How to Golf in the Rain
Let’s face it, no one can predict the weather and as much as we all dislike playing golf in the rain, there are times that it’s unavoidable. We all know rain on the golf course can come any time. Whether you’re on the furthest hole from the clubhouse and you want to finish the last half of the back nine or you have a tee time on a prestigious golf course and you know you’re playing rain or shine, you have to be prepared for the elements. So you’re about to learn how to golf in the rain, from preparing with the correct equipment and accessories to some more tips on hitting actual shots in the rain to lower your scores as much as possible.
Let’s start with the right rain gear for golf. If you don’t have the right golf gear to play in the rain then you’re already doomed from the start. The first and most obvious issue is having the club slip out of your hands during your swing so let’s talk about how we can remedy this situation.
Golf rain gloves can be your saving grace if the heavens open up on the course. With rain gloves you should make sure they are actually soaking wet. The wetter they are the better they will grip to the club. These are almost always sold as a left and right glove in a pair so unlike a typical glove that you only wear on one hand, you’ll wear your rain gloves on both hands for ultimate grip to the club.
When making sure the club doesn’t slip out of your hands the next step is your grips. Whether you have rain gloves or not, if your golf grips are extra slick and hard instead of tacky then it’s time to replace them. This is an important factor not only during rainy weather but in any conditions.
Always keep an extra towel in your bag, once again your everyday towel will eventually get wet so keep a back-up towel in your bag for the back nine. You will definitely need it to keep your grips dry as well as your clubs and your golf balls. Another tip is you can hang your golf towel underneath your umbrella to keep it dry.
This one is pretty obvious but not only do you need an umbrella, you need a good one. Umbrellas have come a far way so get one with a double-canopy so you don’t have to worry about it flipping inside out by a gust of wind. You’ll also want one that is specific to golf usually 62” to 68” inches. This is extremely important if you’re walking so you’re not only keeping yourself dry but your entire golf bag and clubs as well.
This next important tip can be one of the most important of all, especially if you want to be comfortable during your round. Get a good rain suit! Don’t go cheap on this one, yes they can be as expensive as a driver but with all honesty keeping your body and clothes dry will keep your spirits high and when you’re comfortable you’re much more likely to play better golf. There are many good brands out there, FootJoy rain suits have been a long-time leader and are highly recommended.
What about your feet? Well these days the majority of mid-high priced golf shoes come with a 1 or 2 year waterproof warranty. Make sure you have waterproof golf shoes when playing in the rain and preferably spiked golf shoes for added traction and grip when in wet grass. Whether you’re walking or riding on the golf course, nothing is more uncomfortable than having soaking wet feet and socks. It’s not only uncomfortable but it’ll add extra weight to your feet, especially if you’re walking.
The last couple tips are regarding your golf bag. If you’re on a riding cart, a rain hood for your bag is definitely an added plus. It’ll help keep your clubs dry as well as some of your other rain gear in your bag pockets. If you play in a lot of you rain you can also invest in a waterproof golf bag. This is great to keep all of your gear nice and dry, although these waterproof golf bags can be a bit pricey so you’ll have to weigh the cost versus how often you think you might play in the rain.
Now once you have the right golf rain gear let’s talk about several tips you should be aware of regarding your actual golf game while playing in the rain. All of these tips are things you should be aware of that can easily knock a few strokes off your round.
The first and one of the most important tips is to remember to keep a good attitude and have fun. Accept the fact that your eventual score won’t be as good as it might be when it’s 75 degrees and sunny. Rain can be difficult to play golf in for everyone so just remember that it’ll usually be an even playing field as everyone else on the course is playing in the rain as well. This is when patience is a virtue and make sure you don’t get frustrated because of the difficult weather elements.
You should also take into account the soft greens and fairways. The ball will not be rolling out as it usually does so take into account that fact when laying up off the tee. You can be more aggressive knowing that you can hit it a bit further off the tee to get as close to a particular hazard or the corner of a dogleg. It’s also worth noting that the ball will not roll out as much, meaning that if you hit the very edge of the fairway you won’t have to worry about the ball taking another 30+ yards or so of roll into the high rough. Instead it’ll stick in the fairway so on some holes you can be more aggressive with your driver as opposed to a hybrid or fairway wood off the tee.
This is also the case when hitting into the green. Soft greens enable you to go after tucked pins a bit more aggressively since you know the ball will stick exactly where you land it. Just remember to use your judgment here; if you do miss the green the wet high rough or wet sand won’t be very forgiving.
If you do hit a tee shot into the rough and it’s apparent that the grass is wet you should probably take a half to full club more into your green. A higher wet rough will make the club slow down through impact. When possible in wet conditions it’s best to make sure you try to make as crisp as contact with the golf ball. If you hit it fat or a bit behind the ball the negative results of your shot will be even worse in wet conditions and you’ll likely fall way short of your target distance.
When you’re on the green watch out for standing water. You can often get a free drop so that you don’t have to putt through puddles. It’s also worth noting that water and soft greens will often slow down the speed of the greens so make sure you take this into account when putting, especially for correctly judging the distance of lag putts. There is nothing worse than working very hard to get a 6-foot birdie putt in the rain, only to leave it a few inches short in the center of the cup. As usual, try to take every putt and learn from it as the conditions change so that you can make adjustments as the weather and elements change from hole to hole on the golf course.
Hopefully you can avoid even needing this last tip but if you do happen to get into a bunker or sand trap where the sand is very wet as opposed to dry and fluffy you need to hit a completely different shot. You should take less sand than usual and do not open the face up as you typically would. You will want to make sure your wedge doesn’t have a lot of bounce. You could use a lob wedge instead if you have experience with that shot or use your sand wedge but just remember not to open the face up since that will create more bounce and it will cause you to blade the ball over the green.
So now that you have all the knowledge needed to get the right equipment and golf rain gear you should know how to golf in the rain just in case the weather doesn’t cooperate with you. And once you have the right gear use our golf tips for playing golf in the rain to improve and lower your scores.