Distance control is a vital part to playing sound golf. If on a warm 70 degree day with no wind and a flat lie you know you hit your 7-iron 167 yards then you have a great opportunity to control your distances into the greens. Some players of lesser experience may have a range they hit their irons based on if they hit the center of the face or not. On average, when the weather is under 60 degrees, you will lose approximately 10-15% on your club distances. This is important to note as if you are trying to land the ball in a particular spot or carry a hazard then you can make sure you take enough stick. If you play the same course throughout the year this is extremely important as you may know your distances on most holes, especially the par 3’s. Give yourself an extra club into those greens and it will do wonders to keeping your scores consistent on varying weather days.
In addition, a lot of players tend to take their eyes off of the ball after it lands on the ground as they assume it is in a safe spot. During the winter months, leaves and/or snow can cause you to lose a ball when you think you had a spot on it. It is important to watch the ball until it stops as best as you can and pick something out in that area you saw it finish in. Not only will it help you find the ball but it will also speed up play so you don’t have to bring the entire search party over to help.
Finally, remember that you are probably not practicing nearly as much as you do during the “main season”. If this is the case, it is recommended to play the safe shot whether it be off the tee, into a green, or around the green. Your body might not be conditioned to pull off a highly difficult shot and could put you in more trouble than normal. Most of the time, the safe play keeps you in position to score on each hole. The more fairways and greens you can hit, even if your distance or accuracy might be off, will give you a better chance to keep your score relatively stable and potentially shoot some lower scores than normal.
Please use these tips not only in the winter months but as a general rule of thumb when you are in a situation you are not comfortable or confident in. These will keep you in play more often and give you a chance to have more fun on the golf course in all conditions.
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