My alarm goes off at 4:45am on a cold, dark, blustery December morning, and as I wake from my slumber, I have a thought. I wonder to myself, am I crazy or are there other golfers out there like me who even in the non-scoring handicap season are just as excited to hit the links as I am?
Weather plays a major factor in how often we as players will go out and subject ourselves to wintertime golf. In winter, for some it is the cold that keep them away from the course, for others it is the wet conditions, while others still it is the combination of the two; however, there are some players where the only way to keep them off the course is due to literal course closures.
The range is nice, and the off-season is a great time to get in some reps and work on the issues that cost us more strokes than we can count throughout the summer and fall. However, if you’re like me, you get the itch to play on Monday morning at work and it doesn’t leave until you’ve hit the links at least once that week.
There are benefits to playing in the winter months, less traffic on the courses, lower greens fees, quicker rounds, but for me, it is all about still being able to get out, walk the course for some exercise and continue doing what I love to do.
As a Pacific Northwest golfer, I find myself closest to the last category of golfer listed above, but even I have my limits. I have a hard time starting a round in gale-force winds and sideways rains, though I’ve willfully walked onto the first tee in these conditions. If a storm happens to roll through during a round, you’ll be hard pressed to find me not finishing 18 holes.
In my experience, having the right gear and making sure to pack multiple layers is the key to winter golf. So long as I’m warm and moderately dry, I am typically fairly content on the course. Invest in a good rain coat, a pair of waterproof pants and both cold weather and rain grip gloves. These are the tools that will help keep you on the course and working on your game when all your friends are complaining it’s too cold or too wet to go play.
So, what type of golfer are you? Will you slog through saturated tracks just to get some swings in or are you content to let the sticks atrophy in the closet or garage until brighter, warmer pastures emerge?