I really hate thinking I will be wrapping up my competitive golf season with the final round of the club’s couple’s championship being played in the rain. Geez.
Playing in the rain has to be the most challenging and physically enduring round golf any golfer will play. It truly comes down to the survival of the fittest and how prepared you are to play in the rain.
As I go thru my check list of equipment and preparation I thought sharing what I do may help someone else who may deal with this situation. So here are my tips on Playing in the RAIN..
Review Your Health:
If you have weak ankles, knees or have hip problems..playing in the rain may be hazardous to your health. The ground is going to be unstable and wearing rubber spikes on hard surfaces like parking lots and cart paths could result in a slip and fall. In worst case scenarios if your physically not set for the pull on your body you may have to consider withdrawing from the match..but that is the last result and only you can make that decision. However,it maybe the best decision since inflecting an injury on yourself may not be easy to overcome and taking a WD is less painful than a broken leg or hip.
Before I get started..let me stress the importance of stretching. I am not going to get into all the possible routines you can do. Each of us have a different way of preparing for a round of golf. However, Wet weather tightens the muscles and they need to be loose to deal with not just the swing you will make in golf but all of the other things you will have to do in the rain you do not do in fair weather.
Walking is going to be harder. You are not going to be able to talk the long caddy strides. You are going to have to keep your feet under you once the ground starts to become saturated.
The weight of the rain gear will also become a factor so instead of sitting in the cart wrapping your lip around a donut you may want to step out and grab the carts roof and do a few pulls to loosen up the shoulders. Then try to push the cart over to losing up the legs. Then the one thing I find that helps me with all my knee and ankle injuries is to do deep squats.
I start my stretching a hour before I get to the course and then keep moving when I get to the course and even during play keep stretching while waiting on the tee.
The goal for anyone who is playing golf in the rain is to keep the clubs dry. Especially the grips. If the grips get wet you can count on some really bad shots, even if you were expecting really bad shots. The shot you make with wet grips will be even worst. So keep your grips dry.
Carry more towels. Keep a few in your bag so you can pull out a dry one when one gets wet. Not only are you going to use a towel for the clubs, but you need one for yourself..also one to get the mud off your clubs and ball…lots of towels. It was not unusual for me to go through 8 full size towels during a round in the rain. And Yes,,when those puppies get wet, they are heavy..so that adds to the weight you are hauling around the course.
Next to keeping your grips dry, keeping your glove dry is next. Depending on how hard it is raining you will need a dry glove about every six holes..so that would mean you need to carry four extra gloves. In down pours maybe more.
Create a Dry Spot:
You might as well face it..you are going to get wet. But creating a dry spot so things can dry out as best as they can should be made. I use an umbrella to hang my gloves and towels under. Some people hang their wet gloves up under their golf cart cover. Some people will put a plastic cover over their carts to keep the inside of their carts dry.
For me, wrapping the cart up in plastic gets into my way and causes me to burn more energy getting in and out of the cart than it would if I just wore my GorTex rain suit. Each to their own, but less is best in more cases.
Protect What is Important:
The worst thing to do while playing golf in the rain is after all this effort, work, distress you put on your body..you let the scorecard get wet. I have seen people DQ’d from an event because they turned in a score care that was so soaked the numbers could not be read and the shots made could not be reconstructed from a second party. So, keep the scorecard dry.
The first thing I do is pull the scorecard off the golf cart steering wheel and place it in the Sign Holder that is attached under the roof of the cart. If there is not one or if there are no carts, I place the card in the water proof pock in my rain suit. Whatever I do..the card will be dry.
Sometimes I bring a gallon size zip lock bag to keep the card in. I know it is a hassle to deal with, but My Card will be dry when I turn it to my opponent to sign..I expect him/ her to do the same.
I concede to NOT playing the long ball in the rain. It is just not worth it. I pull all my swings back to 3/4 to 1/2 swings and go for solid contact and try to shot a PAR score..sometimes a bogy is good since you are playing against the course and so is everyone else. Trying to hit full shots in the rain for amateurs is 90% of the time not going to produce favorable placement in the fairway. I once played all the par 5’s at my club in the rain with just a five iron, wedge and putter and pared all of them. So I purposely take just a portion of my swing when I am playing in the rain.
Save Your Energy:
Believe me..drinking water during the rain is probably even more important than on a sunny day. Under all that rain gear you are going to get hot and sweat and dehydration will hit you real quick. So hit the water during the round more frequently.
Make sure to eat something during the rain. Something with a balance of protein and carbs..low fat. You see Tiger now chomping on a sandwich around the 8th and 12th hole..then drinking the electrolytes all the way around the course..he is not just doing that for the product endorsements..he is doing it because the dude is the worlds number one carb and fat burner in golf. In the rain, it doubles.
Sit when you can..take the pressure off you legs and back. Save your energy..you are really working a lot harder in the rain than you do in the dry.
Keep the Alcohol for afterwards:
Stay away from the alcohol during the rain. I know that is not what a lot of hackers like to hear or will do since they play golf to drink, but if you are out to win the golf outing (or even survive it), then you may want to consider not drinking during a rain round of golf. Your goal is to be about to walk up the 18th fairway instead of being hauled up the 18th cart path on a gurney. I have had some of my drinking friends nearly pass out by the 12th hole due to the dehydration they experiences while playing in the rain. So keep the drinking to afterwards..it is much safer.
Keep the Spikes Clean:
Yaw, I know..it is muddy when you play in the rain and you are going to get into mud..especially if you play like me out in the woods and places grass never grows. So carry a tool to clean your spikes. I put a small screw driver in my Pen Holder in my bag and pull it out as I am waiting on the tee and clean my spikes. It is very important to get a firm footing on each shot. Muddy spikes will not help and will eventually wear you down from carrying more weight on your feet.
Once It is On, Keep it On:
Unless the sun comes out, keep your rain gear on. Taking off the jacket or the pants does nothing but waste time since you probably going to want to put them back on. Remember, the goal is to stay dry. If you get the core of your body wet you will be more uncomfortable than if you had the rain gear on. So, if you start with it on, keep it on unless the sun comes out and the rain stops.
Keep the Neck Dry:
I know it sounds weird, but the back of your neck is your thermo center and if it gets wet it may tend to make you feel cold which tightens up the muscles. I bought a rain hat with a drape that covers my neck so when I am putting the rain does not get down my collar. I may look more like a fisherman, but I am warm. A good waterproof full brim hat is a good investment to have around. I even wear it sometimes out in the desert to keep the sun off my neck.
If you wear glasses there is nothing worst than getting water on the lenses. I spray my lenses with Rainx..it beads the water up and makes it run off. I apply it before I play. But beware, you want to make sure you do not put your glasses on right away after putting the RainX on…let the Rainx fumes dissipate or your eyes will water all day…Yes, that happened to me so be warned.
Keep good Attitude:
There is no use in hammering the fact you hate playing golf in the rain. We all hate it so keeping that on your mind does nothing to improve your golf game. You have to expect that there is going to be some weird golf shots that are not very productive, but, hey,..you are playing golf in the rain. Even the best golfers deal with the same thing, so lighten up and enjoy it or it is going to be the worst day you have ever had.
Now if someone will tell my wife this, I would forever thank them…
Let me know how I can help.