Cold Weather Golf

Top teacher: 3 things to always remember when you're playing in the cold

October 27, 2023

Harry How

Fall golf can produce some of the prettiest rounds of the year. But there are realities to playing golf in colder temperatures. In order to get the most out of your game as the weather turns, Golf Digest Top 50 Teacher Erika Larkin says to keep these three things in mind.

1. Club Up

The ball doesn’t fly as far in the cold. For every 10 degrees, you’ll lose about two yards, Larkin says.

“If you’re used to playing in 70- or 80-degree weather, and all of a sudden it’s 40 or 50 degrees, you’ll need to club up even for premium golf balls,” Larkin says.

2. Hitting it thin is going to hurt

If you’ve played in the cold, you know this feeling: You hit it thin and the punishment is a severe stinging in your hands. That stinging feeling is directly related to the chillier temperatures.

“The club itself is colder and more rigid in your hands,” Larkin explains. Stiffer materials mean more vibration going straight to your hands.

3. You’ll see bigger bounces

“Pay attention to how firm the ground conditions are. Plan on the ball landing and bouncing and rolling more than normal especially on frozen conditions,” Larkin says. When playing in firmer conditions, don’t expect the ball to land and stop. Instead, it’s going to hit the ground and run. Depending on the course and your ability, it can be easier to run the ball up onto the green instead of trying to have the ball land on and hold the green.