Playing Golf in Hot Weather

www.martinrathbone.co.uk – martin@martinrathbone.co.uk – 07958785326

Phew, it’s hot out there!

Do you need some golf tips for surviving the hot weather this summer?  According to the climate gurus, it doesn’t matter where we live, the planet is getting hotter and hotter and we’ve already had the hottest day of the year. Let’s have a look at some practical steps to manage the heat and get out on that course.

#1. The Early Bird Stays Cool.
Start early.  I know this isn’t always an option especially if you have a regular 4 ball or play in a roll-up, and changing times certainly sends the Pro-Shop into a frenzy with our predicted quiet times.  Plan in advance and routinely make seasonal changes, teeing off earlier in the day during the hot months and later in the day during cooler months.

#2. Head for the Shade
Assuming you’re not playing your round on those fantastic links courses, and assuming that you’ll have those inevitable waits before you can take your next shot, slip under the shade of the nearest tree.  It’s at least 10 degrees cooler there.

Golf Course in shade

If you have the bad fortune of golfing on a treeless track, take an umbrella with you and use it.  They work for the sun as well as rain.
 
#3. Start Hydrating Early
We all know that we need to keep pumping the water through our bodies during our round, but starting the hydration process before you’ve even left for the course gives you a bit of an edge. Avoid caffeinated drinks and stick to good old fashioned water, and plenty of it.

Bottles of water

#4. Don’t Neglect Your Electrolytes
Whether it’s a sports drink or one of the many available supplements you can add to a bottle of water, don’t overlook the importance of electrolyte replacement during hot weather golfing as well as more strenuous physical exertion. See here: SPORTS DRINKS

Cans of sports drinks

#5. Keep your head protected.
Cover your head!  I learned the hard way during a hot season playing in a tournament, as Noel Coward so wonderfully observed, only mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the mid-day sun without covering their heads.  This is a case of something is better than nothing, although there are a number of products specifically designed to enhance cooling.
 
#6. Don’t forget to eat.
Heat suppresses our appetite but our bodies need more fuel when we are making it work in the heat. Bodies at work in extreme temperatures need easily digested carbs. I nibble on peanut butter crackers, a banana, a few M&Ms, a handful of nuts.
I was given a rule of hydrating after EVERY shot and nibble after EVERY tee shot.

Snacks for the course

#7. Cooling gels, Cooling Towels & Neck Wraps
Use them.   They don’t last, but my towel stays cool through my round, even in the hottest weather, and a judicious wipe on the back of my neck will lower my core temperature just enough to keep me comfortable.
 
#8. Clothes that Wick
I’m a big fan of clothes that wick away the perspiration that I produce.  Read the labels and invest in golf shirts that will do the job.  There’s an added bonus: wicking shirts keep looking good and you won’t end up a bedraggled mess when you get to the 19th hole.
 
 
And finally, watch the Pros
The pros maintain a steady pace during their rounds and they manage their emotions as well as physical pace. Nothing makes the heat worse than an on-course temper tantrum.   The pros have learned how to step back and idle their engines between shots, to stay in the present, to take their round as it comes, one shot at a time.  Follow their example.

Thanks for all the support, happy golfing.
Martin Rathbone PGA (aa) No.1 golf professional, No.1 golf coach, No.1 in Surrey