How Does Anyone Play Well In Winter?

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Orikoru

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(I was going to post this last week and forgot - figured I might as well still post it though so we can talk about something other than lockdown for 5 minutes. Nothing else to do.)

I should have two different handicaps - in summer I could play to about 13 I reckon, in winter it's more like 21. Yet I see on the Played Today thread people still getting 37 points and whatnot in the depths of winter. How are you doing that?? My game just nosedives in the winter. I lose like 25 yards off my drives, then suddenly I'm hitting 5 wood off some mud rather than than a 7 iron off grass, and that doesn't go well for me either. Pitching goes to hell, if I don't fat it, then the club swipes completely under the ball on the wet ground and I end up with an accidental flop shot.

Is there anything people do differently to score well in winter? On my last round I experimented with using less loft and a shorter swing on those pitch shots - the problem is you don't get the roll for a bump and run either so it wasn't much of an improvement. (And when I did land it on the greens they were frozen so it went flying off the back, but that's another story!) I know on some courses they shorten the holes a lot but that never seems to happen anywhere I play.

Anyone else like me and their game goes down the pan in winter??

(And let's work under the assumption it's still cold and damp when lockdown ends rather than being halfway through Spring.)
 

fundy

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is your course full length in winter? if it is that will be a part of it as a lot play on shorter courses.

for some the target golf approach it brings makes it as easy if not easier in summer
 
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Orikoru

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is your course full length in winter? if it is that will be a part of it as a lot play on shorter courses.

for some the target golf approach it brings makes it as easy if not easier in summer
No, never played anywhere that was notably shorter in winter. I need the extra roll you get in summer. Soft greens are all well and good, but hitting a hybrid full carry to get there is much harder to do accurately than an 8 iron to the front with a nice hop and roll.
 

Robster59

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Maybe sometimes people play to within the limits in the winter. In my last game before the cold snap shut down our course, I was playing the normal course with a half set which included my old Maxfli Revolution irons. The rain was pouring most of the time, the wind was blowing a gale and we stopped after 7 as a result. I parred the first 6 holes and bogeyed the 7th! The conditions made me think more about my game and I was playing punched approached shots to the green. On a day in good conditions I may feel more cavalier in my approach and so make more mistakes. A lesson I should learn from really.
 

gopher99

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I normally take 1 to 2 clubs more in the winter on each shot, so I can take a full shot to land on the green rather than bounce and run it on. But its also a lottery at Nizels in the winter whether you find your ball on some of the holes after teeing off, the course is really bad in the winter so boggy and muddy.
 
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Orikoru

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Maybe sometimes people play to within the limits in the winter. In my last game before the cold snap shut down our course, I was playing the normal course with a half set which included my old Maxfli Revolution irons. The rain was pouring most of the time, the wind was blowing a gale and we stopped after 7 as a result. I parred the first 6 holes and bogeyed the 7th! The conditions made me think more about my game and I was playing punched approached shots to the green. On a day in good conditions I may feel more cavalier in my approach and so make more mistakes. A lesson I should learn from really.
Fair play. I don't think I can apply that to my game - all year round I play pretty sensibly anyway, that's kind of my normal thing. I have a short backswing, don't lose many balls etc. The loss of distance and muddy lies are the big killers for me in winter.
 

DRW

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Assuming the conditions are soft and greens in reasonable condition, not noticed much difference in my scoring. Sometimes it helps my big curve balls not reaching trees/rough(less run and carry in winter into the trees).

But do tend to play pick/place everywhere in winter, just to make things easier.
 

hovis

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I score much better in the winter. No balls bounding off the fairways into the trees and drop and stop on the greens. Perfect conditions for scoring
 

Grizzly

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I don't know if I play well in any conditions...

...but something I do notice when its properly cold is that I strike my irons a helluva lot better. I suspect this is in part because the cold affects my battered muscles and forces me to slow my swing and concentrate on rhythm...though it could also be that my standard slightly thin strike just hurts too damn much! :)
 

rosecott

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I am very fortunate that my course is sand-based heathland which allows us to play qualifiers - I still call them that - all year round with winter conditions not a great deal different to the rest of the year. You obviously have to adjust club selection to take into account the lower temperature and less roll than in summer (course is still full length) but I cannot see any obvious signs of my scores being noticeably worse than the rest of the year. What is important, I think, is to make sure you are properly protected against the kind of temperatures and weather you are going to encounter at this time of year - at the moment I'd be delighted to be out in any conditions.
 
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Orikoru

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Soft conditions make things much easier. Slightly wayward tee shots stop short of trouble, can stop long irons shots on the green, short game much easier - can get close from places you couldn’t on firm greens.

All that more than makes up for slight lost distance from the tee.
I score much better in the winter. No balls bounding off the fairways into the trees and drop and stop on the greens. Perfect conditions for scoring
I'm just not seeing the benefits of these. I guess I hit it pretty straight generally (just not very far) so rolling into trees isn't a common enough concern. And as I mentioned, the soft green doesn't help me if I'm having to use 7 wood to reach it instead of a 7 iron. Not much chance of hitting the green. :(
 

garyinderry

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I hate our greens in winter. We do some work that puts lines in them and they never fully grow back so it can be like putting on rails at times or kicks out and wont hold its line.

Never have any temps so I suppose that's something.

The scoring tends to be good at our place over winter. Course shortened a fair bit. Brings all sorts of crazy scores in from boys who dont score well on a full course.

Course reverts to full length on st Patrick day for the first comp of the year and if you shoot 36 points you have a chance of a prize. Haha
No run, bitterly cold. Full length.
 

HomerJSimpson

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I have been playing well, even off the whites. Winter golf manages expectations so much better. There are a number of par 4's I simply can't reach so I don't go after the drive trying to get extra distance, usually find the fairway as a result and can hit a second shot into a good position. Knock it on and two putt, maybe one putt for a net par at worse. Stress free. The greens are still in good nick.

There are issues around the green but I've been using a bigger bounced wedge and simply committing. If I catch it slightly behind the ball the bounce is sliding much better (with a shallow swing) and I can get away with it. I'm also playing more conservative shots and if I miss the green, making sure I play a shot to find the green rather than the hero (usually lofted) shot.
 

hovis

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I'm just not seeing the benefits of these. I guess I hit it pretty straight generally (just not very far) so rolling into trees isn't a common enough concern. And as I mentioned, the soft green doesn't help me if I'm having to use 7 wood to reach it instead of a 7 iron. Not much chance of hitting the green. :(
I can see how it would be difficult for people not long off the tee.
 
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I reset my expectations - and take out a pencil-bag and half set of clubs.

Means that often I just choose a club that'll get me there or thereabouts, and I'm not worried if it ends up short or long. What happens is that I generally hit some really nice shots and get a lot of fun from my 'make do and mend' approach.

I don't play winter golf to shoot the lights out of the card, I play to have fun.
 

SaintHacker

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Soft conditions make things much easier. Slightly wayward tee shots stop short of trouble, can stop long irons shots on the green, short game much easier - can get close from places you couldn’t on firm greens.

All that more than makes up for slight lost distance from the tee.
But on the flip side you don't get away with a less than perfect strike as well as you do on a nice hard summer fairway. Probably not such an issue for someone of your standard but for those of us at the other end of the handicap list...
 

cliveb

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Pitching goes to hell, if I don't fat it, then the club swipes completely under the ball on the wet ground and I end up with an accidental flop shot.
You've answered your own question. Lack of consistent ball-striking is a killer in winter.
Stuff that you get away with in summer will be ruthlessly punished when the ground is soggy.

I speak from personal experience rather than any position of competence, BTW :cry:
 
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Orikoru

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You've answered your own question. Lack of consistent ball-striking is a killer in winter.
Stuff that you get away with in summer will be ruthlessly punished when the ground is soggy.

I speak from personal experience rather than any position of competence, BTW :cry:
Yeah, it's definitely true. In some lies and conditions it just seems like there's no possible way to strike it well though. :LOL:
 

Billysboots

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I actually play some of my best golf in the winter months.

It suits me, to be fair. Whilst the course plays long in places, I’m a long hitter so don’t find the added length too much of an issue. Where I benefit is the lack of run meaning I don’t find trouble as often, because I can be quite wayward, especially off the tee.

So generally my scores don’t tail off, and can be better than during the summer, when our course is exceptionally hard and fast running.
 
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