Golf Talk With Greg Holman – #9

Click play to listen to Greg’s Podcast, or read below.

For my ninth golf blog, I was intending to talk about the end of golf season in Missouri and the proper way to practice and store your clubs during the winter months. But as I’m recording this we’ve had a rash of unseasonably warm weather, making it possible to get out on the links several days in December.

So depending on how hardy you are except for a few ice and snow days, December could be considered a golf month in the Show Me State. The average high temperature in Branson in the 12th month is 48 degrees, and many courses offer reduced rates this time of year. That goes for the Lake of the Ozarks as well as Branson.

Of course our northern neighbors say in Kirksville don’t have it quite so good, the average high temperature in Kirksville in December is 38 degrees. Catch a day with sun and no wind, and maybe, if the courses in the area are even open.

If your are planning to go out for a round of golf this time of year take the necessary precautions. Layer your clothing, you might want to consider wearing two pairs of socks or insulated footwear, and the number one thing above all is to keep your head and hands warm. Wear a wool hat that covers your ears, and gloves or mittens between shots. Remember the golf ball doesn’t travel as far in cold weather. Expect at least a 10 yard loss in carry with the driver when the temperature falls below 50 degrees. That’s assuming you can take a full swing with the amount of clothes you’re wearing. Take one or two extra clubs with your iron shot into the green too. Remember, unless the ground is frozen, you’ll get little to no roll, so allow for that and the fact that the greens will probably be slower than usual. Slow greens don’t break as much, so play less break and hit your putts firmly into the back of the cup. Battery operated hand warmers can be useful but it is illegal to warm up your golf balls that way. It’s kind of like a caddy holding an umbrella over you while you’re making a shot, that’s illegal because that is protecting you from the elements. However, it is permissible to keep golf balls warm by putting them in your armpit.

So it’s possible to enjoy a round of golf and get some exercise in, in the so called off season. Remember, wear a hat, and lower your expectation. If you normally shoot 45 for 9 holes or bogey golf, focus on breaking 50. Shoot the temperature, when it’s below 50 degrees, and reward yourself with a mug of hot chocolate when you get home.

Hit ’em straight!