The Winter Golfer
So winter is upon us once again and it’s that time of year we, as golfers all dread! It’s the one time of year that sorts the men from the boys, when golf courses quieten down and certain club members you know you won’t see until next March at the earliest. Welcome to hardcore golf, the type of golf where if it was like this all year round you never would have taken up the game anyway, wondering what joy could you possibly get from playing in 0’celcius with rock hard frozen ground conditions and shockingly bad temporary greens, cut to the size of a dinner plate in the middle of the rough, 60 yards shorter than where the proper putting green is actually located.
Let me inspire you to try winter golf and venture out there amongst the fog and early morning mist, walking through your visible breath due to the cold biting winter air, whilst wiping the dew drop from your nose, because the satisfaction you get and the peace you find on a wintery, desolate golf course is something that fuels the lungs and heart of the hardened winter golfer and keeps them coming back for more every time.
Understanding the differences
First of all winter golf has to be taken less seriously, although there is nothing wrong with a little Sunday morning matchplay wager with separate birdie bank of course!! Winter golf provides you with many ups and downs for example when you boom a tee shot 250yards down the middle you will experience a mixture of emotions when getting to the ball and it’s covered in mud, first disbelief and disappointment which then quickly turns to a sense fulfilment due to the realisation you have the protection of placing!...The holy grail of winter golf rules that ensures a good shot is still rewarded regardless of the conditions, then there is the brilliant invention of disposable hand warmers, toasting your fingers inside a fleece lined pair of your favourite brand of mittens. Trust me when I say these handwarmers will be like your best friend out there! Winter golf is full of small pleasures and these are just a few of them, at times it feels like a battle but these small pleasures are what keep you going, what keep you motivated to reach the warmth of the 19th hole.
The key to winter golf is preparation for your round of golf. With advances in technology in clothing there are many products out there that can keep you warm even in the coldest of conditions, without having to play to scratch dressed like the Michelin man! Skin tight base layers are all the rage at the moment and I would definitely advise taking a look at these products like we have in store, granted they offer a weird sensation the first time you try one, like they are squeezing the life out of you but they really do work and provide extra warmth with less restriction to your golf swing. My top buy when it comes to base layers have to be the Galvin Green Enzo and Emerson offering superb comfort and moisture management during the winter months. All the usual suspects such as woolly hats, mittens, handwarmers, windproof tops and waterproofs are of course a must and never forgetting the flask of soup with a little extra treat to warm the cockles!! Especially if it’s your turn to make and bring it along!!
Carry On Regardless!
The other area of winter golf that affects many golfers is the dreaded trolley ban, I have experienced this first hand with the hundreds of endless phone calls every weekday morning where on the other end of the line there is an almost pleading voice asking full of hope “are trolleys allowed?” which following my response quickly turns to desperation and realisation that a bad back in four and a half hours is imminent with the Deep Heat rub already on the bedside table awaiting their return from the golf course. This however with a bit of education from your PGA Professionals at InsureGolf I feel can be avoided. Carry stand bags are now ridiculously advanced with some bags weighing in at just 4Llbs! and including water repellent zips amongst other things. This has led to resurgence in carry bags being used in my opinion just as much as trolley bags all year round, but where the real benefit of updating and investing in a new carry bag lies is the dual straps. Dual straps are a vital part of modern day carry bags to the extent where the bag is sometimes designed around the straps. These straps are easy to put on and take off and provide much needed support to the golfer’s back, while the total weight of the bag is shared across both shoulders rather than one (which can sometimes lead to postural problems). One of the other benefits of dual straps is you become hands free when walking, so there’s no reason why you cant get them warm mittens on again whilst crunching the frost ridden white fairways.
5 Great Carry Bag Options
Below are my top five recommendations for carry stand bags.
- 1) Ping 4 Series Carry Bag
- 2) Mizuno Aerolite Carry Bag
- 3) Ping Hoofer Carry Bag
- 4) Masters s550 Carry Bag
- 5) Stewart Waterproof Carry Bag
I wholly recommend being brave and getting out there in the winter, don’t let the cold damp conditions put you off! Once in the correct clothing and footwear you will be leaving endless footprints in the dew soaked fairways returning red nosed and revitalised hours later with a fantastic sense of achievement and enjoyment from your winter round of golf. There are many products out there designed to keep you warm and golfing in all conditions and I have highlighted to you only a couple. Please feel free to browse through our store and come back to see more blog posts throughout the year from myself…
InsureGolf Staff PGA Professional