Friday, November 16

Brrr: How Cold Weather Affects Golf Ball Performance

IT'S COLD IN THE MID ATLANTIC. In fact, freezing rain was falling outside my window as I began to write this. I won't be playing golf anytime soon.


(Jeff Cushner/Flickr)
But if you're a cold-weather golfer, this information from Golf Digest might be helpful:
[C]old air can affect the performance of a golf ball. Cold air is denser than warm air and creates additional drag on a ball. According to Trackman, the difference is approximately one yard of carry for every 10-degree change in temperature. So theoretically, you’re looking at a loss of four yards if you’re playing in 40 degrees as opposed to 80 degrees. Other factors—such as how the body reacts to the cold, and how wearing extra layers likely limits your backswing—can further impact distance. The takeaway: When playing fall golf plan for at least an extra half club, and if your swing is restricted by being fully bundled up, it might even be a full club.
Also this ...
As for trying to keep golf balls warm, don't bother. For starters, Rule 14-3/13.5 prohibits warming a golf ball during the round. Warming up golf balls is not prohibited, but there is a reason for that—it doesn't work. Several years ago, Golf Laboratories performed a test that showed you could not get a ball warm enough to have any impact because the ball almost instantly adopts to the outside temperatures.
If you play golf in the snow, use an orange, green or pink golf ball. And go ahead and improve your lie. Winter rules apply.

2 comments:

eGolfGadgets said...

Have to admit I'm spoiled living in SoCal...cold weather golf is not a favorite. I'm annoyed when I have to wear a jacket. But good advice, even in SoCal it can be 30 degrees cooler for an early morning tee time then it will be by the time you finish. Plus I think the humidity of the early morning also makes for heavier air.

Scott Cole said...

This post reminded me of my caddying days as a kid. When I was a teenager, I caddied for a pretty good golfer, who actually made the cut at the U.S. Amateur. He wasn't a long hitter, so I remember prior to one tournament during the summer he kept a few balls on his dashboard, to try and get them to heat up, lol. Not sure if it gave him a few extra yards, but he tried!