Can You Play Golf In The Rain? - Golf Educate (2023)

Grey clouds and rain are a gloomy signal that the sport you are playing has to be stopped dead in its tracks. However, does the same rule apply to golf? Continue reading to find out if you can play golf in the rain.

You can play golf in the rain. However, playing golf in the rain is prohibited under some conditions. For example, you can’t play golf if lightning is present or if the rain is accompanied by adverse weather. Additionally, if the course is waterlogged, you cannot play golf.

It’s great to know you can golf in the rain, but if you’re not prepared, the experience might not be as enjoyable as you’d like. Continue reading to learn how to prepare for a round of golf in the rain.

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Can Golf Be Played In The Rain?

The looming dark clouds above can mean disaster for most sports. The day you had planned to practice your favorite sport, or possibly even to play a tournament, is now ruined by the presence of bad weather. However, there is a sport that does not have to succumb to the presence of rain: golf.

Contrary to popular belief, golf courses do not shut down during rainfall – only under certain circumstances will play be suspended or the golf course closed. So, this means that the only thing stopping you from playing golf in the rain is your tolerance to getting wet.

Even so, there are some things you can do to make playing golf in the rain more bearable, so all is not lost. As a result, the next time you see gloomy clouds or feel subtle raindrops on your skin, remember that it doesn’t have to mean doom and gloom for your golf game.

When Can You Not Play Golf In The Rain?

As mentioned before, it is not possible to play golf in the rain in certain circumstances. Situations that pose an imminent threat, such as lightning, are one such situation.

Most golf courses are fitted with lightning detectors that produce an ominous-sounding siren to warn golfers if lightning has been detected a few miles outside the vicinity.

Golfers are then instructed to leave the golf course since it will be temporarily closed until the storm passes. Another reason why the golf course may be shut down during rainfall is if there is too much waterlog on the golf course. Waterlogging makes putting extremely difficult, plus footfall and careless cart driving churn up the grass, sometimes damaging it for weeks.

There is a difference between gentle rain with a peak of sun and rain with gale forced winds straight out of a horror movie. The latter conditions are unplayable, and frankly, no one would be crazy enough to play in such weather. Do not worry, though; once the storm has passed, you can go right back to the course and swing away.

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What To Bring When Playing Golf In The Rain

If the forecast predicts cloudy with rain, there are a few things you can bring to the course that will make your playing experience just a little bit more enjoyable. Better still, leave these items in your car just in case rain ever springs up on you at the course.

Bring An Umbrella

An umbrella is probably one of the best defenses against getting completely soaked from the rain. And although it is a self-explanatory tool to use while raining, you will be surprised at just how many people forget to pack the umbrella when needed.

Also, keeping a permanent spot for your umbrella in your car can do wonders if you are a naturally forgetful person.

Wear GearAppropriate For Rain

Investing in jackets, pants, headwear, and shoes that will help protect you from the rain can be immensely helpful during inclement weather. Sure. Technically, you can do without it, but who wants to be soaked from the rain and have water filling their shoes?

There is no need to spend a large sum of money on waterproofing gear. However, if you intend on playing in the rain regularly, investing a bit more money for appropriate gear may be wiser. Lightweight waterproof layers suit me best rather than one big jacket that I feel affects my swing. I also wear a wide-brimmed rain hat rather than a baseball cap that helps protect my neck and back.

Keep Extra Dry Towels And Gloves

If you wear a glove, you will be quite disappointed to discover you have no spare once your glove has been soaked through from the rain. For this reason, it is good to keep spare gloves safely packed away in a plastic bag in your golf bag. Keeping your gloves in a plastic bag will protect them from the rain in case your bag is left open or has a hole in it.

Personally in rainy or cold conditions, I usually wear gloves on both hands to maintain my grip. Although mine are just standard off-the-shelf playing gloves, specialist wet and cold weather gloves can be purchased from most pro-shops.

Additionally, it is best to leave some dry towels in your golf bag as the ones you have with you outside are bound to get wet.

Tips For Playing Golf In The Rain

Here are my best tips for playing golf in the rain:

  • Make sure your grip is dry. Keeping the grip dry is an important aspect to remember when playing golf since the club can slip out of your hand and potentially cause damage. So, if your club is wet, dry the grip before taking a swing.
  • Be aware that the greens will change when wet. So, expect the greens to be slower in the rain compared to a typical sunny day. As such, you will need to adjust how hard you hit the putt and account for the ball having less break.
  • Because the course is so soft, it will take longer to play. Like the greens, the fairways become softer and slower. Because your shots don’t bounce into as much danger, it almost feels as if the fairways become bigger and wider. But you might need to take ‘more club’ to make distances when hitting over water etc. on approach shots.
  • Don’t let the rain affect your usual routines. Continue to play your normal game. The best rain players never rush, remain patient, and keep on top of their mental game, despite the conditions.
  • The rain will generally firm up the sand in the bunker. So, if your ball does happen to land in the bunker, you won’t have to exert as much effort to get the ball out.
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Final Thoughts

It is possible to play golf in the rain. However, if lightning and adverse weather accompany the rain, the golf course will close temporarily. Additionally, when playing golf in the rain, remember to bring extra dry gear and account for changes on the course due to the rain.

I know a few individuals who pull out of club competitions when rain is forecast as they think it affects their game, and a bad round will damage their handicap. But I like to embrace the challenge, and I’ve had some great rounds playing golf in the rain. It might even suit my game!

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