Golf is one of those unique sports that can be played in almost all weather conditions. A little bit of rain does not scare many golfers, and dealing with extreme sunlight can often be a challenge for the top players.
However, many might be wondering if can you play golf in the rain and whether it is permitted.
For most golf courses, it is permitted to play in a drizzle. If the rain does not pose any severe threat to the player’s safety, there should not be any reason for a player to pack up. However, when severe weather comes around, some golf courses might close their courses for the time being.
To help you better understand playing golf in the rain, we will break down why and how golf can be played in the rain. Essentially, we will focus on some great tips you can integrate into your game to deal with wet conditions.
Can You Play Golf In The Rain?
Playing golf in the rain might seem like a challenge, and depending on the severity of the rain, it could affect your overall gameplay. Playing golf in the rain enables you to challenge yourself differently. However, you need to make sure you take safety precautions and try to stay dry as much as possible.
Most golf courses won’t suspend play when there is a drizzle, and the main determining factor for a suspension of play to happen revolves around player safety.
During severe thunderstorms and lighting, you should not play golf; stopping is better. Lighting is one of the most dangerous natural occurrences to happen on an open golf course.
Additionally, golf relies on a fairway and green that allows the players to play the ball and eventually reach the pin. When rain pools on the fairway, it will massively hamper your shots, which does not make it worth playing.
Putting in the rain on the green can seem almost impossible and should be avoided if possible when rain pools.
If you wonder How Far Do Average Golfers Hit Each Club, I encourage you to read this article.
Tips For Playing Golf In The Rain
If it so happens that you encounter wet conditions while playing, there are a few good tips to keep in mind.
These tips might make it possible to sustain your game. However, you should mentally prepare yourself for higher scores and more inconsistent shots.
Here are a few tips to make playing in the rain more bearable.
1- Having The Right Equipment
One of the most important things you should do is create a checklist of equipment you will need in the rain. Ideally, you want a good umbrella that would keep you dry, and waterproof clothing can prevent your clothing from becoming saggy whilst playing. A cleaning towel enables the player to clean clubs and dry off after each shot.
Aside from having the right equipment and accessories, you need to make sure that your gear is protected. Numerous rain hoods can be placed over your bag, including multifunctional umbrellas with universal connectors. Once mounted on your golf bag, they should keep all the clubs dry for playing.
You might also enjoy reading: Must-Have Golf Accessories For Hot Weather: 9 Top Options.
2- Adjusting Expectations
The next tip is more mental than physical, but instead of beating yourself up when you play bad shots, you should adjust your expectations.
No player can play a flawless game in the rain, and you might have a few significant slip-ups that will affect your score. It is best to adjust your expectations so that you might not be able to play the same scores.
3- Adjust Your Gear
One thing to keep in mind is that the air is much denser when playing in cold or wet conditions. This means your golf ball might not travel the distance it would on a hot summer’s day.
You might want to keep this in mind and take a few extra clubs. Bigger clubs are the best way to go to ensure you can make shots.
One example might be to have a hybrid club or wood in your bag. Instead of playing a shot with one of the larger irons, your hybrid can be useful to attain the same distance in the rain. It might take some mathematical calculations to perfect this.
4- Practicing Your Puts
When it comes to the green, the surface would behave differently when wet than in bone dry conditions. The water might slide your ball off target and could even hamper your distance.
One of the first things you would notice is that the golf ball does not travel the same distance on the green. This reduces the putting range significantly.
You might want to practice a few puts beforehand, and this can be done by visiting some of the holes during the pre-round preparations.
You should get a clear idea of how wet the surface is and what the overall effect would be on your golf ball. Practicing your puts beforehand should be legal, or you might want to ask for permission.
5- Understanding The Rules
One thing that could save you is understanding how some of the rules surrounding wet and muddy conditions work. The ‘preferred lie’ rule enables the player to pick up the golf ball and use a marker to mark where the golf ball was situated. It allows the player to clean the golf ball and place it back before playing.
Additionally, The ‘USGA casual water rule‘ is another one that could significantly improve your score. If the ball is a water puddle, which only accumulates temporarily, like when it rains, it does not constitute a water hazard.
The rule allows the player to move the ball slightly, almost like a drop shot, without any penalties.
6- Adjusting Your Speed With Each Swing
Since the golf ball does not have the same travel distance in wet conditions, you might want to speed up your swing.
The additional speed aims to put more energy into the golf ball and propel the ball much farther. However, you should take into account that the ball will not bounce or have the same rolling distance in the wet.
If you are playing from bunkers, we would recommend cleaning your ball before placing it back in the location. You should also use additional force with your shot and understand that getting out of the bunker is more important than distance.
Some bunkers might be almost unplayable and could turn into mud. This would result in the casual water rule coming into effect.
7- Practice Beforehand
The best way to deal with wet conditions and especially changeable conditions would be to practice; you should consider practicing in bad conditions to get a feel for how the course behaves.
It would also be best to know how the golf ball behaves. This would make it much easier to predict what shots will do. Instead of focusing too much on the fancy shots you have in your arsenal, playing golf in the rain is all about the basics.
If you understand what the golf ball does, it would make life easier and more predictive. We have noticed that the more experience a player has with changeable conditions, the better they perform in the rain.
Do Pro Golfers Play In The Rain?
Most professional golf tournaments are scheduled way ahead of time and since the schedule is often packed, canceling or moving a golf competition is often not an option. This means that competition needs to be completed, regardless of the weather conditions. Many professional players learn to adapt to the conditions.
However, when severe thunderstorms or lightning is present, player and fan safety is something that needs to be accounted for.
You will notice that players and fans will often clear the golf course when some of these extreme conditions are present. However, most players would keep on playing in changeable conditions.
The reason that players are considered professional is because of their ability to adapt to specific situations. Once players make the adaptations, they would significantly improve their game.
Many of the top players would be comfortable playing in the rain. It is often something to get used to when playing in Britain.
You should keep in mind that the regulating body for the professional tournament will have the call when the play should be suspended. Players cannot make this call and should continue following the rules the USGA set out.
Golf is a fun game, and playing in changeable conditions brings a new challenge to the game. Unfortunately, not everyone has the skills to deal with wet conditions, and we recommend practicing and reading up on the game’s rules.
Let us know if you have ever played golf in the rain and how it has affected your performance.
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