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Playing In The Rain
Matt is an opinionated* golf enthusiast from Pennsylvania. He coaches at the high school level, molding the minds and swings of our next generation. His column will appear each Monday on ClubSG. 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 SkyGolf.

photo source


[ comments ]
Adam Reed says:
What's your short-game advice? I played in a tournament this summer, and putting the greens changed dramatically in a matter of minutes. Any changes in chipping and pitching tactics?
9/16/10
 
kickntrue says:
@adam reed- I alway take 1 more club when chipping or pitching in the rain. Around the green I find the SW or LW to have a great probability of whiffing when the ground is saturated. Take a Gap or PW to ensure good contact.
9/17/10
 
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