The Secret To Playing Golf In The Rain and Wind

The last two days of golf have been miserable.

Susan G. Komen Rally For The CureMost sensible golfers choose not to play the game when it’s pouring rain and the wind whips across the fairways reaching near gale force conditions. But when you sign up for a tournament you play — even if the weather turns nasty as it did here in the northeast for the last two days. As luck would have it I had signed up for the Captain’s Challenge Cup, the final round of the season to determine the winning women’s golf league on the Cape, scheduled for Monday of this past week. The following day my home club’s RALLY FOR THE CURE tournament supporting the Susan G. Komen mission was scheduled and I signed up to play in that event as well. Both days were raw, cold and wet, with waves of  drizzle, downpours and mist taking turns soaking the fairways and greens.

Our team came in second in the Challenge Cup, a notable improvement over past years. I blame the 50 mph winds for making those last few drives nearly impossible to gain any distance. And at the RALLY? It was so wet that when I hit my first drive of the morning, the club went flying out of my hands and crashed on the cart path, just inches from my partner’s feet. We both screamed as she ran for cover. It was not a pretty sight. The guys we were playing with found it all very amusing especially when they discovered that in spite of my flying club, my drive was the best ball of the four of us!

Our foursome did the best we could considering the conditions and gamely played another eleven holes until finally, the siren sounded, calling everyone on the course back to the shelter and warmth of the clubhouse. All four of us were very happy to be done with golf for the day.

In spite of the miserable conditions I was relatively comfortable. Having played the day before in conditions just as bad, I had come prepared, and even though we had been out for almost three hours in driving rain, most of me was warm and dry. I can’t say the same for my companions. Wet slacks, wet shoes, wet hair, cold hands… it was a tough day to play and our score reflected the poor conditions.

What is the secret to playing golf in the rain and wind?

When it comes to equipment and clothing, the best defense against the rawness of the wind and rain, is good rain gear. Here’s a list of what I recommend:

  • Jacket: I was wearing my new jacket from FootJoy which I wore over several layers of clothing. (Layers of light clothing are always more effective in keeping you warm. Air is trapped between the layers and keeps body heat in — a better choice than wearing just one heavy sweater.)
  • Pants: To cover my slacks I wore a pair of rain pants which I had just bought at the pro shop—the bottom half of a Sun Mountain Provisional Suit. Meant for golf, they have lower leg zips for easy on/off, elastic drawstring waist and side pockets deep enough to hold my tees and extra ball. Both jacket and pants pack into a small packable pouch so you can keep them in your golf bag just in case of foul weather.
  • Hat: I wore a DryJoy baseball cap to keep my head dry. But it did not work quite as well as I had hoped. The wind kept trying to blow it off my head and although my face was sheltered from the rain, my hair was soaked. A better choice would have been a wide brim rain hat. FootJoy has a bucket rain hat which would have done a better job.
  • Gloves: Luckily, I had purchased a pair of WetGrips a year or so ago and had them in my golf bag. After that first drive of the day when my club slipped out of my hands, went sailing through the air and crashed to the ground, I dug out my WetGrips and put them on. Designed to absorb and not repel water they prevent your hands from slipping in the rain! The wetter they are, the better they help you grip the club. Once I had them on, my hands did not slip off the club shaft again.
  • Shoes: I was lucky, the shoes I was wearing were waterproof. Not perfect, I would say they were more water-resistant than water-proof, but better than the shoes worn by my golf partner. Attractive on a sunny day, her shoes had a fabric upper which only absorbed the water. She squished when she walked. A better choice would have been a waterproof model. Several online golf stores stock them. Try NexTag, Golfsmith or Austad’s for a start.

What about the wind? What’s the secret to hitting well when the wind is gusting across the fairway?

What’s your best advice for playing golf in the rain? Ever have a golf club fly off on its own?

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  7 comments for “The Secret To Playing Golf In The Rain and Wind

  1. Alain
    October 28, 2013 at 4:47 pm

    Nice tips. Outside of having good rain gear, you still need to prepare your mind. I came across this blog post a few days ago that has got some good mental game tips for playing in the rain.

  2. Jaycee
    October 7, 2010 at 5:38 pm

    I can relate to the misery you experienced on the golf corse. I hate playing in rain but sometimes you are obligated to follow through no matter. Good idea to get the wet suit protection. I bought a jacket recently. Should ahve purchased the pants at the same time. Last time out I got soaked. Thanks for the great post.

    • KCal
      October 8, 2010 at 8:52 am

      Hey Jaycee… I think you are crazy to play in the rain. Some people are just too addicted to the game. You’ve got to say no next time.

  3. Bell
    October 7, 2010 at 5:32 pm

    Thanks for the videos. Really helpful, especially the one about getting up and out of the sand. These pros make it look so easy. I really struggle with sand.

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