It may sound trivial, but the literal weather golfers play in has a huge effect on the way they play. Especially when you’re Tiger Woods, who complained about the effects weather had on his body before his car accident threatened his ability to ever swing a golf club again.
“When it’s cold like this everything is achy. It’s just part of the deal,” he said at the 2019 U.S. Open.
The key issue all golfers face in the cold, explains GOLF Top 100 Teacher Tony Ruggiero in the video above, is that colder temperatures will tend to limit golfers’ range of motion. Their muscles will tighten up and their swing may shorten as a result. This is especially true for Tiger, whose injuries mean he struggles with range of motion issues in the best of times.
“What you’re going to see is that as it gets colder, it gets harder to turn,” he says. “The older you get, the longer you travel, the colder it is, it all makes you more stiff…it’s a big week for the physios this week, because they’ll need to get up earlier to earlier to prepare and get their bodies ready.”
Add some wet to this, which can cause stability issues while you swing, and the task becomes more difficult. Tiger himself has spoken about the challenges this has presented for his pre tournament preparation generally. One of the ways he’s adapted is spending more time at home, resting his body in preparation for the challenge, though that brings with it some of its own challenge.
“I’m not hitting shots in tournaments to know what works and what doesn’t work. I’ve had to do that at home,” he says. “I can do that at home to a certain extent, but it certainly is a lot better when I’m able to play tournament golf to feel tournament hardened coming into these big events.”
The good news is that according to the official Open Championship broadcast, the weather for this weeks looks like it’ll make that prep a little easier:
Thursday 14th: A good deal of cloud during the day, though with some sunny spells. Much of the day is expected to be dry, though the odd passing shower is possible (0-2 mm). High: 18°C Low: 12°C.
Friday 15th: Cloudy, especially in the morning, with a spell of rain looking probable (1-3mm). Greater chance of cloud breaks and some sunny spells later in the day. High: 19°C Low: 12°C.
Saturday 16th and Sunday 17th: Still some uncertainty in details but confidence for the weekend is improving. Whilst rain can’t be ruled out, predominantly dry conditions are most likely. Turning warmer too.