- Golfer Benefits
With the weather heating up in Massachusetts it is time for us to change our habits out on the course. Playing golf during the hot summer weather requires more than just a change in wardrobe, it is important to adjust your mindset going into the round and prepare as best you can. Avoid playing bad golf, feeling miserable, and posting higher than normal scores with these tips to beat the heat out on the course this summer.
A small cooler bag is a must if you are playing on a hot day. Light snacks, fluids, and a cool towel are essentials. Here is a fun little trick if you don’t have a cooling towel… take a small hand towel and soak it in ice-cold water or toss it in the freezer for an hour or two, when you are ready to head out the door, drop it in a freezer bag and add it to your cooler… game changer.
We all know how important it is to use sunscreen. If you still need some convincing of why this is so important, check out the FDA’s website that has a lot more helpful information for you to digest. We will stay pretty high level here and say that you will need to apply sunblock at least twice per round and use lip balm with SPF a handful of times throughout the round. Most people forget about sensitive areas like ears, be sure cover all exposed skin. Pro tip: Stay up to date on any recalls by doing a quick search online of the product you are looking to purchase. Bonus: Learn more about chemical vs mineral sunscreen. Do some research and make the best decision.
Have you seen the professional golfers wearing long sleeves in the heat of the summer and said to yourself, “I could never wear love sleeves on the golf course!” or “How are they not hot in those long sleeves?”? Yeah, us too. BUT, it works! As long as it is the correct material. Luckily, our friends over at FootJoy have sun protection shirts with ProDry technology that make them breathable, moisture wicking, anti-microbial, and offer UV protection. Check out these long sleeve polos that look good with shorts and skirts. Lots of great color options as well! Don’t forget about proper headwear and eyewear. A larger brimmed hat and a good pair of sunglasses will round out the outfit and keep those rays at bay. Have you seen the sweet new styles we have on our Imperial Headwear page?
A warmup is still important even though it is hot out there. Swing a little easier and lighten up on the number of reps on the range. You don’t want to overdo it and tire yourself out before you start your round. Be a little more intentional in how you organize your warmup, take breaks between each discipline, and carry your water bottle with you to each area.
Whether you are an avid walker who carries their bag or have enjoyed using a push cart out on the course, on a really hot day – taking a cart may be a wiser choice if available. You will expend less energy, you will have shade, and you will get a bit of a breeze as you are buzzing down the fairways and cart paths. If you are unable to take a cart or prefer the walk, at least take a push cart and grab an umbrella. There are two great uses for an umbrella, coverage from rain and blocking out the sun. Here is a great umbrella from Titleist to consider.
Are you drinking the right things? Did you start hydrating the day before? It is not just a day of thing, you need to begin hydrating at least one day prior to your round. Even earlier if you are traveling to a destination to play. Don’t forget about mixing in some electrolytes as well. There are plenty of powders out there that are better than some of the sugary bottled product. “The American Academy of Sports Medicine recommends that adults drink 16-20 oz of fluids within two hours prior to exercise; 4-8 oz every 15-20 minutes during exercise; and replace every pound lost due to sweat with 24 oz of fluid after exercise.” Remember that not everyone is built the same and you should take these as general guidelines.
I know we just talked about the importance of hydrating, but we also need to mention how important it is not to drink things that will dehydrate you… like swing juice and drinks with caffeine. On a really really hot day, what could be a fun round of golf could turn into a not so fun round of golf if you become dehydrated by drinking too much of the wrong thing. Here is a great Q & A with the official nutrition consult for the LPGA about avoiding dehydration on the golf course. If you want to say yes to that drink at the 19th hole, be sure to let yourself cool down a bit and have some more water before that first “cheers”.
There is a saying that, “nobody likes a hero”, well in this case, it might be true. Respect yourself and understand your limitations. We’ve had some really hot summer days these past few years and sometimes a full 18 just isn’t in the cards. Your body will let you know if it is time to call it quits out there and your playing partners should be understanding of that. Don’t be afraid to speak up if you aren’t feeling well. Stepping off the course before things get bad means that you will be able to return to play sooner than if you had risked dehydration or injury.
Nobody wants to turn down a round of golf, but it may be a healthy exercise to stop and think about whether or not it is a good idea to play in unbearable heat. If you opt not to play outside, you can certainly use the time to work on your game in an indoor setting where it is cooler. Practice on a simulator or head to the gym from some stretching, weight training, or cardio. Fingers crossed there aren’t too many of those “too hot to play” days this summer!