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The Effects of Weather on Golf

UPDATED June 11, 2012

By WeatherBug Sr. Meteorologist, Julie Gaddy

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When most people check the weather before going out for a round of golf, they look for two things, will it be cool and will it be dry. Spring is a great time to hit the links, so now is the perfect time to examine how weather can impact your golf game.

Wind is a major factor, as it can have a profound impact on the flight of the golf ball. If the wind is behind you, it can carry the ball further down the course. If you hit a shot into a strong wind, the wind will knock the ball down towards the ground. In this situation, switching to a golf club that favors a lower trajectory can help increase the distance the ball travels.

Course conditions are also important. Recent heavy rains will slow the course down. Golf balls are more likely to stop rolling when the fairways and greens are wet. Conversely, very dry conditions can help the ball bounce further. However, fast greens can make putting very challenging, as the ball might roll several extra feet past the hole.

Heat, humidity, and elevation are other factors that can affect your golf game. Just think, how would your game be different if you played in Colorado as opposed to Florida? The altitude in Colorado will make your ball travel further due to the lower air pressure. The warmer, humid air in Florida can influence the spin of the golf ball, which plays a role in shot distance and accuracy.

It is also important to be safe while playing golf. Heat and lightning are two major risks that can ruin a day at the country club.
  • Make sure to always have cool water on hand, and try to stay in the shade when it is not your turn.
  • Wear loose clothing, and try to wear light colors -- they reflect the sun`s rays.
  • If thunder is heard, seek shelter immediately.
  • Never seek shelter under a tree. Try to get into the pro shop or a close building.
  • Wait until at least a half hour after the last bolt to resume play.

Be sure to check WeatherBug for your local forecast before heading out for a round of golf. It is a good idea to prepare for your day whenever you are planning any outdoor activities. Be safe, have fun, and enjoy a great game of golf.

Source: http://www.probablegolfinstruction.com

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Story image: WeatherBug user Sherm Gronlund of Tower, Mich., took this picture at the beautiful greens at The Wilderness.

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