on the stuff you struggled with the most through the season. It might not be fun to do, but dedicating time to parts of your game that have proven to be weaknesses all season will help to make them strengths going forward and get you prepared going into the spring time.”