Summer is a prime time to hit the golf course. Courses are typically in their best shape over the summer and golfers find themselves with time away from work on summer vacations and weekend getaways.
The one downside of golfing in the summer is the heat. In some cases, it gets downright brutally hot on the golf course. As an avid golf, it takes a lot to keep me off the golf course. However, at some point it just gets too hot to play golf, right?
In the article below, I will outline all you need to know about playing golf in extreme heat, when to avoid playing, and 5 tips on how to survive your round to live to play another day.
When Is It Too Hot To Play Golf?
Sometimes it is too hot to play golf. Even the most avid golfers need to recognize when the heat turns from being a nuisance into being dangerous. To shed light on when the shift occurs, we can look to the National Weather Service for guidance.
The heat index, created by the National Weather Service, looks at both the temperature and relative humidity to determine how dangerous the weather is outside. We can use the chart below to guide us on when it may be too hot to be out on the course. Individuals with medical conditions will need to consult a physician on when best to avoid being on the course.
5 Tips For Playing In Extreme Heat
1.) Moderation Is key
Playing golf in hot weather is not uncommon. The trick is not to overdo it. When temperatures are reaching seasonal highs, it sometimes makes sense to moderate the amount and frequency of golf you play.
Instead of walking 18, ride a cart or just walk 9 holes. Another adjustment could be limiting your time practicing before or after your round. Skip the chipping session and driving range warm-up and opt to just play your typical round.
Limiting your exposure to the elements will allow you to survive your round in the extreme heat. This moderation will ensure you do not over work yourself and will give you longevity throughout the summer. The key is knowing when you can keep going and when to stop
2.) Stay Hydrated
It is no secret that hydration is essential in the heat. The National Library Of Medicine has determined that the sweat rate for exercise on hot days can amount to 3 to 4 liters per hour or as much as 10 liters per day. Your body needs to replace those fluids and electrolytes to stay in peak shape on the golf course.
Come prepared for the course with ample water and electrolyte drinks such as Gatorade, Powerade, or your favorite electrolyte powder. Also, be sure to scout out where you can replenish your fluids while on the course. Find which holes have water coolers and where the snack stand is located. It is better to be over-prepared than to find yourself searching for water on a hot day.
Be conscious of the amount of alcoholic beverage consumption on hotter days. Alcohol will dehydrate you on the golf course and can enhance your risk of heat exposure. For the hottest days on the course, leave the 6-pack at home or opt to go to the 19th hole instead of playing 18
3.) Choose Your Tee Time Wisely
Temperatures fluctuate vastly throughout the day. Typically, early morning golf will be 10-15 degrees cooler than a round in the afternoon. Use this temperature swing to your advantage. On the hottest of days be sure to be on the course bright and early to avoid the worst of the heat.
Playing your round later in the day can also be an option. Twilight golf played after 5 pm can give relief from the peak of the heat while still allowing the golfer to get in 9 and sometimes 18 holes, depending on the time of year. Planning to play your round earlier or later in the day will allow you to avoid the worst of the heat.
4.) Know What To Wear
The proper golf attire on a hot day can make all the difference. You will want to wear breathable materials that release the heat and sweat from your body. Avoid wearing darker clothes as they will absorb the heat from the sun.
Breathable bucket or straw hats are great for hot days. They can protect your face from sun and provide much needed shade. Using sunscreen is also a most on hot days to avoid sunburn. Be sure to liberally apply sunscreen prior to heading out on the course.
5.) Understand Your Limits
Probably the most important tip on this list is knowing your limits. You know your body better than any else. Sometimes the heat can just be too much for your body. In those scenarios, it is best to stay clear of the golf course to live another day.
Playing golf through the elements is part of the game and extreme heat is no exception. Like any other weather event, you need to come prepared before heading to the course. Packing plenty of fluids, wearing the appropriate attire, and choosing the proper time to start your round will all set you up for success on a hot day on the course.
It is also important to recognize when it is too hot to play. Sometimes no amount of preparation will help alleviate the danger on the hottest of days. In these cases, skip golf for the day or opt to play 9 instead of 18. Smart golfers know when to call it quits and wait for another day to play. Getting exhausted or injured by not listening to your body will sideline you from playing.
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