How cold is too cold to play golf? 4 golfers have their say

As long as there's not snow on the ground, you can play. But would you?

Getty Images

For half the country, the winter is upon us, which means golfers in these areas are once again confronted with an important question: How cold is too cold to play golf? It’s a question that pits a golfer’s love of the game against their disdain for being uncomfortably cold, and it’s a source of endless debate, too. Each golfers’ threshold is different.

The other day, I was wondering where on the hardcore-fairweather golfer spectrum I fell. The last round I played in the Northeast, where I live, was on November 18th, during an unseasonably warm 60 degree day, and haven’t touched the clubs since. I’d be tempted if a sunny day over about 50 degrees popped up, but it hasn’t, so I haven’t, which I suspect puts me on the fairweather end of the spectrum.

But again, I wasn’t sure, so I took a quick sample of staffers in various northern areas of the country to get their take

Josh Berhow, Minnesota

I feel like I’m more lenient on this topic than most people since I’ve spent my entire life in the north. Our season is very limited. That means we are getting out as much as we can as long as there’s no snow on the ground, and have no problem wearing warm layers and stocking hats in the early spring/late fall. So, how cold is too cold? Well, last Friday I walked 18 holes in glorious 42-degree sunshine. Twenty hours later it snowed. December golf in Minnesota! What a world.

Dylan Dethier, Washington

Pure temperature? There’s almost no lower limit. I’d say about 30 degrees. But that’s on a mild day. If there’s wind or rain that number creeps higher very fast.

Tim Reilly, New York

I’m a fair-weather golfer. If there’s a strong chance of rain in the forecast, there’s a strong chance I’m not showing up. When it comes to the cold, I’m not too much different. Look, if we’re talking about a Top 100 Course, I’ll toss on the long johns and buckle up my G-Tech heated pouch around my waist. I won’t let the cold stop me from an opportunity I might not get again. But if it’s a high of 40 and the tee time is at my local muni? I’ll see you in the Spring.

Zephyr Melton, New York

As long as the wind chill doesn’t dip into the 30s, I’m game to play through the winter. Throw on the proper clothing (and make sure you walk, not ride) and it’s no issue for me. I’m not willing to stow away the clubs for months at a time, so I’ll put up with harsh conditions if it means getting some hacks in. I might be from Texas, but I’m not quite the fair-weather diva that Tim is.

Want to overhaul your bag for 2022? Find a fitting location near you at GOLF’s affiliate company True Spec Golf.

Luke Kerr-Dineen Contributor

Luke Kerr-Dineen is the Game Improvement Editor at GOLF Magazine and In his role he oversees the brand’s game improvement content 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. His work has also appeared in USA Today, Golf Digest, Newsweek and The Daily Beast.

Zephyr Melton Editor

Zephyr Melton is an assistant editor for where he spends his days blogging, producing and editing. Prior to joining the team at GOLF, he attended the University of Texas followed by stops with the Texas Golf Association, Team USA, the Green Bay Packers and the PGA Tour. He assists on all things instruction and covers amateur and women’s golf. He can be reached at

Josh Berhow Editor

As’s managing editor, Berhow handles the day-to-day and long-term planning of one of the sport’s most-read news and service websites. He spends most of his days writing, editing, planning and wondering if he’ll ever break 80. Before joining in 2015, he worked at newspapers in Minnesota and Iowa. A graduate of Minnesota State University in Mankato, Minn., he resides in the Twin Cities with his wife and two kids. You can reach him at

Dylan Dethier

Dylan Dethier Editor

Dylan Dethier is a senior writer for GOLF Magazine/ The Williamstown, Mass. native joined GOLF in 2017 after two years scuffling on the mini-tours. Dethier is a graduate of Williams College, where he majored in English, and he’s the author of 18 in America, which details the year he spent as an 18-year-old living from his car and playing a round of golf in every state.