Rain, Rain, Go Away
Players 2022: An unofficial ranking of bad golf weather and whether or not you can play through it
Jared C. Tilton
PONTE VEDRA BEACH—Another day, another lengthy rain delay at the 2022 Players Championship. Mother Nature is paying the PGA Tour back tenfold for the incredible run of weather this season.
Friday morning, for the players, was the worst of it so far. In an attempt to get in as much play as possible before the next suspension of play, the afternoon wave from the opening round played through a steady rain that eventually turned into a torrential downpour. It got so bad at that PGA Tour had to halt play due to unplayable conditions.
Watching it unfold got us thinking ... is there anything more miserable than playing in a heavy rain? At least, for tour pros, it's their job, and they're playing for big money. For us, is it ever really worth it? With that in mind, while we pass the time awaiting the resumption of play at TPC Sawgrass, we've come up with an unofficial ranking of bad golf weather, and whether or not you, a typical weekend hacker, can or should play through it.
6. Scorching, triple-degree heat
What it feels like: Sweaty.
How it affects your golf: For some, extreme heat helps the body stay loose. It can also dry out the course and give your ball some extra run out, not to mention the fact the ball goes further when it's hot, so long as the air isn't "heavy" as dads like to say.
Can you play through it?: Of course. Just make sure to re-apply sunscreen and drink plenty of fluids, as moms like to say.
5. Borderline unbearable swamp-ass humidity
What it feels like: Sweaty x10.
How it affects your golf: The body is going to get heavy / weighed down by all the sweat, which will undoubtedly affect the swing. The ball also ain't going anywhere, no matter how hot it is. There will also be so much perspiration it might do the thing where it reaches the bill of your cap and drips off, which is A. Effing disgusting and B. Will piss you off while you stand over a putt. And yes, the unavoidable swamp ass, which makes the post-round beer taste a lot worse since all you're thinking about is the embarrassing sweat ring you're going to leave on that poor chair.
Can you play through it?: Certainly, but we'd advise packing an extra shirt (or two) to switch into at the turn.
4. Sub-30 degrees/freezing-cold temperatures
What it feels like: Exactly what it sounds like.
How it affects your golf: Given the layering required, being able to take the club all the way to the top is a Herculean feat. Regaining feeling in your hands after a cold top/skull makes you borderline superhuman.
Can you play through it?: "How desperate to play golf are you?" is the more applicable question.
3. Steady rain / light drizzle
What it feels like: A nuisance, but bearable with the right rain gear.
How it affects your golf: Again, with the right gear, you can manage a light rain. You probably won't play the round of your life, but you won't play the worst round either.
Can you play through it?: Absolutely. You paid money to be out there and you're still outside/getting time away. Don't let a few droplets ruin that. You're never going to compete in an Open Championship, but playing through weather is still a fun challenge if you embrace it.
2. Torrential downpour
What it feels like: The wooooooorst.
How it affects your golf: You probably were already playing bad, but a driving rain all but assures you will play some of the worst golf of your life. Can't grip the club, probably don't have a tour caddie who holds the umbrella for you and has the towel hooked to it underneath the umbrella so it stays dry (one of the sauciest caddie moves there is). Clothes are soaked. Wet socks. Day is ruined.
Can you play through it?: I mean, sure? If you're a total hardo, you can play up until the course has reached an unplayable condition. Have fun with that.
1. Thunder and lightning
What it feels like: Ominous.
How it affects your golf: Swinging a metal rod could lead to an untimely death, so, probably not well.
Can you play through it?: No, you imbecile. Take shelter immediately.