When playing tournament golf you are bound to run into some wet weather situations. There are some adjustments that can be made to help you keep your scores from getting drenched. Two things you must concentrate on are the grip and your impact.
First, you must keep your grips from getting slippery. Wet grips will cause you to lose considerable distance with off-center hits due to the rapid twisting of the club face at impact. You can help prevent this from happening by using an umbrella or rain-cover on your bag.
The rules also allow us outside agents to help us with this area. Let’s look at the rules:
Rule 14-3 c.
i. plain gloves may be worn,
ii. resin, powder and drying or moisturizing agents may be used; and
iii. a towel or handkerchief may be wrapped around the grip
There are some pretty good rain gloves on the market today. I prefer a handkerchief or towel. When using a towel to keep your grips dry, realize that cotton towels absorb and retain water. A better choice would be to opt for a micro fiber towel, which reacts much like a sponge when wrung out.
Let’s discuss impact. One can get away with hitting slightly behind the ball in dry conditions but not during wet weather. It is better to be a little thin with the impact. Thin shots are particularly good in these situations because they will travel closer to your desired distance and are less likely to curve. Fat shots should be avoided at all costs. You can influence a thin shot with a shallower impact by chocking down on the club one inch and making your normal swing. Also, narrow your stance one inch to make you taller than normal in your stance. This will aide in making the bottom of your swing shallower.
During wet conditions it is likely that water will get between the face and the ball, which may produce a flyer (a shot with little spin) resulting in a shot that travels farther than planned. Be sure to clean out the grooves prior to your swing. The grooves act much like the tread on tires by displacing water, grass, and debris. The application of these alterations to your set-up will minimize the bad effects due to the weather.
Understand that the air is heavier during wet weather so be sure to take more club for each shot. Be aware that the ball will not roll as far when it lands because the ground is softer. You may have to allow one more shot for “your” par on certain holes due to the added length from the elements.
Wet weather gear:
- Rain suit
- Rain hat and gloves
- Extra towels and handkerchief