Real Life Scottish Winter Golf
Current golf social media is getting very exercised about the ever increasing involvement in professional golf by the Arabian Kingdom of Saudi & the various United Emirates. For the game’s top male & female performers the area’s vast oil sourced wealth equates to big prize money, the most luxurious hotels and incredible golf venues. For many others it is simply another blatant attempt to use sport to pacify critics of these questionable regimes.
Leaving aside all the political and moral rights and wrongs, the prospect of a week’s golf in December in somewhere like Abu Dhabi with a daily temperature around 25 deg C does have a certain appeal. The brutal reality for all of us who play our golf in Scotland is that winter golf is a very different ball game.
The start of November traditionally signals the start of the winter season for Scotland’s golf clubs, heralding the appearance of the dreaded mats, “mud“ balls, plugged balls and soft underfoot conditions. Soft underfoot unless of course you are fortunate to display your golf skills on one of Scotland’s numerous genuine links courses. Fast draining and firm turf on these classic layouts ensures almost year round play without any significant restrictions. The downside for all links lovers is that the ever present sea breeze which adds such an exciting challenge in summer invariably produces a ferocious combination of relentless bitter winds and driving rain during the low season.
Regardless of where you get to play, being well prepared and suitably attired is crucial if you hope to enjoy your golf in testing conditions and want to perform anywhere close to your best.
Apart from those only too rare glorious Scottish wintry days, it will be cold & dry or very possibly cold & wet! So you are going to require some good quality waterproofs, a hat of some description, a really strong durable golf umbrella and a modern pair of waterproof golf shoes providing support and solid traction to avoid any injury.
After carefully folding your extensive golf polo collection and placing them in the hibernation cupboard, you now need to procure your winter performance kit. Layering is the secret and that means a good baselayer, coupled with a mid layer for some level of warmth below your outer waterproof shelf.
In the modern sporting goods world the options are almost endless with countless manufacturers battling each season to launch the very latest new trend and technical development. Materials include the finest lambswool,merino ,cashmere and every possible use of man made fibres including some impressive new products created from the use of re-cycled plastics. It now seems in golf you really can’t have too many 1/4 zips.
After throwing a couple of towels, a pair of wet weather gloves and your winter mitts into your rapidly expanding carry bag (remember the greens staff do not like the sight of your power caddy before next April) you are good to go !
Just want to leave you with a couple of pieces of advice from personal experience. Treat yourself to a pair of Goretex waterproof socks and get some practice wearing and playing in your bad weather outfit before you actually have to.
”When it’s breezy, swing easy!“