The article below was written by Andrew Wright, Instruction Editor of National Club Golfer.
Here are some tips to get you through if you’re out on the course and the heavens open.
Up and down the country, courses have been subjected to ridiculous amounts of rainfall. However, if this isn’t enough to deter you, we’ve got some advice on how to play golf in the rain which could see you rewarded for your bravery…
How to play golf in the rain: Mud balls
Ah, the dreaded mud ball. We hear about them all the time but how do they impact your golf?
For starters, if your ball is coated in any amount of mud, you can be sure it won’t fly as far and the flight will be less consistent.
Here’s a simple breakdown of what you can expect…
Mud on left side: Ball will curve to the right
Mud on right side: Ball will curve to the left
Mud at contact point: Distance will be greatly impacted
Generally, the more mud on the ball, the more distance you’ll lose. This is due to the increased drag effect and the extra weight the club has to accelerate.
It’s far from ideal but take this knowledge to the course this winter and hopefully you’ll be better equipped when you find yourself in this unfortunate situation.
How to play golf in the rain: Wet clubface on wet ball
When you’ve got water on your clubface and ball, the friction created at contact is greatly reduced. Generally, this will result in shots that launch higher with less spin and land on a steeper angle. Therefore, it’s essential you keep your clubs as dry as possible.
It may sound counter-intuitive but hitting the ball lower is your best bet, especially with the driver. The shallower landing will maximise roll and therefore reduce the chances of getting the mud ball. And the process of hitting the ball lower will help you create more spin and counteract the impact of the reduced friction caused by the presence of water. This will increase the control you have in these difficult conditions.
How to play golf in the rain: Course management
It goes without saying but you’ll get less roll on a wet course. Accommodate for this by hitting putts firmer and altering shot choices around the greens. Instead of the bump and run, higher trajectory short game shots will be more effective as they reduce the impact of surface moisture.
And if being in the rough wasn’t penalty enough, in wet conditions, the grass becomes much denser and therefore harder to escape from. I find it helps to go down the grip slightly, keep your left wrist firm and feel like you’re trying to hit a fade out of there.
How to play golf in the rain: Final thoughts
To add insult to injury, rain is often accompanied by an increase in humidity, wind and a drop in temperature – all things that decrease distance further. If this is the case, it’s important to factor in as well.
Other than that I’d advise ensuring the basics are covered. Wet weather gloves are a must – FootJoy excel in this department – as are good waterproofs and shoes. If you’ve taken the decision to play in the rain, you may as well make it worthwhile.