“Winter golf” has different meanings depending on what area of the country you happen to be in. In Florida or Arizona, it means peak season.
In Minnesota and Massachusetts, it means snow-covered fairways. But for some areas, the weather is just warm enough to keep the greens cut and the pins in the hole, but still cool enough that you’ll need to properly prepare yourself for a day in the elements.
One of those regions is Charleston, South Carolina, one of the premier golf destinations in the country. Most courses are open here all 12 months, but at this time of year, there are days when frost warnings and dipping wind chills can make a round of golf as trying as it is enjoyable.
With the cold weather upon us, the following tips will help keep you and your game in tip-top shape.
Stretch, Stretch, Stretch: It is important to stretch before playing golf anytime of the year; however, in the winter months it is imperative. On the first tee or at the practice range, spend a few minutes doing some golf stretches. An easy stretch to do to improve your shoulder turn is to put a golf club behind your back and between arms, bend from the waist slightly and slowly rotate your shoulders level as if you are making a backswing and a forward swing. This will make that first tee-shot much more comfortable!
Add an Extra Layer of Gear: The way you dress in the winter season will have a significant impact on your swing or stroke. Try to avoid wearing tight-fitting, heavy outerwear. This will hamper your ability to create the proper motion and not allow your body and arms to swing freely. When heading to the course on those chilly mornings, dress in several loose-fitting layers that you can shed when the temperatures rise. Keeping your head, hands and feet warm will also make those winter rounds much less frigid. Wear a hat, warm socks and winter gloves. This will take the bite out of the winter chill.
Leave the Cart Behind: If you can, walk the golf course. Walking will keep you warm not only by the exercise you get, but also will reduce the chill of riding in a golf cart.
Steady Tempo is Key: When swinging the golf club in cold weather, focus on maintaining a steady tempo throughout your swing and good balance. This will ensure that you are hitting solid shots that will fly farther and stay on line.