While in some parts of the country, winter golf is unheard of, out here in Western Colorado you often see people playing winter golf. There are a few unique aspects to playing golf when it’s near-freezing though.
First, you want to get a rubber tee. At some point the ground will be too hard to get a tee in the ground. A rubber tee sits on top. You can buy these in different colors and lengths. We even have them in the pro shop!
Next, some courses will remove the tee markers all together. This means it’s up to you to choose where, on the tee box, you want to play from. It also allows for less wear and tear in any one particular part of the tee box during winter months when new grass isn’t growing.
Because your golf balls are cold they won’t compress as much. This means you won’t get as much carry as you do in summer months and you won’t get as much spin. So, less spin = more roll out. As long as you’re not carrying water or a large hazard area you probably won’t need to adjust club selection. However, if you’re used to carrying a ball with a pitching wedge 105 yards, you may want to knock 5-10 yards off of that.
Greens are trickier in winter. Some greens will be furry and slow. Others will be blazing fast. Check with the course on their winter pin placement rules. Some courses will have you move the pin to a new hole position after you putt. This isn’t common at all courses and there’s no harm in leaving it where it is!
Have layers. It may be 37 and beautiful, but if a stray cloud rolls in or the wind picks up you’ll want an extra layer on! Make sure to continue to use sunscreen too as the sun, though at a different angle, can still inflict some damage!
Be sure to call ahead of time to make sure your course is open. Changing weather conditions and frost delays can often affect tee times when you’re playing winter golf.