As avid all year round golfers we have to adapt to a variety of conditions with rapid heat fluctuations from 19-30 degrees in the Summer to playing Autumn golf in strong winds with frosty and wet ground conditions. This coupled with cold temperatures call upon a completely different set of skills.
I have just selected a few of the most common hazards we are likely to endure over the coming months and areas to be aware.
The first is the loss of the beautiful shades of leaves which seemingly always end up in the area we have hit our ball! The same rules applies here as to when searching for the ball within our allocated 5 minutes. It is always important to remember the ruling about moving the ball during the search.
Remember we are not permitted to remove leaves or loose impediments from a hazard which includes a bunker, I think this is one rule I would certainly alter if I had the chance!
Don’t forget now with winter rules in force let’s use the home advantage cleaning any adhered mud from the surface of the ball, this is particularly important for your short approach shots and can dramatically alter the balls “flight” in the same way as playing Crown Bowles. It is always important to create your own identification mark for your golf ball throughout the year to avoid penalty shots playing the incorrect ball. I have always used a happy smiley face on my ball for the past 30 years!
Squirrels love Autumn golf with the abundance of acorns but this can play havoc with us golfers, it is a mixture of a balancing act on marbles at the same time trying to avoid the acorn which will be resting under your ball. I would really recommend stabilising your lower body during the swing.
Have a read and remind yourself of the rules of golf relating to casual water in bunkers and on the fairway, it is always useful to ask at the club about their embedded ball rule which hopefully we will not have to use for a few more months.
I would suggest changing your format of play during the winter months, don’t be concerned about the overall score or the reduction of distance which will be considerable. Why not play a basic matchplay or try to set yourself winter Eclectic targets which are a fun format.
If distance is one of your key objectives why not switch to a firmer covered golf ball or “distance” ball which is cost effective without the loss of too much feel during the softer conditions.
One trick I was told many years ago was to pop your golf balls in the airing cupboard so they are nice and warm ready for a winter hot round of golf!