Summer Is Coming – Tips For Playing Golf In Hot Weather
With the strange and unpredictable weather we’ve had across Sydney & Canberra recently, you could be forgiven for not realising that it’s actually summer tomorrow! And while playing in the summer heat sure beats those cold, dark, wet winter mornings on the course, there are some precautionary considerations when playing golf in the sun.
In this blog I share my 5 top tips for playing in hot weather.
#1. Dress Smart
This might sound glaringly obvious but dressing appropriately for a round of golf in summer is one of the best ways to keep your cool. Choose loose fitting clothes in light colours that don’t absorb the heat for maximum comfort. Shorts & skirts (or skorts) are better than pants to allow your skin to breathe. A bucket hat will also offer protection from the sun.
Remember though, always check your local golf club’s dress code before you go. Singlets may be the best for keeping your body cool BUT it’s unlikely you’ll be allowed on the course wearing one. Aim to strike the right balance between comfort & style.
#2. Cover up
Another way to protect yourself from potential sun damage is sunscreen. Put this on early and often for optimal results. If you remember to pack your sunscreen, great - but forgetting to apply & reapply means you may as well have left it at home!
Ideally you’ll apply sunscreen to your ears, face, back of your neck & any other exposed areas about 20 minutes BEFORE you hit the course. This will allow it time to sink into the skin. And don’t forget to reapply every few hours, especially if you are sweating a lot.
#3. Hydration, nutrition & electrolyte balance!
Dehydration occurs when your body loses more fluid than you take in. This is more common in warmer weather and can be dangerous when golfing. To maintain your strength & stamina, try to stay hydrated throughout the day, starting with a big drink of water when you wake in the morning.
On the course, aim to drink around 250 mls of water every 15-20 minutes.
As well as drinking, it’s also important to keep your energy levels up if you want to perform well. Healthy snacks such as bananas, cheese sticks or nut bars are easy to eat, fast to digest & will provide a quick boost.
Just remember, whether through hydration or food, you must replenish your electrolytes, as severe heat and increased perspiration will cause you to lose them in greater volumes.
#4. Keep cool
When it’s very hot outside, keeping a spray bottle of water close can do wonders for cooling you down. Simply mist yourself across the face, neck and chest for instant relief when the heat gets too intense. Wiping your face with a towel soaked in cool water or even applying ice can also help to stabilise your body temperature.
#5. Seek shade
The nature of being outside means you can’t avoid the sun but you can protect yourself by finding shade wherever you can. In this scenario, trees are your friends!
Take shelter as much as possible when not taking your shots and if it’s fiercely hot - consider taking an umbrella. It might not look all that cool but believe me, it’s better than sunstroke!
At the end of the day, everyone is different. Some people thrive in heat - others hate it. Even if you’re in the former camp, don’t neglect these crucial steps for playing in summer. Diet, nutrition, proper attire and sun safety are big topics in the game of golf, especially when temperatures are soaring!
Take care of yourself out there and happy golfing.