When the 2014 Ryder Cup begins this week in Scotland, the players can expect the unexpected when it comes to the weather.
Notorious for cold, rainy, and windy weather, golf in Scotland can provide not just a test of your skills on the course but also a test of your ability to handle the elements.
With cold weather not too far around the corner for much of the U.S., there is a lot to learn from watching the best players in the world deal with the elements as they compete for the Ryder Cup.
Here are a few tips to keep your game sharp the next time you decide play in cold, difficult weather conditions:
• Be prepared. Having played college golf in the spring, I learned very quickly that it pays to know the weather forecast and prepare accordingly. The technology in winter apparel has come a long way over the years and it would be a good idea to make sure you have the best. When you have to dress warmly, do so in layers so that you can easily shed those layers if the temperature happens to rise during the round.
• Re-adjust yardages. Cold weather will affect the distance a golf ball travels. How much it affects it will depend on the specific conditions. A range session with a launch monitor that measures the actual carry distance of the ball might be a good idea so you can get real distance numbers in colder conditions. On the course, however, be willing to adjust your club selection quickly if you notice a drop in carry distance.
• Spend extra time on the practice green. Short game and putting is all about feel and your hands are responsible for producing that feel. When your hands get cold as the temperature drops, your feel will be affected. Do your best to maintain the temperature of your hands (extra pockets, gloves, and hand warmers work well) and spend some extra time practice distance control on shorter shots.
For more tips from Golf Channel to help you deal with difficult weather conditions, click here.