A distinctive feature of golf in Minnesota is the number of variables Mother Nature can throw at you.
You may tee off in the morning with temperatures around 40 degrees and by the sixth hole it is 65-75 degrees. A few holes later, wind comes up and then it starts to rain.
If you're not properly prepared, weather like this can ruin a golf game.
When preparing for any round of golf make sure you are mentally prepared to play. Focus on what you can control and don't waste energy or thought about controlling the elements.
Avoid negative thoughts like, "I can't play well in the wind or rain." Learn to be positive.
Coming prepared with the following equipment will help you play in all conditions:
1. Plenty of clothing that you can layer, allowing for full swing movement.
2. Extra glove and/or rain gloves and winter gloves.
Rain gloves are gloves you wet before use. They allow excellent gripping potential in wet conditions and work best in warmer conditions. Winter gloves are gloves that are lined on the back for added warmth and work best in cold conditions but not wet.
4. Towel and extra towel.
5. Gortex hat and stocking cap.
6. Rain suit.
7. Waterproof shoes.
8. Rain cover for bag.
With the appropriate gear it's now time to tee it up.
When playing in the wind, it is important to strike the ball as solidly as possible.
I recommend a person take a little wider stance than normal. This helps to maintain proper balance. Placing the ball slightly back in the stance allows a person to hit the ball lower. Also, don't feel you have to swing or grip harder because of the wind. That will only throw off your timing and result in poor shots.
Paying attention to the ball flight of playing partners and to the natural environment around you will enable you to play your shots better.
When playing in the rain it helps to have the right gear. In wet conditions, I recommend a person use a slightly stronger grip with the right hand.
Also, play the ball slightly forward in the stance to prevent hitting fat shots.
With the combination of the right equipment and the right mental attitude, you can and will play better in the wind and rain.
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