How To Play Great Golf in The Rain – Tips & Ultimate Guide
Playing golf in the rain is not always ideal, but it is sometimes an unfortunate reality. In situations where you have a tee time at a great golf course, or you are already having the best front nine of your life, it is hard to pick up and leave.
Golf in the rain can actually be even more fun to play but there are a couple of caveats to keep in mind like wearing waterproof shoes that have sufficient grip, rain gear and a change of clothes. You’ll also need to play a bit safer and use more club to get the same distances as with dry weather. Putting will also require a bit more welly but once you get the wet golfing down you can enjoy a quality round on a course that is much more quiet than usual.
As long as the course conditions are safe and there is no lightning threatening your safety, playing in the rain is not all that hard. In this guide, we will give you all of our best tips for making sure you have a great round of golf, either rain or shine.
Should I Play Golf In The Rain
If you want to get around a golf course quickly with nobody bothering you, a rainy day is a great time to play. If it is a downpour, you may have to make sure the course conditions are suitable, but drizzle is a great way to play.
Always make sure that after a rainy round of golf, you let your equipment dry out thoroughly. Leaving your golf clubs and your shoes wet will potentially cause damage that will be irreversible.
As long as the local radar at your golf course does not show any lightning in the area, heading out for a round in the rain makes a lot of sense. Some golf courses may even lower their greens fees to make it more enticing for you to play on a dreary day.
When Is It Too Wet To Play Golf?
Anytime you notice standing water on the greens, it is a bit too wet to play. If you cant see in front of you because water is pouring in front of your face, it is too wet. You have to make sure that the golf course is still somewhat playable. Having to putt through water and having to hit shots out of puddles is undoubtedly not considered playable.
Tips For Playing In The Rain
Here are some of our best tips for playing in the rain. After years of having no choice (tournaments and matches) of whether or not to play in the rain, we have gotten quite good at it. In fact, sometimes we think its easier to play in the rain than it is to play in the wind. Here are the most important things to consider and the best tips for playing golf in the rain.
1. Understand That It Will Be Harder To Score Well
Most golfers set out with a number in mind. Your number maybe 78, and it maybe 108, but there is usually a goal that you are going for an ideal score that you would like to shoot. When it starts raining, it is best to let go of this number. Trying to shoot the round of your life in the rain is very difficult.
It is so tricky that putting this extra pressure on yourself is just not worth it. You will end up shooting higher, trying to force yourself to go low. On a rainy day, accept a mediocre score and move on.
2. Keep Your Concentration
Playing in the rain is distracting. You will be ready to take the club back and notice a drop of rain fall off your hat. You will be in your backswing when a large gush of rain hits you in the back. It can be hard to stay focused with all of the drying of the grips and watching the flight of your ball, but it is imperative.
Losing your concentration will, without a doubt, lead to bad shots and high scores. Stay focused, take the round one shot at a time, for all you know things could clear up on the next hole.
3. Decide You Are Going To Enjoy It (Positive Attitude)
Any golfer that knows anything about the mental side of golf knows that negativity and golf do not mix. If you are miserable being on the golf course in the rain, get off the golf course!
Try to enjoy the fact that your pace of play is probably faster, and that you are getting time outdoors. Ask any young child, playing in the rain can be a great deal of fun!
4. Play Less Risky Shots
You know the par-five with the green over the pond. The one you have only hit in two once in your life. Today is not the day for that shot. Play it safe in the rain. Go with shots that you trust and that you know you can pull off.
If you end up in the rough on a rainy day, it’s going to be a lot harder to get out of. The grass is thick; it will grab your club and barely want to let go. Carefully work your way around the golf course, and you will very likely avoid the big numbers on your scorecard.
5. Have The Right Gear
Trying to play golf in the rain without the right gear is not a good idea. There are specific necessities that will make your day that much better. Probably the most important is rain gloves. The more wet rain gloves get, the better they work. These are the only thing that makes it feel like you won’t throw your golf club on a rainy day. Invest in a good pair of rain gloves and keep them in your golf bag at all times. Here are a few other things you will want to make sure you have in case it should get rainy.
- Waterproof Golf Shoes
- Heated Gloves
- Rain Gloves
- Rain Proof Clothing/Jacket/Pants
- Dry Clothes For After Golf
- Several Towels
- Golf bag rain cover
Understand How The Rain Will Affect Your Shots
Rain is going to have an effect on your golf shots. There is no doubt that you will have to calculate your yardages and rolls a bit differently when you are dealing with rainy conditions. Here are a few of the most significant ways that you will see rain changing your ball flight and your shots.
1. Less Carry On Drives
Not only will your drives not fly as far they will not roll as far either. A golf ball flying in the rain is going to get pushed down and out of the sky much faster than a golf ball on a clear day. Some golf balls will also plug in the ground exactly where they land. If you are accustomed to getting fifteen yards of roll, you will very likely lose that on a rainy day. As long as you are prepared for this, it shouldn’t be too difficult to deal with; mostly, you will end up with an extra club to club and a half into a green.
2. Chipping And Pitching
When it comes to chipping and pitching, there are two things that you will have to consider. The first is that the ball will not spin that well. There will be water, grass, and sometimes even mud between the face of the club and the ball. This will directly affect how much the ball can spin.
In addition to not being able to spin the ball the same that you usually do, you will also notice that the roll will not be the same. The wet greens will generally cause your ball to roll just a few feet and stop. For some players, this will be a welcome change; for others, it will be a significant adjustment.
3. Club Up With Your Irons
Just as we mentioned with your driver, your irons are going to be affected by the rain in the air. Generally, you are going to need to hit an extra club if there is a steady rain. Some people like to choke up a bit on that extra club and hit more of a ¾ swing lower trajectory type golf shot.
Some people think that putting is the least affected by rain, but lower handicap golfers will tell you it is the most affected. When you hit a putt on the green, your golf ball will be accumulating water. As that ball rolls, more and more water will collect, and it could throw off the line of your putt. Generally speaking, in the rain, you will want to be firm and aim for the back of the cup. The greens will be slower, and if you don’t get a steady roll on the ball, it will waiver from its line.
Tips For Playing Golf In Muddy Conditions
Muddy conditions can get a bit difficult. The most important thing you can do in muddy conditions is to keep your golf ball as clean as possible. When you get to the putting surface, you should be cleaning the golf ball every time. Some golf courses will allow you to clean and drop the ball in really terrible conditions where mud is getting in the way. Remember that a golf ball covered in mud may not fly as far as a clean golf ball.
Tips For Wet And Cold Conditions
If it’s cold out and it starts raining, you better have a way to keep your hands warm. This is the most critical part of playing in cold, wet conditions. Using something like Hot Hands or warm gloves in between shots is very important. When it gets cold, and there is rain, your ball will not travel as far as it would on a hot, dry day. You may need to club up two times.
Do Pros Play In The Rain?
Golf pros play in the rain. As we mentioned earlier, if there is standing water on the putting green and playing conditions become unfair, they will very likely be called off the course for some time. Golf pros have all the gear they need to make sure they can stay as comfortable as possible in rainy conditions.
Having a caddie to dry your grips after every shot certainly makes things a bit easier as well. The tricky thing for golf professionals in when they have to play in the rain, but then the afternoon tee times don’t. This seems a bit unfair, but it is just part of the game.
What Type Of Golf Ball Should You Use For Wet Conditions
Even golfers with very fast swing speeds should consider using a lower compression golf ball when they play in the rain. A lower compression ball is easier to hit further, and it will very likely have some anti drag technology incorporated into its design. The dimple pattern will help it stay on track and headed towards your target. Lower compression golf balls also tend to spin less, so they will roll when you hit your driver. When the conditions are wet, you will want all the roll that you can get.
How Much Is The Wet Conditions Going to Affect My Golf Ball Distances
There are two ways in which wet conditions will affect your golf shots. The first is the rain pushing the ball down from the sky, and the second is when the wet turf interacts with your golf ball. You must take into consideration both of these factors when choosing the right club to hit.
Take, for instance, a shot into a par 4. Typically you would hit a six-iron into this green, but it is raining hard, and the turf is quite wet. For the rain, you will need about a ½ club to a club more. For the wet turf, you will also probably need a ½ club. Most of the time, you will need to club up 1-1.5 clubs when dealing with wet conditions.
Playing golf in a bit of rain makes you a better golfer. You must learn to hit different shots, more unique shots. You will have to adjust your swing and focus more on your golf shots and your plan for each hole. You may have to get creative in how you approach a golf hole and make par from an area you didn’t think was possible.
A little rain is certainly not a reason not to play golf. Always keep a little rain gear in your golf bag and enjoy the fact that many other golfers quit at the first sign of a rain shower.
Hi, I am Matthew, a mid handicap golfer who likes to play as much as possible. I love trying out new gear and this blog is where you can find all the gear I have tested over the years!