How to play golf in the rain, according to a British Open champion

Need tips on playing in the rain? We got them.

Getty Images

AUGUSTA, Ga. — I was on the ground for the Open Championship in Northern Ireland last year, and I can confirm — weather-wise — it was absolutely miserable. Wet and cold and windy. Not the kind of weather anybody likes playing golf in, apart from Irishman Shane Lowry.

Right?

“I hate it.”

What was that?

“Everyone jokes that I love it, but I don’t. I hate it.”

Lowry was speaking on Tuesday ahead of the 2020 Masters, where Augusta National is bracing for rain — and lots of it. There’s a real possibility we’ll see it every day this week.

But while he doesn’t like playing in the rain, Lowry’s done a lot of it over the years, which means he’s gotten pretty good at it. And he’s got some advice on how to imrpove your rain game, too.

1. Don’t pretend to enjoy it

The first rule of playing well in the rain is to accept that playing golf in the rain is, well, not very fun. And that’s OK, Lowry says. It’s not about having fun; it’s about dealing with it as best you can.

“Playing golf in the rain is just hard, it’s just hard,” Lowry says. “But I’m able to deal with it because I’ve done it before.”

2. Hit your shots quickly

This one may sound obvious, but Lowry says it’s a big key to playing good golf in the rain. When it’s coming down, don’t waste time!

“I hit shots quicker, especially off the tee, so the ball is not getting wet and the driver is not getting wet,” Lowry says.

It’s an important point, because a wet ball and wet clubface combine for a higher launch, lower-spin ball flight that means the shot comes off like a knuckleball. The drier you keep both of those things, the more control you’ll have over the shot.

3. Play extra safe

Ultimately, though, your ability to play good golf in the rain rests in your mind. Remember, you’re not enjoying yourself, you’re dealing with the elements. You’re holding on as best you can.

“You need to be careful. You need to be safe. You need to not make really silly mistakes,” Lowry says. “You’re managing your way around the course when the weather gets bad, as opposed to trying to do anything drastic.”

In short, you don’t need to be a hero. You just need to keep it in front of you.

Luke Kerr-Dineen

Golf.com Contributor

Luke Kerr-Dineen is the Game Improvement Editor at GOLF Magazine and GOLF.com. In his role he oversees all the brand’s service journalism spanning instruction, equipment, health and fitness, across all of GOLF’s multimedia platforms.

An alumni of the International Junior Golf Academy and the University of South Carolina–Beaufort golf team, where he helped them to No. 1 in the national NAIA rankings, Luke moved to New York in 2012 to pursue his Masters degree in Journalism from Columbia University and in 2017 was named News Media Alliance’s “Rising Star.” His work has also appeared in USA Today, Golf Digest, Newsweek and The Daily Beast.