While golf is typically a warm weather sport, some avid golfers won’t let cold temperatures keep them from the course. Some courses or tournaments apply “winter rules” during cold, wet months, generally permitting players free relief from treacherous ground caused by the weather conditions. Even the U.S. Golf Association’s Rules of Golf even encourages tournament committees to stipulate winter rules when necessary “either to protect the course or to promote fair and pleasant play.” Common sense dictates that golfers wear warm but flexible clothing in the winter that won’t hamper their swings.
Wear a lightweight, insulated jacket that keeps the wind off your back while still permitting free movement for all your golf swings, from drives to putts. A knitwear jacket is a good option. The Scottish Golf News website recommends knitwear jackets and lambs wool sweaters that are waterproof on the outside and feature windproof lining for additional protection on the inside.
Golf.com recommends adding ear protection in very cold weather. Fleece ear bands that fit over standard golf caps are available. You may also find all-in-one winter golf caps that include both a visor and ear flaps.
The Golf Tips for Women website recommends outerwear that’s lightweight and waterproof. It also advises layering your clothes, with the waterproof items, of course, on the outside. Should the sun come out during the round you can peel off the outer layers for more comfort, then put them back on if conditions worsen.
Thermal underwear offers a good way to begin if you wish to layer your clothing. Be sure your thermal clothing includes a moisture-wicking compression layer to carry sweat away from your body. Golf.com also recommends inner layers that combine “the muscle support and reduced friction benefits of a compression layer with a thermal fabric.”
Golf.com recommends wearing golf “boots,” rather than standard golf shoes, in the winter. These ankle-high boots are similar to high-top basketball shoes, but are specifically designed for golfing during cold or poor weather. The boots are waterproof and zip shut to avoid protruding laces that can dip into wet or muddy ground. Be sure to wear warm and comfortable golf socks beneath your shoes or boots.
It’s always wise to have sunglasses available when you’re golfing, but they can be particularly important during the winter, when the sun is lower in the sky and your visor may not keep the rays out of your eyes. Make sure your shades block 100 percent of the sun’s ultraviolet rays.