Golfing slightly different in colder temperatures
Friday, December 06, 2013 4:13 PM
Golfing this late in the year is a pretty foreign concept for me.
Growing up in southern Indiana, it did not snow too much but it was definitely cold enough late in fall and throughout the winter to make golfing seem unreasonable much later than September or October. Typically, once November came around, golf clubs were stowed away in garages or wherever else until warmer weather rolled in sometime around March or April.
Down here in South Carolina, though, I will probably be able to play golf virtually any day of the year. Especially for someone like myself who is more acclimated to a colder winter.
A cold day for many South Carolinians is probably 55 degrees. It does not even matter if the sun is out and there is not a cloud in sight. I've come to realize that 55 is cold for most people in the South Carolina. For me, that is glorious weather. Sure, there is a bit of bite in the air, but toss on a sweatshirt and pants and you are good to go, in my opinion. Given that a typical winter day in these parts gets up into the 50s, I don't envision myself ever completely ruling out golfing ever.
That's not to say that golfing in a little colder weather is ideal, though. Especially for a hack like myself. In perfect conditions, sometimes I will hit a ball off the heel of the club or whatever, and it stings my hands. Add in a little chill in the air, and that sting is significantly more pronounced. Playing out at Greenwood Country Club the other day, my hands were a little sore by the third or fourth hole (I was not having a good day).
Along with that, the colder my hands get, the less feeling I have in them, which I'm sure is the case for every other human ever. My lovely mother, she's a great lady by the way, cursed me with horrible circulation, so once my hands start to get a little chilled, there's no hope. Once that first chill creeps into my finger bones, I know my feeling will be gone in no time. Without much feeling in my hands, I struggle to know if I made good contact with the ball because I don't get that feedback. Nor do I have as good of an idea of where my hands are in space. I already spray the ball all over the course with no consistency when I can feel my hands, so you can imagine how sporadic my shots are with little to no feeling in my digits.
Colder temperatures also make the ground harder, which can be a good thing or a bad thing when playing golf. The harder ground could add length to your drive. Bomb a drive down the middle of the fairway with colder, harder ground, and your ball could very easily bounce and roll another 50 yards or so. But the ball does not travel as far in colder air as it does in warmer temperatures, so that somewhat negates the generous bounce.
On the other hand, harder ground means faster greens, drastically changing how you have to putt.
So although golf is a year-round sport down in wonderful South Carolina, the game is quite different in the different seasons. While I enjoy the cooler temperatures in every day life, I more than welcome some warmer numbers on the thermometer for my golf game.