Playing golf in the rain? Here are 2 crucial things to keep in mind
Welcome to Play Smart, a regular GOLF.com game-improvement column that will help you play smarter, better golf.
NAPLES, Fla. — Golf is an outdoor sport, and that means playing in the elements is an inevitability. At this week’s CME Group Tour Championship, LPGA pros are being reminded of that fact.
Florida is known for its sunshine and beautiful weather, but this week that’s not the case. Steady rain is pelting the course as this is typed, and the radar shows no end in sight. The Wednesday pro-am has been canceled and the course has been closed for the day, but if the deluge continues, players are prepared to play for the $7 million purse through the rain.
Golf is an outdoor sport, remember?
Playing in the rain isn’t the most enjoyable experience, but if you embrace the conditions — and remember two crucial things — you can actually use the adversity to your advantage.
2 things to remember in the rain
Joe Hallett is a GOLF Top 100 Teacher who’s taught some of the top LPGA pros in the world (Stacy Lewis among them), but before he was a swing instructor, he was a pro golfer himself. And, as most pros chasing the dream of the PGA Tour have, he’s been through the grind of Q school.
“I have told this story to every player I’ve ever worked with, and every class I’ve ever taught,” Hallett says. “It’s the second round and in the first round I’d shot 74. I looked at the forecast and saw it was going to rain the next day.”
The Q school grind is never fun, but doing so in the rain — especially after a tough round — is the stuff of nightmares.
“Joe Lopez [Hallett’s mentor] said to me, ‘There’s two things you need to do,'” Hallett says. “‘No. 1, make sure you have dry towels. You can never run out of dry towels. And No. 2, don’t ever give up.'”
It might seem like having dry towels is obvious advice for playing in the rain, but as anyone who’s played in soggy conditions knows, it’s not easy to keep things dry for four hours straight. No matter what you do before a rainy round, make sure you have enough dry towels to get through the round.
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$7.50 (was $30)
And as for Lopez’s second point, playing in the rain requires an immense amount of mental fortitude. No one wants to be outside in the rain for a long time, and that poor attitude can spill over into your play. Keeping yourself engaged throughout the round and never giving up will give you a leg up on the competition.
“He told me, ‘If there’s a tournament with 100 people, that morning when everyone wakes up, 50 of them are going to have quit already because they don’t want to play in the rain,'” Hallett says. “‘Of the remaining 50 who are still in it, half of them will quit because they run out of dry towels.'”
Playing in the rain is a war of attrition — both mentally and physically. But as long as you can keep your mind engaged and your clubs dry, you’ll have a significant leg up on the competition.