Winter golf tips from the Pros

01st December 2016
img_7631.jpg Craig Gardner

Golf At Goodwood PGA Professional, Craig Gardner, shares his ten top tips to flourish on the golf course this winter. 

  • Golf

  • Golf At Goodwood

  • PGA Professional

  • Craig Gardner


1. Keep your hands warm! 

This is the single most important tip for cold weather golf. Your hands are your only link to the club, and you need feel to play good golf. If your hands are frozen, you lose all your feel and your game will suffer, especially around the greens. Get yourself a nice pair of mittens from our Professional shop and/or some hand warmers for your pockets. Wear the mitts whenever you aren’t hitting a shot, and take them off prior to hitting

2. Add Loft to your driver

Winter golf is when you can really take advantage of modern driver adjustability. If you have brought a driver with in the last 3-4 years chances are you will be able to add loft to your driver which means more carry and more distance on softer fairways.

3. Take Advantage of winter rules

Preferred lies allows you to move your ball once you have marked it up to six inches no nearer the hole on any closely mown area. Remember you are also allowed to clean your ball before placing it back down.

Casual water entitles you take free relief if water is visible under your feet or the ball when you make your normal stance. If it is, then you are allowed to drop the ball within one club length of your nearest point of relief. 

4. Play two balls

In cold conditions use two balls to help gain distance. Use each ball on alternate holes, keeping the other one in your pocket to keep them as warm as possible.

5. Get your game in shape for spring

Winter is the perfect time to work on your game, it allows you time to practice and work on your game without worrying about your score. During the summer there are lots of competitions or matches to play making it difficult to make any big changes to your game. During the winter this isn’t the case so you can use this time to figure out what areas of your game you need to improve then get down the range and start working on them. If you’re not sure how to improve these areas come and visit the Golf Academy where we will be able to help you. We are offering a number of packages over the winter, including an ‘Unlimited Lessons’ package in January and February.

6. Keep it simple!

The short game can be particularly tricky when wet fairways and softer and slower greens can cause fat and short chip shots. Favour more chip and run shots with straighter faced clubs like a 9 iron. The added bounce on the club will help avoid heavy contacts and allow the ball to release better on the green.

7. Adjust your distances

On average we lose one yard for every degree below 25 degrees. So make sure you choose 1-2 clubs more during the winter months.

8. Dress in Layers

Your finest Ski outfit may keep you warm but it doesn’t give you the mobility you need in order to be able to swing the club. A modern base layer, with a polo shirt and wind jacket will provide you with enough warmth but still allow you swing the club.

9. Play a softer ball

Golf balls come in varying degrees of compression meaning some balls can feel a lot softer than others. A hard distance ball can feel like it is made out of steal on a cold day, so opt for a softer option. It is also a good idea to use two balls, keep one in your pocket when you are using the other then alternate.

10. Play the conditions

When the fairways are wet, opt for a hybrid or fairway wood over a long iron. The wider sole will help reduce the chances of a heavy contact. If you find yourself playing from wet rough the most important thing is to not be over ambitious, if the ball is sitting down opt for more loft like a wedge or 9 iron, if its sitting ok a 7 iron is normally best, only if its sitting right up can you be more aggressive with a longer club.

View Craig’s lesson prices here.

  • Golf

  • Golf At Goodwood

  • PGA Professional

  • Craig Gardner

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