Playin' in the rain
It's raining throughout much of the country right now, especially in the Northeast, and flood conditions are predicted for the next couple of days. Let's hope your home or apartment is OK. If you are able to actually get out and play some golf, undoubtedly you'll be playing in some very wet conditions.
I found some terrific tips, from a known "mudder," Tom Watson, for playing when it's difficult to keep your hands and equipment dry. Watson won five British Open (and almost a sixth two years ago), so he knows something about playing in adverse conditions. And even if it clears up, you'll need to understand how to hit shots off of soggy turf. Here's Tom's advice, from the pages of Golf Digest:
-- In the rain, wrap a handkerchief around the grip. If your grips are wet and slick, you might as well walk in, no matter how good a player you are. You have to maintain a firm grip
on the club to meet the ball consistently. Take a thin, cotton handkerchief and wrap it around the grip. That's within the Rules of Golf and helps you feel the club.
--Keep your club covered as much as possible with a towel or umbrella. You can keep a towel dry by tucking it up into the underpinning of an opened-up umbrella.
--Put another dry hand towel in the base of your bag. It will absorb extra moisture off your grips, so when you pull a club, its grip will be dry.
--The new simulated suede gloves are great for gripping in the rain. They're better wet than dry. Otherwise, be sure you pack extra towels and gloves.
--When hitting from wet turf, be sure you're on solid footing. Minimizing foot and leg action might be a good idea so you don't slip.
--Also from wet turn, swing your irons on a shallower (flatter) plane so you pick the ball off the grass without taking a divot. If you hit even slightly behind the ball, the club will dig too much into the wet ground. When the conditions are wet, a thin shot is better than a fat shot. Plus, a thin shot will probably still stop on the green if it's wet.
--A good rainsuit is a must. I make sure I have one that is lightweight, that is noiseless, that breathes and is vented for freedom swinging the club.
This is great advice from Tom Watson, with an assist from Nick Seitz, who wrote several books with Watson. Have a great (and I hope not too wet) weekend. And remember to follow me on Twitter @RogerSchiffman.