Here at RGC we understand we are tempting fate by posting a blog about summer golf, especially on this beautiful Isle we call Great Britain, with its uncanny ability for its weather to turn on a sixpence. But with an optimistic spirit and with the current heatwave we find ourselves in, here are 5 tips to help you play better golf in the summer.
1. Club Down
We’ve all been there. You hit a beautiful shot right out the middle of the clubface, it’s flying straight towards the flag, you wait in anticipation of your first hole in one only for it to fly twenty yards past the hole. You wonder how this has happened given you hit same club only a week ago and it came up short. The answer is ambient temperature. As the weather gets warmer the golf ball starts to travel slightly further through the air. This happens for two reasons. Firstly, when golf balls are warmer they compress more at impact than colder balls, this effects the transfer of energy into the ball meaning it comes off the face of the clubhead faster. The second reason is that warm air is less dense than cold air, meaning that there is less resistance affecting the golf ball as it travels through the air. Being aware of this allows us to make adjustments to our club selection in order hit our desired yardage. Maybe next time you are playing consider your club selection and club down in order to account for this change in distance.
2. Escape The Rough – ‘Take Your Medicine’
It wouldn’t be a British summer without some rain, and to our greenkeepers delight we’ve had plenty of the stuff over the last few months. However, this has led to our roughs growing thick and long, especially at the base. While we relish a challenge and rough’s play a key role in defending a golf course, it can be tricky knowing how to navigate our way out of them. Tip number two would be to escape the rough in as few shots as possible and ‘take your medicine’. In other words, don’t try the glory shot to reach the green from 150 yards out when you find yourself with a bad lie in the thick stuff. This generally leads to more shots from the rough and added frustration. Next time, take a golf club with plenty of loft, swing confidently with a firmer grip on the golf club and get the ball back in play. While you may lose a shot on the hole, 9 times out of ten you end up saving yourself two or three shots in the rough compared with when you try to play the glory shot.
3. Pace Your Putts
‘Drive for show, putt for dough’ as the saying goes. The putter is the most used club in a golfers bag and is vitally important to scoring well. As the weather gets hotter our greens tend to start running firmer and truer. While this is a blessing, as the truer a green runs the more you can commit and have confidence in the line you choose, it can also be tricky as we start to lose putts long and past the hole. Tip three is to pace your putts well. Knowing that in the summer the greens will be faster you should make allowances for this in your stroke. Making use of our practice green before your round can mean the difference between having two 3 putts on the scorecard or three 1 putts. Get used to the pace before you get out to play, It could make all the difference. Practice putts from different distances and different perspectives, some uphill and some down. The more you get to know the greens, the more confident you can be standing over your putts.
4. ‘Drink To Think’
Staying hydrated in hot weather is not only essential to stop you overheating and becoming unwell but has a huge effect on your ability to concentrate and make good golfing decisions. The term ‘Drink to Think’ can apply to golf played at any time of the year but is a particularly important motto to live by with the current weather and temperatures we are seeing currently. So tip 4 is to Keep those drink bottles topped up and don’t go too crazy on the beers 😉
5. Consider The Bounce
What do you see in your minds eye when you visualise your shot? Do you see how high it goes? How far? Often times we only think about how the ball travels in the air before taking a shot and pay no mind to how it reacts after it hits the ground. While in the winter under soft conditions we may get away with this, in the summer it is of vital importance to take into account what the ball could do after it lands. Tip 5 is to ‘consider the bounce’. Take time before your shot to visualise what the ball will do when it lands. With firmer conditions the ball will roll out more, bounce higher and further and perhaps kick left or right. Take a look at the landing spot you are aiming for and make adjustments accordingly for how you feel the ball will react.
Have fun and enjoy the sunshine (while it lasts) 😉
Blog written by Sam Archer