Playing a Wet Golf Course
There are times when we simply have to play on a wet course. This requires some adjustments to our game. Here
are some suggestions you can put to work the next time the course is saturated.
The old saying that a wet course plays longer is true. For those who may be new to golf, you can count on
When the course is wet, balls roll much shorter distances than they do when the course is dry. In some cases,
they may not roll at all once they hit the ground.
In order to adjust to this fact, choosing the right club becomes crucial. To do this, pay close attention to
your first few shots. You want to know how far the ball rolls once it lands. It may not roll at all, or it may roll
only a few feet.
If your ball isn't rolling as far as it normally does, add one club to your next shot and see if that doesn't
help you get the usual distance you would get if the course was dry.
Seek Higher Ground:
If your course is hilly or has elevated areas along the fairways, try to hit to those areas. This may mean
adjusting your shots dramatically, but being on that higher, drier land will make your next shot much easier.
By this same token, avoid hitting into standing water on the fairways. This may mean hitting shorter than you
normally do. Whatever you have to do, try to stay out of standing water.
It is important to make sure that the grooves in your irons stay clean. Use a towel to wipe them off after each
shot, and make a visual inspection of the grooves before each shot.
Clogged up grooves can result in less spin on the ball, and may even cause the ball to hook or slice
unexpectedly. Keep them clean.
The same goes for the grips on your clubs. Keep them dry and clean.
Greens can be tricky on wet days for newer golf players. In general,
greens tend to dry out faster than any other area on the course. But when they are wet, they can play so slow you
might wonder if you should use your driver to putt!
Be aware of this and plan for it on your practice putt swing. But also be aware that the conditions on future
greens may change by the time you get to them.
Also, make double-sure that you clean your ball before each putt. Even a little bit of debris or mud will cause
the ball to roll badly. Keeping the ball clean should be a priority on the green.
Reading the Break:
Reading the break on a saturated green is iffy at best. The important thing to keep in mind is that the slower a
ball rolls the more it will break.
The water is going to slow your ball, no debate on that, so the trick is to determine how much harder you have
to hit the ball in order to compensate for this added drag.
If at all possible, let someone else putt first! Watch their ball as it rolls, notice if there are any
"fishtails" coming off its rear end, and pay attention to how quickly it peters out, if it does so.
Use all of this information to help you decide on how hard you need to hit your ball.
One last thing to remember while playing a very wet course is to not lose your temper or get
frustrated. Scoring on a wet golf course is difficult, even
for the pros. Losing your cool will only help you miss the next shot, and the next shot, and the next. So avoid
putting yourself in that downward cycle. Stay relaxed, have fun, and don't be afraid to laugh at yourself.
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