You hit the course in the summer heat and the cold of winter, but can you play golf in the rain? It's a question that faces every golfer at some point. After all, weather can be really unpredictable. The sky may be perfectly clear at tee time and then suddenly open up into a downpour when you're playing the back nine.
The truth is that golfing in the rain is doable, as long as you're prepared. In this post, we'll share some of the best golf rain gear to have on hand in case of unexpected showers and share tips on how to stay safe and strategize while playing a round of "rain golf."
Rainy Rounds: The Pros and Cons
The drawbacks of playing golf in the rain are pretty obvious. Not only do you get wet, but the conditions on the course can change dramatically even when you're faced with just a light drizzle.
The ball will stick to the ground more on the fairway. The rough gets grabbier, and the sand traps are much harder to escape from. Once you get to the green, the ball won't roll as far and will tend to stay wherever it lands.
Although there's definitely some downsides to rainy play, you'll reap some unexpected benefits, too, if you don't head back to the clubhouse when the raindrops start. The course will largely clear out, so you can play through quicker and take your time.
On a sweltering day, the rain will cool things down. Plus, you'll improve your game by coming up with strategies to overcome conditions on the course. Being willing to head out in wet weather can also allow you to golf more frequently, especially during rainy seasons.
Knowing When To Call It a Day
Ultimately, you'll need to decide whether to keep playing on a case-by-case basis. Knowing how much rain is just too much will make it easier to decide when to call a rain delay and golf another day and when to persevere.
Always put your safety and well-being first when making play-or-delay judgment calls. A really heavy rainstorm will take a course from challenging to impossible to play.
Once the ground gets completely saturated, you're at risk for slipping and getting your ball stuck in mud. You should also head indoors anytime you see lightning or hear a rumble of thunder.
Essential Golf Rain Gear
As previously mentioned, golf rain gear can mean the difference between being able to play in the rain and having to head to the clubhouse. A good rain jacket that will repel water is an obvious must-have, but there's other gear to keep you dry and comfortable to consider.
Since jackets only cover you to your waist or hips, wearing bottoms that are weather-ready is a smart idea.
Our golf joggers and pants made with quick-dry material can keep you on the course when things get wet. And because they're designed specifically for golf, they offer the stretch and flexibility you need to maintain a full range of motion, and they're durable enough to hold up to the effects of regular wear whether the weather is wet or dry.
Strategies for Enjoyable Rainy Golf
To still play your best and enjoy your round even on soggy days, follow these tips:
- Stay positive: Golf is largely a mental game so it's important that you stay in a good headspace. Looking at the rain as a chance to develop new skills can go a long way toward keeping you in the right mindset.
- Rethink your club choices: In rainy conditions, fairway woods and hybrids are going to be your best bet for many shots. They're more forgiving than irons and will help to offset some of the unpredictability of playing a wet course.
- Change your chips and putts: Firmer chips and putts will be necessary to get the ball moving and ensure that it goes where you want it to.
- Adjust your drive expectations: In the rain, drives won't carry as far, and they may have zero rollout, so anticipate the differences when you're planning your shots.
Rain-Related Golf Etiquette
Things will be different on the course when rain starts to fall, but that doesn't mean that golf etiquette goes out the window. No matter what the weather, it's important that you respect the course and fellow golfers.
Fix divots and rake footprints as you go to ensure that things are ready for the next round that comes through. Also, adhere to any rules that the club or course has for rain delays and cancellations. Some courses will require you to stop playing when it rains to prevent damage to the fairways, hazards and greens.
Rain Check: Deciding When To Reschedule
Even when the forecast assures sunny weather, it's always a good idea to inquire about rain check policies when you schedule a tee time. The rules vary from course to course, and knowing what to expect can help you make the right decision about when to reschedule.
If you do decide to call it quits due to the rain, you can still enjoy a day of golf. Head to a driving range or play some indoor golf. Check to see if the club has a golf simulator, a putting practice area or another indoor activity that you can participate in. When all else fails, head to the clubhouse and swap stories with other players.
When you're feeling bummed about having to call it quits, head home, light our Rain Delay Golf Candle that captures the essence of what it means to be caught in a rain storm while playing a round and watch some golf videos on YouTube.
Be Ready for the Rain
With the right gear and strategies, you can easily continue golfing on a rainy day and enjoy the experience. Just remember to keep safety in mind and to obey the rules of the club regarding rain play to have a good experience.
To get prepared for those inevitable raindrops, shop our selection of golf pants and other golf accessories. Investing in stylish, quality gear now will ensure you're ready for whatever Mother Nature has in store.