We all know that a British winter isn't the greatest golfing setting but that doesn't have to stop you from honing in your skills and improving your scores. If you are in need of a few tips that will make those freezing mornings and wintry showers a little more bearable then here is your go to list.
1. Base Layers
I often see golfers getting ready for their near arctic expedition around the course, usually adding layer upon layer gradually looking more and more like the Michelin man with every jumper or coat that goes on. If you use a warming base layer you can scrap a thick layer or two leaving you able to swing with a lot fewer restrictions while staying toasty and warm.
Although a word of warning getting in and out of these garments (originally designed for professional athletes) can cause extreme fun for the people around you, but I can assure you, that you will be laughing last.
2. Loft up / Tee the ball up higher
Throughout the winter months with the sometimes extreme wet weather the fairways and surrounds can be very wet causing little or no run on your drives. This can cause a lot of people trouble struggling to reach par 4's which were an driver and a mid iron in last summers heat wave. But fear not, there is an answer, for those with adjustable drivers add a degree or two to your driver settings and watch the ball fly through the air. For those that don't the desired result can be achieved by using a higher tee and moving your ball position closer to the target.
Now have a little try and watch those drives fly by your playing partners!
3. Winter Mittens
We've all been there, you're as far away from the clubhouse as you can get, you've lost circulation to your fingers, you're fairly sure frostbite has set in and wondering if you will ever regain feeling in them or if this is your new way of life. To be honest there is probably nothing more detrimental to your winter golf game than cold hands. Over the years I have tried a number of ways to keep them warm including winter golf gloves and hand warmers but my personal favourite is winter mittens. Extra points for anyone that can play in them! (Tried and failed a few times myself)
4. Playing at 75%
Some people may do this anyway but for those of us that love a good thrash this is a great way to keep control of the ball any time of year. With this method you are also less likely to injure yourself by pulling any muscles in the cold weather. By playing an extra club and slowing that swing speed it means less errant shots and less chance of those thinned iron shots which send shocks up your arms which you can still feel when you go back to work on Monday.
Just remember, slow and steady wins the race.
After my plea to try and convince you all to play more winter golf I know my words are falling on some deaf ears. To those of you that still don't want to brave the cold then I'd recommend some indoor golf getting the heaters on and having a swing indoors, keep your swing going this time of year and then when the season starts you can have a running start.
Best of luck to all of you, I hope the tips work for you!
Tom Pipes PGA Professional