So you’ve been planning for a round of golf, got all of your gear ready, then, without warning, the rain started to fall. Maybe it’s been raining, but you still want to engage in your favorite sport. The good news about golf is that you can play it in almost all weather conditions: sunny, windy, and even rainy.
A golf course can dry out enough for a game in hours if it has a proper drainage system, in 2-4 days after a moderate rain, or up to three weeks after a heavy downpour. However, drying time depends on how heavily it rains, the weather conditions, and the quality of the drainage system.
If you don’t want rain to impact your golfing game, you probably want to know how you can shoot low scores on a wet course or in the rain. The rest of this article will discuss how you can make the best of your play.
How Rain Affects the Golf Course and Your Game
Usually, the golf course closes when it gets too wet after significant rainfall, as playing in wet weather can damage the golf course severely.
I’ll go over how rain impacts different parts of a golf course below.
Fairways become considerably softer when it rains and affect your game in several ways:
- Your drives will roll out less and reduce your overall distance. You might need to rely on your carry distance on extremely wet fairways.
- Once your ball hits the fairway, it will plug into the ground. The plugging can be discouraging, especially if you can’t spot the ball after hitting that perfect tee shot.
- You’re likely to hit fat or heavy shots because it’s quite easy to dig into the soft grass when taking your approach shots.
Consider widening your stance and swinging around your body more (instead of up and down) to avoid these setbacks. This posture gives a shallow swing and lowers the risk of excess turf.
The rain makes the greens soft and easy to stick your approach shots in their landing spots without rolling out too far. It’s beneficial if your ball flight is typically low.
On the contrary, it can be challenging to gauge the break on your putts and the speed.
Generally, water droplets provide resistance, making wet greens slower, and breaking less than dry greens.
If you adjust accordingly, the wetness can work to your advantage. Try to putt straight with a solid, aggressive stroke.
The rough is usually longer than the greens or fairways. Therefore, more water rests on the grass and increases resistance for your club.
Have an extra club, and slightly open your clubface at address when hitting in wet rough. Doing this will prevent the rough from gripping and turning your club over prematurely.
Do Golf Courses Close When It Rains?
Golf courses do not close when it rains unless the downpour is heavy enough to create puddles on greens or fairways and render them unplayable. The golf course can also close if there is lightning.
Closing a golf course due to rain happens in steps:
- Enact a walking-only policy: Walking prevents golf carts from ruining the turf as they ride through the wet fairways.
- Assess the safety of players: The management will decide whether it’s safe for people to be on the course.
- Monitor the weather: The staff will continually monitor the weather and consider the safety of the players. If the conditions worsen, the course will close until the rain subsides and it’s safe to play.
You can safely play golf when it’s raining if the rain is manageable. If it’s a drizzle, the most significant setback will be slipping or losing your grip on the clubs. These should not be a problem if you have rain gloves and proper golf shoes.
As the rain increases, visibility will reduce. However, you should stop and go inside if there’s a thunderstorm.
Tips on How To Play Golf in the Rain
When the rain is too light for the golf course to close, you can still have a good golf game.
Follow these tips for the best results:
Prepare for the Wet Conditions
Preparation includes dressing correctly and bringing the appropriate accessories. Some accessories to consider include:
- Waterproof clothing: A quality rain jacket and trousers will keep you warm and dry. Most of them are breathable and lightweight and will not interfere with your mobility.
- Spiked golf shoes: Spikeless golf shoes are like typical running shoes, while the spiked ones repel water better, have a grip to keep you from slipping, and are more durable.
- Golf Umbrella: Carry an umbrella to protect yourself from the rain.
- Rain gloves: Rain gloves come in pairs and are designed for better grip when wet.
- Golf cart enclosure: The enclosure will keep you and your clubs dry and trap heat inside the cart to keep the cold away.
- Waterproof golf bag covers: The most efficient way to keep your golf clubs dry is to protect the bag with a waterproof cover.
- Cleat cleaner: This is a brush or a pick that you can use to remove grass and mud from the soles of your golf shoes.
- Dry towel: Regularly drying your grips and hands will make a big difference in your golf game.
Have a Strategy
Having a strategy that will work in wet conditions is essential. You might have to take a more conservative approach because of less roll-out in your tee shots and longer approach shots on the greens. Also, consider having an extra club because the ball might stop faster.
Accept that the wet conditions will affect your overall performance. Change your expectations on the drive length, approach shots, and the score. You can’t control the rain, so remain positive enough to enjoy the game.
Use a Larger Club Size
The ground is sticky and more receptive in wet conditions. You can club-up to a larger club size for the approach shots because the ball will land and roll less. A club-up will also give you a lighter swing and better accuracy.
Keep Your Grips Dry
You will lose control of your shots if your club is too wet and you can’t grip it properly. Have a plan to keep your grips dry, such as lowering the rain cover on the golf cart or covering your bag with an umbrella.
Adjust Your Swing
When it’s wet, it’s easy for your feet to slip on the ground and the clubs to slip in your hands as you transition from a backswing to a downswing. Having the right gear will keep the slipping away, but you also need to adjust your swing.
Focus on transitioning smoothly from the backswing to the downswing to reduce the risk of losing your grip. Visualize the club falling and swinging towards the ball from the top. You’ll have control over the swig without sacrificing too much club speed.
Take a look at YouTube video for tips on playing on a wet golf course:
Golf is a challenging game to play on dry grounds, and a wet golf course makes it worse, even for professional players. However, rain shouldn’t always make you postpone your game.
As long as the weather is considered safe, you have the proper equipment, and you slightly adjust your playing style, you can make the best of the wet conditions.