This morning I woke up to temperatures in the 20’s in North Carolina. That is damn cold. So cold that most golf courses will not even let you go out. When I first started playing golf I did not realize there was a thing called a frost delay. I was set to play Sequoyah National in Cherokee, North Carolina around 9:15 am. I arrived at the course, bundled up and ready to go. They subsequently told me the frost delay would not be lifted until at least 11:00 am and I could not go out before noon as all the tee times were pushed back. I had no idea how to react.

After this experience, I made it a point to call the golf course prior to any morning tee time in the cooler months. If temperatures drop below freezing there is going to be a frost delay. Any course that is well maintained is not going to let golfers go out in those conditions. There are some hacker’s courses that may let you go out but a country club is never going to let you tear up their fairways and greens.

All that said, if the temperatures are slightly above freezing the night before your tee time there is a good chance you will be able to get out at the normal time. My rule is that I will not play golf when it is below 55 degrees. If you ever thin a shot or hit a shot fat your hands are going to sting for the next 20 minutes; not to mention trying to keep the rest of your body warm the whole time.

Nike, Adidas and Under Armour have come out with “heat gear” that will help you stay warm in the winter months but it is not easy to swing a golf club with three or four layers of clothes on. Keep this in mind before you put on the tshirt, turtle neck, long sleeved workout shirt and long sleeved polo all covered by a jacket. You may not even be able to move when you get to the first tee box.

One of the biggest concerns for me, when it comes to cold weather golf, is my hands. I have a very “handsy” swing and I use my hands quite a bit when chipping and putting. Literally. With this being the case, it makes it very difficult to score when my hands are freezing cold. Rather than trying to play a round when it is 45 degrees I would suggest staying in and watching the Golf Channel or reading the Hank Haney Tiger Woods book. You and your body will thank me later.