There’s a habit spreading from the States – where winter weather can make play difficult – some golf course committees have taken to putting up a sign reading: winter rules in effect today or preferred lies today. This doesn’t mean that you can wander round the clubhouse claiming you hit a hole in one as your preferred lie but rather, golfers are allowed improve their lies on the fairway. That means that if your ball lands in a tuft of grass or a heap of snow, winter rules mean you can move it back onto the good grass of the fairway.
What this shows is that winter golf is booming, and it’s a great idea to make use of golf courses all year round. This year many British clubs have great incentives for winter use, ranging from PGA pro training being available through to free rounds for ladies and even winter cup competitions. But what do you wear to take advantage of these offers?
Since most golf games are played during the warmer months, you need to choose your winter tops more carefully – polo-shirts are worn in summer, often with a thin sweater over the top to keep the muscles warm. The same system can operate in winter, but with a light jacket over the polo and a scarf to ensure the neck stays warm so that you can sight your swing with loose muscles. New technical processes mean that polo and rugby shirts are being made lighter without sacrificing their weave, so they remain just as warm and insulating without you having to add weight to your upper body.
One thing that’s often forgotten is the effect of winter sun on the face. After an hour or so on the course, both the damage caused to your skin and the strain that low winter sun puts on your eyes will be damaging you. It’s vital to wear well-fitting hat with a good brim, to protect your eyes from eyestrain and to shield your face from the worst of the sun’s rays. If you happen to be thinning a little on top, this will also stop you burning the crown of your head without realising it.