How Does Anyone Play Well In Winter?

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Adjusting expectations is a good start.
Not much you can do about lack of run unfortunately.

Personally I hit more club into greens. I don't take woods or hybrids out with me and accept that I may not be able to reach every green so try and leave the ball in a good spot at a good distance.

When chipping I tend to use my pitching wedge or 9 iron as hight and spin isn't needed on softer greens.

Putting is often a bit of a lottery.
 

PJ87

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I know some players in the winter won't even go for the green , they will lay up to a yardage they want so they still using irons rather than woods and then wedge onto the green close as they can for a 1 putt or 2 to play bogey golf
 

Diamond

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Courses are shorter, winter tees and mats are flat similar to the range and pick and place in bunkers and fairway mats, never a bad lie. If balls don’t plug I lose less balls.
 

Tashyboy

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Not being the longest hitter, when the white pots are moved forward. Many of the hazards from the tee are removed.
don’t get me wrong, it can still be a driver and three wood but the massive thing for me is short game. I hardly ever use my Vokey wedges. Our place is so muddy the clubs just dig in.
99% of the time I use a PW. I get a lot more of the club head on the ball. I hit the green and it sticks.
 

Bunkermagnet

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I always found that the winter condtions give a much more honest tale of my distances. Perhaps it's because of that I don't expect summer distances in deepest winter and thus I adjust my club selection accordingly.:)
However, winter golf isn't that nice, but then I would rather play golf in the winter than sit indoors festering and suffering cabin fever.
 

Tashyboy

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Seen a bit of a clip today from Gary player, he was on about playing in winter/ wind. Bottom line, don’t try and smash the hell out of the ball. Play within yourself and keep your balance.
That aside he is ripped for a fossil.
 

richart

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Our course is easier in winter in my opinion. We play off yellow tees, rather than whites, so most holes at least ten yards shorter. Slightly off line drives in summer end in heather, whereas in winter they hold the fairways. Greens are softer so shots in winter hold greens, even thinned ones. In summer only decent strikes have a chance of holding, and if they roll off the green especially long you need to be a Seve to get up and down. Preferred lies also helps those that don’t like tight heathland lies.

Probably explains why I play well in winter, and as soon as the summer comps come round my game goes to pot.:(
 

Pathetic Shark

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We used to always have a Hangover Challenge event on New Year's Day at my old club. One year it was cold as hell, wind blowing a hoolie and still had over 30 people playing. 2nd place was 31 points and a gross 82. I came in with a gross 68 - for some unknown reason, I was just able to concentrate really well that day and ignored the conditions.
 

garyinderry

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Over the years. I've usually shot a new personal best score over the winter. I never count these as its not proper golf with placing and shortened course but I've usually gone on to match or beat that score in the summer.
 

Mandofred

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When it's as bad as it has been.....we just say to heck with it and use the mats everywhere. Just not worth worrying about it. Have fun. I just try to hit good drives etc......once you get to the temp green it's a crap-shoot so don't worry about it. And....I won't for another 27 weeks evidently.
 

wjemather

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The key to scoring well in winter is ball-striking and aggressive putting. Priorities are hitting fairways (especially with preferred lies) and greens (to avoid chipping and pitching from horrible muddy lies). Greens are generally slow, so be positive and take most of the break out.
 

brickie

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I generally play ok in winter as I don't do so well on the fast greens of summer. Having said that, I don't know how I putt better in winter because our greens, when viewed in the low winter sun resemble a moonscape.
Also, I worked outside in all weather conditions before retirement so don't tend to notice the cold as much as my office dwelling playing partners.
 

patricks148

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up here, it tends to be off shorter courses, with little or no rough and soft slow greens... oh and mats.

so even the shortest hitting can reach most holes in two in many cases, you get a good lie on every shot off the matt, which also spins and stop for most people. take that with greens that are slower and don't take as much break and if you miss the fairways unless its in gorse you can find it and advance it a fair way, or even reach the green, something you couldn't do in summer.

some of the scores reflect this too. while our course works were done the last few winters i joined Nairn Dunbar on its winter memberships and they ran NQ comps every sat and even off 3/4 some of the scores were crazy, there were 50 ish points being scored at times. Even at Nairn we had our Christmas comp and a guy off 15 won with 45 points, who by his own admission hadn't scored more that 30 in any of the summer stableford comps.

if you are off a full summer length course, you would have to contend with no run off the driver, plagged balls, bad lies and slow bumpy greens
 

Canary_Yellow

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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...

This is what it boils down to really, isn’t it?

If you’re not very good from a ball striking perspective, your technique will be exposed on soft ground.
 

Old Colner

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We play winter rules at ours, mats or semi rough at either side, I have noticed there is a lot of give in the rules, some walking at 45 degrees to the edge of the fairway and when it comes to 'placing the ball' there are some who place and some who tee it up on a tuft of grass, makes a big difference, I was once 20 yards infront of somebody off the tee, when we placed at the side he was playing it he was a yard behind me.

I just concentrate on ball striking over the winter, don't take it too seriously, a game is very rare, only at weekends after working all week, a bit of a crack with the lads.
 

CountLippe

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I've always found the slower, soft greens in Winter a help good scores. Our course has small greens with subtle breaks, and tricky up and downs as the surrounding areas aren't flat. In winter not only is it easier to hold the greens, there is always the option to bump and run from off the green without sending it miles past and the putts are generally straight with pace easier to judge. Elsewhere prefered lies in the fairway and shorter rougher make up for the wet ground and no leaves on some trees makes the course appear wider. I find the biggest problem in winter is only playing once a week at best and no time to practice.
 

Bdill93

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My course is/ was (pre-lockdown) full length and no temp greens in winter.

Biggest issue I have noticed this winter also tends to be fatting the ball, especially with my wedges. After that its length, I am hitting a 5 iron for what in summer was a 7. Hybrids are getting some serious action.

However, I too have had some very good scores (for me) this winter. Summer I managed two rounds of 84, still my best. Ive had an 85, 86, 88 all this winter (with PCC of 3 on all). I think im benefitting from the ball staying in play more but not much else. I do practise 3 times a week on top of 2 rounds though, so I have been expecting to get better. Im thinking if I grind over this winter, my second summer of golf should be a lot better!!
 

harpo_72

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Keep warm, use the rules to your advantage and take a realistic approach.. you will be shorter for a number of reasons, greens will be receptive but roll poorly ... it’s more about attitude and expectations.
 

jim8flog

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Many years ago all the downs in my handicap came in Winter.

I put this down to softer greens and having more confidence to fire at the flags coupled with lift clean and place which guaranteed a perfect lie most of the time.

These days as buggy user I am so cold and have so many extra layers on that getting a good swing in the first place is hard.
 

Lord Tyrion

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I play, but not well over winter. We have only 1 winter tee, the rest are just regular yellow tees, 6,400 yds. With no roll it means the course is too long for me. It puts all bar 1 par 4 out of reach in 2, 3 of the 5's just become a slog.

The above is why I like our handicaps being frozen over the period. No stress golf then. Just hit the ball, aim to hit it cleanly, don't worry about the score so much.
 
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