10 Winter Golf Tips (Stay Warm, Play Well)

For many golfers, the first frost signals the end of play until spring.

However, with the right preparations and gear, you can forego hibernation and continue enjoying the links all winter.

winter golf

The keys are keeping warm, navigating winter conditions, and adjusting your expectations.

In this article, I’ll provide ten expert winter golfing tips to help you comfortably brave the colder weather and score as you do in the summer.

You’ll learn specific dress protocols, strategies for frozen courses, proper swing adjustments, footing aids, ways to guarantee grip traction, and more.

With this advice, you can defeat the elements and come away with bragging rights for playing (and playing well) when few others dare step onto the course.

Tip #1: Don’t Wear Too Many Clothes

While it might seem logical to wear a heavy coat when playing golf in the winter, you’ll quickly find that you can’t rotate your body to deliver power to the ball.

Wearing a warm base layer and finding a flexible outer layer that moves with your body will help you play your best golf, or at least somewhere close to your maximum potential.

Tip #2: Don’t Be Afraid to Take an Extra Club

In the winter, you’ll need to adjust your golf strategy.

One of my biggest pieces of advice for students is to club up when you find yourself between irons.

More times than not, the wind will knock down your ball, leaving you short of the green.

Tip #3: Winter Offers Opportunity to Upgrade Golf Clubs

If you are looking to upgrade your golf clubs, the winter delivers a perfect time to take advantage of year-end sales as manufacturers clear room for brand-new products entering the market in the spring.

You won’t have to throw as much money at new clubs for your golf bag as you typically would during the release rush at the beginning of the year.

Tip #4: Use Softer Golf Balls For Better Feel

One of my favorite tips for playing better winter rounds is using a softer golf ball on the golf course.

The softer ball will improve the feel, even though it may deliver a bit more spin from inside 150 yards.

You should always adjust the type of golf equipment you play based on the playing conditions, especially when it comes to golf balls.

Tip #5: Color Golf Balls Improve Visibility

Opt for a colored ball like orange or yellow over white for visibility.

Since most of the grass on the course turns a faded yellow when temperatures drop, playing with golf balls that stand out helps you find them easier during winter.

Tip #6: Playing With Winter Golf Gloves Helps Your Swing

One of the biggest concerns when playing in cold weather is keeping good contact with the club’s grip.

The newest winter golf gloves keep your hands warm and deliver exceptional feel and tackiness, even in wet conditions.

Most winter golf gloves double as wet-weather gloves, making them even more versatile.

Tip #7: Play With Spiked Golf Shoes

Spiked golf shoes can make all the difference when stabilizing your footing on the course.

Since the ground typically plays firmer, having the grip of wide spikes can offer you the best chance at playing golf to your maximum potential.

If you are worried that spiked golf shoes are too firm, test them out on the driving range before your round.

You can always switch to spikeless golf shoes before you tee off.

Related: Best Winter Golf Shoes

Tip #8: Waterproof Shoes Are Essential For Winter Golf

One of the biggest mistakes I see amateurs make on the course is when they show up for colder rounds with non-waterproof shoes.

There’s no quicker way to ruin a day on the links than having your socks soaking wet before you hit the first green.

Waterproof golf shoes offer outstanding protection when playing golf in the rain or other winter-specific elements.

Also, always carry extra socks in your golf bag if you accidentally step in mud or need a quick change due to rain.

Tip #9: Indoor Golf Lessons Offer an Alternative for Your Golf Game

If you absolutely hate the colder temperatures but want to improve your game, finding a nice indoor facility with instruction offers a nice middle ground.

Also, the facility comes in handy during the warmest days of the summer, allowing you to stay cool and get your swings.

Tip #10: Take Notice of Past & Future Weather Before Your Round

One of the biggest ways to perform well in colder environments is by looking at the climate conditions in the days leading up to your round.

If there’s been steady rain, expect the greens to be soft and the fairways to stick.

If the course has had a freeze in the last 7-10 days, you can be assured that the ground will feature plenty of dying vegetation and could potentially play harder.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you play winter golf?

You can still play golf in the winter, but you’ll need to bundle up and adjust. Wear extra layers like fleece pants, jackets, winter gloves, and a knit cap. Use footwarmers inside your shoes if it’s very cold.

Take relief from frozen ground or casual water since the ball won’t bounce well. Expect less distance on shots into cold air.

Most importantly, embrace the challenge, as winter golf can be fun if you prepare properly.

Can you play golf in the snow?

Playing golf in the snow is possible but challenging. The snow will affect your footing, swing, and contact with the ball.

Deep snow may swallow your ball after a shot or make it hard to find. Shallow snow can act like a mat and allow for reasonably normal action on the links.

Avoid heavy, wet snow that may cling to the clubface and ball. Wear waterproof shoes and increased layers for warmth.

Light, fluffy snow can work, while deep or heavy snow becomes too difficult.

What is acceptable winter golf attire?

Acceptable winter golf attire starts with layers to adapt to the conditions. Water-resistant jackets, vests, or pullovers provide core warmth without restricting movement.

Fleece pants or thermal leggings can add warmth without bulky fabric. Winter gloves should be snug but allow free motion in the fingers.

Waterproof shoes with extra traction help stabilize slippery footing. Knit caps retain body heat lost through the head.

The keys are flexibility, breathability, and the ability to manage heating and cooling needs while you walk and swing.

Don’t be afraid to dress in layers to shed or add items as the conditions shift during your winter round.

Do people still golf in the winter?

Yes, golfers play year-round in milder climates, including the cold winter months.

The appeal is the chance to run wild on less crowded courses and face the unique challenges of the conditions. Courses utilize temporary tees and greens to provide playing surfaces that hold up better in freezing and thawing cycles.

Die-hard players invest in hand warmers, winter-specific gear, and off-season practice tools. Winter golf has grown through tournament series held in cold climate regions.

So while many view golf as a warm-weather activity, a dedicated portion of players can test their skills against the elements even during the winter.