You have reached the second hole on your day out on the course and the front comes through bringing rain and strong winds. So how are you going to keep those scores manageable and still enjoy your day? With a few simple tips, you will be bragging to your friends about the score you just achieved, rather than trying to forget the duffs and splashes you endured all day long! Keep these tips in mind the next time you are faced with these conditions.
1. Always hit the club that gives you the most carry
With soggy conditions the ball isn’t going to roll as far as you are used to. When teeing off in the rain there are a few things to consider. If you hit your driver low, you will tend to rely on roll to get your optimum distance. With wet turf, these low drives will get swallowed by the moisture and you will lose a considerable amount of distance. Instead of the driver, try using your 3 wood which is designed with extra loft to give you a higher ball flight. This club will stay in the air longer and in turn give you the added distance you need to manage the course. Use this same technique while playing your irons on approach shots and par 3’s.
2. Pick the ball off of the ground rather than hitting divots
This may seem obvious, but it is essential in keeping your consistency during your round. With the extra moisture, the club will always dig deeper in the ground causing fat shots and unpredictable ball flight and distance. Try hitting the ball first, rather than creating your divot. Keep the same ball position between your feet while trying this just like your normal shots. This technique will allow you to get the ball moving and with the proper spin and limit the fat shots that kill scores. Your higher number irons (7,8,9,P) will give you more success and consistency while using this method. You must always remember that it is better to hit your 7 iron 150 yards, instead of pulling out that 3 iron and hitting it fat 40 yards.
3. Swing easier when playing in moderate winds
Many golfers try beating the wind by swinging as hard as they can on every shot. This is not the answer to scoring low on these days. When swinging harder the player generates more spin on the ball. When putting this amount of extra spin on the ball, the wind wins every time. A ball that is spinning rapidly into the wind will exaggerate your bad shots. If you hit a fade or slice regularly, the extra spin and the wind will double all errors in contact. Instead of hiting a 20 yard slice into the rough, it will actually end up being a 40 yard slice into the woods. Try swinging at about 80% of your full swing to execute this method effectively.
4. Judge distances to the flag rather than to the front of the green
There is a positive to having bad golfing conditions! When the greens are heavily saturated the ball will tend to stop where it lands. This means that you can fire away at every flag you see. While chipping and pitching, the same rules apply. Most balls will even plug into the green right where they land. This rules out any problems of the ball flying past the pin after hitting the green.
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5. Don’t hire Corey Pavin as your equipment manager
It is essential to have the proper equipment ready when a storm rolls in. As we saw at the Ryder Cup, certain styles of rain gear can hinder your swing. When buying rain gear, make sure that it is lightweight and water proof and not water resistant. Water resistant gear will still allow water to penetrate through, essentially making it worthless. Certain raingear can aslo trap water in the suit and make it heavy and cumbersome, not allowing you to swing freely. So when you are making a purchasing decision at your local golf store, go with trustworthy brands like FootJoy. They may cost you a few extra dollars, but in the long run they will last longer and perform better.
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