How Does Rain Affect Golf
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How does rain affect Golf
Golf in rains – Image from Unsplash

How Does Rain Affect Golf?

Every golfer has been there at some point in their career. Suddenly, the golf outing you’ve been looking forwards to for months/weeks turns into a torrential downpour. 

Golf in the rain is inevitable if you live in Melbourne where it happens more often than you would want.

To improve your golf game in the rain, you must first understand how the rain affects your game.

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Then, how does the rain influence the game itself?

Due to the slippery nature of golf shoes in wet weather, golfers have a more difficult time gripping the club and the ground with their golf shoes. Also,  golf balls go less distance in the rain, and dirt on wet courses also influences the trajectory of the balls.

 The ability to maintain concentrate in rainy circumstances is also essential.


Your golf swing will be hindered by a lack of traction in the rain. Once water has collected on the tee boxes, you will feel your feet sliding about.

Your footing gets much more difficult when you have to stand on an angled lay in the thick grass in the rain.

On such a circumstance, there is no genuine way to firmly establish one’s position in the matter. Slow down your swing and attempt to keep as much control of your body as possible to overcome traction difficulties.

Plugged Golf Ball

Rain makes the earth squishy, and  soft.

The Golf ball does not roll when you smash a golf ball into the mud.

Known as a plugged ball, the ball will adhere to the ground when this happens It is permissible to draw your ball out of a plugged scenario and play it from a place that is not too close to the hole, but not too far from it.

Balls can’t roll when they become stuck on the fairway or green.

During a wet day, a shot that would need a 250-yard drive on a good day will be shortened to about 210 yards. Aim for the pins with your approach shots.


In order to resist a certain amount of rain, golf grips are engineered to be tackier.

Continuous rain, depending on the type of grips you are using, may render them ineffective. In the rain, the grip itself is not the problem, but rather the golfer’s moist hands.

With a wet golf glove, it is virtually hard to hang on to anything, and wet palms give no traction whatsoever. This is because the water will fill in any raised ridges on your grips and lessen the amount of traction.

Keeping your hands dry gives you a better chance of keeping your clubs in tact. You should always towel dry your grips after playing in the pool.


In addition to reducing golf ball travel distance, rain also alters its trajectory.

The grooves and dimples on the water-filled golf ball make it difficult to make clean contact with the ball. ‘Slipping’ on the clubface causes shots to fly more erratically when the grip and spin given by grooves are reduced.

In wet situations, the ball will also take up some muck. So it’s vital to know what effect mud on the ball will have.


In the rain, golf balls do not travel as far, and in cold, wet weather, they do not travel as far.

Due to evaporation, humidity in the air increases when it rains. As a result, the golf ball travels less distance when it is humid.

This happens when the ball hits the ground and has no roll at all.

When the golf ball hits the club face, water trapped between the club face and the golf ball impacts distance.

Better golf in the rain – Tips to prepare yourself for wet Golf.

Preparation prevents poor performance in sports, according to this adage. This is especially true when it comes to playing golf in the rain.

The most important thing to remember when playing golf in rainy conditions is to maintain all contact areas with the club and ball as dry as possible!

Your Hands, gloves and club grips should be kept clean and free of moisture to improve grip and prevent clubs from slipping in your hand. 

Making sure the soft spikes on your golf shoes are as clean as possible – rainy weather may not be the greatest time to wear your spikeless pair – can also assist to minimise slides when you spin during your golf swing on the damp ground.

That isn’t to suggest it isn’t equally necessary to stay dry. Of course it is, and being properly prepared with appropriate waterproof clothing is critical to ensuring that you and your clubs remain as comfortable, warm, and dry as possible.

On rainy days, we recommend that you bring the following equipment/Gears with you to the course:

Gloves — The main purpose for wearing a golf glove is for grip, but when they become wet, their impact is virtually non-existent. 

Consider rain gloves to help you keep your grip, and keep replacements on hand (preferably in a carrier or zip lock bag) in case your first one becomes wet. 

Well, In extremely wet circumstances, some golfers, notably Phil Mickelson, use a glove on both hands to aid grip.

Towels, towels, and more towels – A supply of dry towels is essential for wet-weather golf. Towels are essential for keeping your hands and clubs dry. 

Again, storing them in a carrying bag is beneficial, and hanging one from the under-frame of your umbrella is a clever way to make one immediately available. 

Waterproof golf bags — Check to see whether your golf bag is waterproof, and if not, make sure you have an easy-to-attach cover that goes over the heads of your clubs to keep them dry.

Golf trolley – Using a golf cart in the weather has always helped me be more organised and better able to keep myself and everything dry. 

Some courses may not allow you to use them if the course is too wet, so check before you go.

Hand warmers – Some golfers have hand warmers in their waterproof or rain pants. 

Playing golf in the rain can cause chilly hands, making it harder to hold the club, therefore some golfers adopt this method to keep their hands warm.

Waterproof jacket and pants – search for features such as zip-up trousers bottoms. This is really useful if you need to quickly put on your waterproofs over your golf shoes.

Waterproof golf shoes – anyone who has ever walked around in damp shoes, much alone wet golf shoes, understands how uncomfortable it is. 

So make sure your golf shoes are watertight and that your spikes are in good condition. If they are old and worn, it may be time to replace them in order to enhance grip.

Hats — Wearing a baseball cap or rain hat will keep the rain out of your eyes and help you focus, especially during your swing.

Umbrella – I know, I know, this is so apparent, but it has to be included. It can be difficult to handle your umbrella if it is windy as well as rainy, so ensure sure it is of excellent quality, has a sturdy structure, and preferably has vents to prevent it from blowing inside out in strong gusts of wind.

Below is the list of Golf Gears we love for Wet Weather.

Change Your Golf Approach

Playing golf in rainy weather is unquestionably more difficult than playing in dry ones. But it doesn’t mean you can’t attempt to make your life a little simpler when playing in the rain.

When it comes to playing in the rain, here are a few pointers to keep in mind:

Play more cautiously – You already know the course will be more tough to play, so there’s no use in making things more difficult for yourself.

Play shots that will allow you to stay as much as possible on the fairway. Wet long rough may wrap around the club head and cause chaos, so try to avoid it as much as possible.

Slow down — Because the ball isn’t travelling as far, you’ll be inclined to hit it harder to compensate. Attempt not to.

Remember that grip is the most important thing to preserve in the rain, so concentrate on preserving your tempo and slowing down your swing to maintain as much control and grip as possible.

The primary exception will be in the longer rough. Long wet grass clings to the club and slows the club-head, so you’ll have to hit it harder to get the ball out.

Hit more and easier clubs – Less distance and run on your shots will almost certainly necessitate the use of larger club for shots.

Knowing the Rules Makes Rainy-Day Golf Easier

Although playing in the rain is rarely as enjoyable as playing in the sun, there are several regulations that deviate from the usual that can boost your score.

If you find yourself in ‘casual water,’ for example, which is defined as ‘water that has gathered temporarily and does not represent a recognised hazard of the course,’ you may relocate your ball to a dry place without penalty as long as it is not closer to the hole. 

Remember that even if your feet are in shallow water, you will still receive relief, not only your ball.

So, before you go out in the rain, check with the course to see if there are any rule modifications for the day due to the rain!

Whatever the weather, remember that the most important aspect of golf is having fun and enjoying the game. So, if you don’t like playing in the rain and don’t have to, don’t bother. Simply opt to play on another day.

And it’s absolutely not worth it if there’s a risk of thunder and lightning! Keep in mind that your golf bag is packed of lightning rods, so remain warm and dry in the clubhouse and simply enjoy each other’s company!

Does rain have an effect on golf ball distance? 

Rain raises the humidity of the air, resulting in thicker air, which provides greater resistance to the golf ball in flight. 

As a result, the golf ball will not go as far in the rain, and much less so in cold, wet weather.

It is believed that continuous rain reduces the ‘carry’ distance by 3-5 yards.

About the Author: Craig Maerki has much experience in all aspects of the golf industry.

Has Launched three successful retail golf businesses, a not-for-profit servicing junior golfers, field operations director for a leading golf association, college coach, assistant golf professional, instructor and competitive player

Craig Maerki
Curated Golf Expert and Golfing Enthusiast/ Golf Specialist Know more about Author

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