Some golfers tend not to play too much golf during the winter months because of the cold and wet conditions, personally I like to play and practice as much as I can during these short days and dodgy weather conditions.
If you want to continue playing during winter then there are some slight alterations you can make to your golf game to get the best from these tough conditions, below you can find my tips for playing golf during these difficult conditions.
The first thing to understand about driving the golf ball in soft conditions is that you will not get much run on the ball when it lands, thus making sure you have a driver that gives you maximum carry is essential to your distance.
Having two drivers is one option I have used for a while now, one with 12 degrees loft for winter and the other one has 9.5 degrees for summer conditions.
The other alternative is to use your 3 wood for all your tee shots, the 3 wood will give you maximum carry and also give you added accuracy on the golf course. Although you will loose some distance of the tee it will not effect your score that much, as most par fives and long par fours are not reachable for your average golfer in winter anyway.
Tip 2: Iron play.
Iron play during winter golf can be tricky for most golfers, there a few things to consider which can help you make much better contact on the ball during difficult conditions. The main tip for iron play is to try and keep your weight during the swing on your left side slightly, (right side for left handed players) this will give you a much steeper attack on the ball giving you the best chance of making contact with the ball first.
Some golf courses make us play of fairway mats during winter golf, the one thing to remember about playing of fairway mats is to make sure you grip down the club slightly to compensate for the ball being slightly higher of the ground.
You will find out how much to grip down the club through trial and error when playing, you should also consider that from 100 yards and in when playng of a mat you will generate much more back spin on the ball.
Tip 3: Chipping.
During winter golf chipping can be the hardest skill to get right, with very soft lies and muddy conditions making good contact with the ball can be difficult.
Again keeping your weight mainly on your front foot can really help when playing these difficult shots, bounce on the bottom of the club can also make a big difference to the strike on the ball, I never use less than 10 degrees of bounce when playing chip shots around the green in winter.
Explaining how the bounce works is simple, it actually helps the club slide through the thick wet grass when playing chip shots around the green. The last thing you need when playing these shots is a club with a sharp leading edge digging into the turf, so make sure you use a wedge with a minimum of 10 degrees of bounce for all your greenside shots.
Tip 4: Putting.
The main thing to understand is you should not make any changes to your putting stroke whenplaying winter golf, changing your stroke can have dire effects when returning to summer golf on fast greens.
The one thing I can suggest is to look at buying a heavier type putter for winter, the design of the mallet putter can be very beneficial when playing on slow bumpy greens.
I use a scotty cameron blade putter in summer for feel and touch on slick greens, and in winter when I need to get the ball to the hole on slow greens i use an odyssee mallet which allows me to use the same putting stroke.
Tip 5: Clothing.
Golf clothing manufactures have put a lot of effort into reseach and design of there clothing ranges in the past couple of years, gone are the days of wearing thich heavy jumpers and jackets to keep you warm and severly restricting your swing.
The modern design of golf clothing these days consisit of base layers, waterproof lightweight trousers, and lightweight waterproof jackets, I have used one of these base layers for a couple of years now and found it extremly comfortable and excellent at keeping me warm during those cold days.
The two companies that spring to mind when talking about golf clothing are calvin green and proquip, there are other manufactures out there that produce this sort of clothing. But for me these are the two I put my faith in when looking for winter golf clothing, the cost of these items can be expensive and calvin green are one of the most expensive brands out there.
Having said that calvin green do produce highly fashionable performance driven golf clothing that can really help your golf in winter and summer, if you can afford it then this is the brand i would look at for winter clothing but if you are on a budget then proquip do produce some great winter clothes at affordable prices.