Most people avoid the golf course at all costs when rain is in the forecast, but if you are serious about golf it can be a great chance to test your skills. If watch the PGA tour events at all, you may notice that the pro's often go real low with their scores in the rain. Well, there are are few reasons for this, like the greens soften up allowing them to fire at the pins or the ball won't roll as far, meaning it may stay in the fairway. While those are true playing in the rain doesn't often result in lower scores for the average amateur. Playing in the rain doesn't have to be difficult if you are prepared. With this thought in mind here are a few tips for playing in the rain and optimizing your score.
1) BE PREPARED - Get the proper rain gear. An umbrella and waterproof jacket and pants are a must if you want to fend off the weather. Rain gloves can also enhance your chances of minimizing the rains affects. A rain hood for you bag will help as well. I really, can't stress this enough, BE PREPARED. It is your best defence against the elements.
2) MANAGE YOUR GAME ACCORDINGLY - As I mentioned, when its raining the ball doesn't roll as far, it also won't spin as much. The distance and trajectory is affected as well. You will likely have to take more club. And don't be afraid to grip down for more control. More importantly during poor weather than any other time, but you must play to your strengths!
3) DEVELOP YOUR MENTAL TOUGHNESS - Don't expect to play well in the rain, if its your first time. You have to learn how to fight the elements, and the more you play in the rain the better you will become. Stay positive and play within yourself!
4) KEEP YOUR GRIPS DRY - Always, wipe your grips dry and keep them out of the rain as much as possible. As part of this tip, I will say BRING AN EXTRA TOWEL, its all part of BEING PREPARED. Maintaining your grips is important too. You don't want to have grips are slippy to begin with, the slightly bit of water can send the club flying. The grips I currently have on all my clubs (Golf Pride Decade Multi-Compound Cord) are just about the best wet weather grips I've ever had. I highly recommend them. They are extremely tacky, and seem to resist and repel water. That said, you still have to keep them dry to the best of your ability. If you are PREPARED, this shouldn't be much of a problem.
5) BE PATIENT - Don't start rushing. I know it is easy to do, but take your time. Use shelters when they are available. Focus on your game not the weather. I will say it again, but the more PREPARED you are for the weather the easier it will be to focus on your game.
Just to bring these tips back in full circle, part of the reason pro's are able to battle elements and post good scores during the rain is simply because they are PREPARED. Obviously, they have all the apparel and gear at their disposal, but it certainly doesn't hurt having a caddie to help you out as well.
So, next time you see its suppose to rain during your round, don't call to cancel it. Embrace the challenge. Remember golf is only a game, and as long as you are prepared you can still have fun with it, no matter what mother nature throws at you.