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Playing in Cooler Weather
By Terry Koehler, The Wedge Guy

Terry Koehler has been in the golf industry for over 30 years and currently spends his days as the President of EIDOLON Golf, a small premium wedge company in Victoria, Texas. He's been blogging for over 3 years and has written hundreds of articles ranging from golf tips to equipment issues. His blog will appear on ClubSG twice per week. You can reach Terry to have your golf questions answered at askme@thewedgeguy.com.

Wow, have we all gotten blasted this past week!! Record snowfalls in the mid-west and northeast, an ice storm with snow in Dallas that messed with the Super Bowl crowds, and even record low temps all the way down to South Texas. It's a weird site, icicles dangling from the palm trees!

But aside from all that, the PGA Tour is off to a good start and we’re all getting antsy to get back into golf season, right? I know it's further off for some of you than others, but from the emails I’m getting, hardy souls are venturing out when they get the chance. And that brought the email from Matthew, who asked about playing in colder weather:
"I couldn't resist the urge (despite it being January) and played a quick round of 9 with a friend in the 40 degree weather we had in Southern Ohio last Sunday. In addition to a reminder at how much I still have to learn about this game, I also realized that playing in cooler weather can have a very distinct effect on play. Do you have any good cool/cold weather tips for those of us willing enough (read: desperate enough) to play golf in the frigid north during the winter? I’ve heard things about using softer balls, but I don’t really even know where to begin when it comes to those things."
Well, Matthew, you’re a die hard, but there are others who itch just as much as you do to get out there if given a reasonable opportunity. The softer ball idea is a good one, and Phil Mickelson was just in the golf news for making a similar change. He says it’s giving him better feel around the greens, and I’m always a fan of anything that can do that. Here are my favorite tips for playing in temperatures that are less than ideal:
1. Play a softer ball. The colder air and your reduced swing speed from having more clothes on makes balls play harder than you likely need. Drop down to a softer compression ball and you’ll pick up yards with your driver and irons and greatly improve your feel and control around the greens.

2. Swing slower. You have layers of clothes on, so that’s going to have a negative effect on your ability to generate proper timing and swing speed. Add to that the fact that you’ve likely not played much or at all for 2-3 months, and you need to ease back into it. Work on just making good swings, even if they are at 70-80% normal speed.

3. Relax your expectations. It’s cold, and you haven’t been playing much or at all. Just enjoy the fact that you are on the course, and don’t expect to play like you were at the end of summer. Winter rust is all over you, and it will take a while to chip it off. The idea is to go out and have fun because you were lucky enough to get a decent day of weather.

4. Keep your hands and grips warm. Rubber grips in the bottom of a golf bag can get really cold. And a cold grip does nothing to enhance your feel. One of the little chemical heat packs dropped into the bottom of your bag will keep your grips warm. It’s a neat trick. Another is to wear gloves between shots to keep your hands warm. Hands that are cold do not give you anything near the feel you want for chipping and putting, or for club control on full swings.

5. Drop down a club. Because your swing is restricted, and you haven’t been playing, the best tip is to drop down a club on all your approach shots. If it looks like a “normal” 7, go with the 6. You can clear that water in July with your hybrid, lay up in February. You get the picture.
So, let’s hope that we get windows of “golf-able” weather all across the country . . . right after this dang snow melts. And take the opportunity to get out there and enjoy some golf.

And congratulations on winning an EIDOLON V-SOLE wedge, Matthew. The rest of you can, too, if you’ll just send in your questions to TheWedgeGuy.


* The Wedge Guy's views and opinions are his own do not necessarily reflect those of SkyGolf.

photo source
The Wedge Guy is sponsored by SCOR Golf, where Terry Koehler is President/CEO. He encourages you to submit your questions or topics to be considered for his columns on Tuesdays and Fridays. Each submission automatically enters you to win a SCOR4161 wedge to be given away monthly. Click the button below to submit your question or topic today.


[ comments ]
keith366 says:
Keep Handwarmers in your pocket...it keeps your balls warm and they will go further
2/9/11
 
JohnChUk says:
Well, you might call me soft...but I have been busy over the winter and over in the Uk we have had some bad weather -10 some days. not of me? I have not picked up a club (apart from moving them round my garage) from last October. tomorrow I will swing my 1st club of the season...and no doubt will play like a right pussy. but I will play with a ladies ball and drop down a club or two...I find that after some time off I will visit the driving range twice or three time per week between now and April to get back into the groove...happy new year. bring it on

Johnchuk
2/12/11
 
[ post comment ]
Terry Koehler is "The Wedge Guy" and President of SCOR Golf- The Short Game Company.

Click here to learn more about Terry.
 
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