It’s the end of October. The clocks have Fall (en) back. The fairway mats have appeared across many of Scotland’s golf courses. All clear signs the regular golf season has come to an end. All very clear in any normal season but of course this is still 2020 and any sense of normality was suspended many months ago.
Golf clubs across the UK are now facing the prospect of another COVID lockdown, we are still a couple of weeks away from The Masters and a certain Golden Bear, Mr Jack Nicklaus has created a minor social media storm with his intervention in support of The Donald in this year’s US Presidential Election campaign.
Bearing in mind the enforced delay to courses opening in Scotland this season, many regular devoted “ fair weather “ golfers will be looking to extend their normal programme through autumn and into the dark days of a Scottish winter. Hopefully for all the club Professionals around the country this will provide a much needed boost to their shop revenue as the members seek to invest in the necessary golf gear essential to ensuring enjoyment even in the most inclement conditions.
We should be grateful that in today’s sporting world, there is an abundance of highly technical apparel specifically designed for today’s dedicated golfer. For anyone with experience of playing this great game of golf in its spiritual home in Scotland you appreciate that any day out on the course can easily see all four seasons during your 18 holes; even in the middle of our summer, never mind during our rainy,sleety,snowy season !
So armed with your credit card, ideally the one your beloved does not have access to, you now need to head off to consult with the golf kit retail adviser or as we normally refer to them The Head Pro.
Firstly the basics. A good quality waterproof golf bag. Yes the specially commissioned bespoke leather one with the family clan tartan inserts is your pride and joy and the envy of the entire club but do yourself a favour and gently place said item into hibernation until the clocks Spring forward. A good tour standard umbrella is always a sound investment unless of course you spend most of your golf time on the links, in which case the brutal sea “ breeze “ will quickly render your new canopy utterly redundant.
The modern golf waterproofs are certainly not modestly priced.That Goretex guarantee doesn’t come free but you will feel justified in your brave financial decision every time the rain and wind combines to drive the more frugally attired back to the clubhouse; which may or not be allowed to open depending on that week’s government pronouncement.A decent pair of golf shoes, some form of headwear, a pair of wet weather gloves and you have the main bases covered.
Now you need to get your layering approach sorted. A baselayer from a company such as Icebreaker or Under Armour combined with one of the excellent new hybrid insulated sweaters from Galvin Green,Footjoy,Kjus,Adidas etc or some classic traditional Merino,Lambswool or even Cashmere from Glenmuir or Glenbrae will provide the warmth layer below your slinky new waterproof.
Remember you still need to be able to produce that beautifully grooved swing in the tough conditions and you want to enjoy the challenge.
Set up your “ winter” bag properly. How about a half set for 6 months ?
Dress correctly for the conditions.
Take some extra towels.
A hot drink in the Chillys bottle.
Grip it & Rip it !