Skip to main content

Test your game by taking on the toughest conditions

Phil Mickelson Weather
Getty Images

In many parts of the country at this time of year, the weather tends to change quickly, and usually not for the better.

Temperatures rise and fall, winds gust, greens get bumpy, rough gets clumpy, and all this does is make our goal of playing good golf much more difficult.

I look at this time of the year as a challenge to make myself better in tougher conditions and to make my mental game stronger, and you should do the same.

Consider a few things:

Very few people play well in inclement weather. That could be rain, cold, wind or a combination of any of the three. Have you ever asked yourself why?

I would argue that most people never practice in these conditions and when confronted with these conditions on the course they’re completely unprepared.

You may have to wear winter gloves, a sweater, wind jacket, rain jacket or turtleneck. These extra articles of clothing will all affect your swing and your feel.

If you’ve never swung with your rain jacket on, it will feel different, not to mention make a different sound at the top of your swing.

This is not only going to affect your feel but also your timing, and you most likely will not make a confident pass at the ball.

Now, imagine it’s cold and you have to break out your winter gloves. Have you ever hit a ball with winter gloves? The club feels totally different with those on. If you haven’t practiced or played with them before I would be shocked if you played well the first time you tried.

You should play or practice at this time of year if you can, even if conditions aren’t ideal. It’s a great time to work on a three-quarter swing for windy days, or to work on your mental game.

You will catch bad breaks in the rough due to inconsistent lies and putts will bounce off line due to greens not being cut as often, which will test you mentally.

The course and weather might not be perfect, but playing and experimenting in tough conditions will make you a better golfer.

Take an online lesson with Craig Renshaw.