Playing In The Rain
By Snyper on 9/20/10
Matt is an opinionated* golf enthusiast from Pennsylvania. He coaches at the high school level, molding the minds and swings of our next generation. Feel free to chime in with your thoughts and opinions of Matt in the comments. Don't hold back- because Matt won't.

A wise man once said, "It never rains on the golf course." Well, turns out that's not exactly true. When you’re on the golf course and it does start to rain, there are some basic strategies and tools that can keep your game on track in spite of the weather.

First of all, you've got to be prepared for Mother Nature to put a damper on your round. Always carry an extra towel in your bag for such an occasion. You don’t need a five-pound beach towel, but even the smallest of extra towels can be your new best friend if you get stuck on the course on a rainy day. The newest fad in towels is the waterproof version. While they tend to be a little heavier and more cumbersome, they do manage to stay dry in even the heaviest of downpours. If you have a cart bag with plenty of room, I would certainly recommend keeping one tucked away just in case.

Though an umbrella might seem like the most important tool to have in rainy weather, I would argue that there is something much more useful. I would trade an umbrella for a good pair of rain gloves any day of the week. Anybody who’s played in the rain knows that once your clubs start to slip in your hands, you are in trouble. With a good set of rain gloves, you could swing a club under water without the slightest of a slip. In fact, if you break out a pair of gloves in the rain, you should get them a little wet right away as they are designed to perform better when they have some moisture in them. Even with a 70-inch umbrella, your hands and your grips are going to get damp sooner or later. But, if you’ve got a pair of rain gloves to slide on, a little h2o will only help you to keep control of your clubs.
Just like playing in the wind, playing in the rain can easily result in players rushing their shots.

Being prepared is the easy part of playing golf in the rain. The hard part is managing to adapt your swing and your shots to stay consistent in spite of the weather. Just like playing in the wind, playing in the rain can easily result in players rushing their shots. It is hard to stand there and take your time when the water is pouring down on you. However, you have got to make up your mind that you are going to maintain your pre-shot routine even though it is raining. Making solid contact is hard enough in normal weather and even more difficult when it is raining. Don’t make the process even tougher by rushing your shots. It only takes a few more seconds to catch your breath and take a practice swing. You won’t melt and neither will your game as long as you maintain the status quo in spite of the obvious temptation to hurry things along.
Take an extra club and swing easy. The heavy air and the rain itself are going to cost you at least half a club on almost every shot.

My last bit of advice for overcoming the rain is making sure you club up for it. The last thing you want to do when trying to hit a golf ball in the rain is to try and hit it harder than normal. Take an extra club and swing easy. The heavy air and the rain itself are going to cost you at least half a club on almost every shot. Approach shots from outside of 150 yards will most likely play about a full club longer. So, don’t think you are just going to muscle up and blast it through the conditions, but grab another club and make sure you get to the green. Trust me, you won’t be missing long and putting in the rain is a whole lot easier than chipping.

While playing in the rain is not something that most of us look forward to, it should not stop us from still posting a decent score. Whether it is a passing storm or a two-hour shower, playing successful golf in the rain is possible. It starts with making sure you are prepared by having the proper items in your bag just in case the weather takes a turn for the worse. Break out the rain gloves and the extra towel. Keep it simple and swing easy. You just might be surprised how simple it is to play in the rain if you’re ready with the right adjustments. So, next time you’re out on the links and the skies are threatening, try these few suggestions and don’t let a little rain stop your game.

* Matt's views and opinions are his own do not necessarily reflect those of oobgolf.

photo source


[ comments ]
birdieXris says:
Good advice all around.

Investing in good wet weather gear is definitely recommended. It's like the old argument of shelling out $500 for a driver, but only spending $25 on your putter. You get what you pay for and it will definitely affect your game. There's a lot of good and cheap solutions out there for wet weather gear, but breathable waterPROOF (not waterRESISTANT) gear is a must. It won't make you hot, but it'll keep you dry and it's a lot easier to play when you're comfortable in the rain.
9/20/10
 
Kickntrue says:
@birdieXris- i'd love to hear some recommendations on this breathable rain gear. I have 2 sets- and both are quite expensive (got them for free) and promote breathability. both are hot as balls. great for wet fall golf, but in the middle of the summer- they are like wearing trash bags...
9/20/10
 
Scott Shields says:
I wouldn't go as far as saying I like playing in the rain, but I don't hate it. I'd rather play in rainy / wet weather rather then 20mph winds and sun.
9/20/10
 
birdieXris says:
My footjoys are awesome. They're double lined with mesh so it stays away from my body and while it's a little warmer than wearing nothing, i don't sweat at all. The sun mountain crap i bought for like $99 (coat and pants) sucks balls. It's waterproof but like your'e having a problem with, it's not very breathable (although it promotes such). I'd recommend the half-sleeves in the summer - for obvious reasons. I saw some company that has zippered pants (changes to shorts) that are waterproof. Finally a great idea - i'll see if i can find the link. I've been wanting to get a pair of those.
9/20/10
 
Swingem says:
Good rain gear and definitely the rain gloves. Club up, shorter swing, and ball back in stance. I've always found an umbrella to be a problem unless you have someone else to carry it, especially if there is any wind. I prefer a good rain hat like the OR Seattle Sombrero.
9/20/10
 
windowsurfer says:
I like this for the temperate rainforest here: rain PROOF jacket with zippered side vents, Oregon Mudder rubberized shoes (latest model that are not so darn heavy), waterproof hat (pack an old tweed one that is v warm and a Callaway Goretex ballcap), rain gloves. Towel on the bag and one hanging on my belt. Screw the umbrella - too clumbsy cuz I carry. If I had a cart, I'd put the umbrella on one of those clamps that sticks up from the cart handle - that looks handy. Cotton is rotten for wearing under the jacket - breathable synthetics are better. I wear any pants (not rain pants) and tuck em into my socks. I like playing in light rain or heavy mist - greens are receptive and the course is pretty well empty. I don't smoke any more (15 yrs+) so I don't have to worry about keepin the cigs/matches dry. That used to bug me!

Rain gloves are the key - they are frickin awesome. BUT, you gotta wash em with soap occasionally - they smell like an old hockey bag - or worse, a wet suit - after a while.
9/20/10
 
bkuehn1952 says:
Generally I will not play when a steady rain is forecast. Once greens start to puddle, a course is pretty much unplayable. As much as I love golf, playing in a steady rain just is not that much fun.

When light rain or intermittant showers are the day's weather, a rain jacket or windshirt is about all I need (plus an umbrella for the walk between shots). Any rainsuit I have worn, including "breathable" ones, is too hot for mid-summer. However, they work great in early or late season conditions (Great Lakes region) and I found wearing the rain pants with just my boxers worked great in Ireland.

My one experience with rain gloves during the remnants of Typhoon Melor confirm they work great. The club never slipped but my hands tended to get a bit cold.
9/20/10
 
Swingem says:
Played a round last year at Bandon Dunes in pouring rain. First day of our annual trip. Bandon is sand based and drains really well, but not that day. Three great friends and flasks of single-malt, we decided we would keep the standing bet, play it down and putt it out, standing water be damned. Arguably, some of the most fun I've had on a golf course.
9/20/10
 
cjgiant says:
Umbrellas actually become more hassle then they are worth if some wind kicks up with the rain (and really seem only useful when walking anyhow). I have never had rain gloves, and rarely have needed them, but I may look into them now for those times.
9/20/10
 
cpercy says:
What's everyone's favorite rain glove? I like to play in the rain but the gloves I have don't work that well. My rules for golf and weather are, if they will let you on the course I'll play (only exception is lightning). About the only times you can't play here is when there is snow on the greens. I have played when you cannot put a tee in ground because its so frozen plus side of that is drives can go 400 yards and you can play off the pond.
9/20/10
 
birdieXris says:
My favorite gloves are the FJ wet-weathers. They stick to the club like mad. I have a pair of Nike rain gloves too. They're absolutely worthless and cost me 3 strokes at Nemacolin.
9/21/10
 
Swingem says:
I'll second the FJ's. I've had two pair, the first were a little loose after getting wet so I bought a second pair a size smaller.
9/21/10
 
Banker85 says:
sounds like i need some rain gloves. why not use them when its not raining?
9/21/10
 
Swingem says:
@Banker-Try some and you'll know. Awsome in the rain, wierd when dry.
9/21/10
 
cpercy says:
Thanks guys, looks like I'll be picking up some FJs the rainy season is here.
9/21/10
 
birdieXris says:
@swingem - yea you have to watch that when any glove gets wet. I recommend a half size smaller than your "normal" glove size. My size is a cadet M'L and i was ok with that OR the M regular (not cadet).

@banker - while they'll provide excellent grip in the wet weather, they're non-grip when dry. Plus your hands will get pruny wearing wet gloves all day. I don't want that unless i have to . :) haha.
9/22/10
 
bducharm says:
@Banker - JB Holmes wears a rain glove all of the time. He does it because his hands sweat so badly. I tried that this summer here in Texas and it worked great.
9/22/10
 
Banker85 says:
I have sweaty hands so maybe it would work for me. thanks
9/23/10
 
windowsurfer says:
FJs are good. When they get really soaked, I just take them off and wring them out, then they are grippy again. Hey, *Swingem*, I like the flasks of single-malt addition to the list of rain equip! We play all winter (frozen or not, as long as they let us go out) scotch would help - couldn't hurt - on pond-hockey days. Cheers.
9/23/10
 
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