Pádraig McGrath provides the detail on how to embrace the elements on your golfing game, and how to lower your ball flight.

Embrace The Elements:

So many golfers retire from golf over the winter months in Ireland due to the weather. It is obviously far more appealing to play golf when we are basking in the warm sunshine. However, there’s a hidden charm and untapped joy in embracing the elements and teeing off even in less-than-ideal weather conditions. Contrary to the common inclination to stay indoors when the weather turns sour, golfers should consider the numerous benefits and unique experiences that come with playing in poor weather. I myself used to shy away from golfing when the weather was poor however, I realised the main issue was my attire wasn’t suitable for the climate. When you have the correct warm attire golfing in the cold is actually reviving. It’s a bit like the cold shower trend going around, you feel so refreshed and alive after golfing on a cold winter’s day. I played nine holes myself over the weekend and it was bitterly cold and your usual yardage in a way goes out the window. But I’ve learned to really enjoy the challenge and I now get as much enjoyment out of playing in the winter as I do in those warmer summer months.

Playing golf in various weather conditions adds an extra layer of challenge and excitement. Rain, wind, or even a bit of cold shouldn’t deter you from enjoying your favourite pastime. In fact, I would argue that adverse weather conditions will enhance one’s golfing skills and provide a refreshing change from the routine.

One of the primary advantages of playing golf in poor weather is also the development of mental toughness. Golf is as much a mental game as it is physical, and facing the challenges posed by rain or wind can significantly strengthen a player’s mental resilience. Navigating through wet waterlogged fairways or adjusting shots in gusty winds requires focus, adaptability, and a calm mindset – skills that can translate to improved performance even in ideal conditions. I also find playing in tougher weather conditions helps to improve my course management and also helps me to be more creative having to flight the ball down lower.

How to lower your ball flight:

“In order to fly the ball lower I usually take two or maybe sometimes up to three clubs extra and move the ball slightly further back in my stance. I take a full backswing but I don’t take a full follow through. I usually try finish the follow through early maybe 75% of my normal follow through. Tommy Fleetwoods swing if you watch it is an example of a golfer who finishes his swing early compared to most golfers, hence why he has a more penetrating ball flight. By taking a longer less lofted club also means you can afford to reduce the speed of your swing helping to flight the ball lower still. The faster you swing the higher the ball wants to fly because you are creating additional backspin when you hit the ball harder. Next time you go to the range try this technique and learn to flight the ball down, it’s a great tool for golfers here in Ireland. Throughout the year you will have plenty of opportunities to use and benefit from being able to hit a lower ball flight with all your irons.”

With so much incredible technical clothing available now and all the waterproof golf equipment we now have little or no excuse when the weather turns bad. From waterproof shoes, golf bags, wetsuits, warm winter and rain gloves, umbrellas, neck warmers, beanies. As the saying goes there is no such thing as bad weather when you’ve got the appropriate attire.

Embracing the elements adds an element of unpredictability and excitement, turning an ordinary day on the golf course into an extraordinary one at times.

I honestly feel golfers should reconsider their aversion to playing in poor weather conditions and instead embrace the opportunities and advantages that come with it. From mental toughness and skill development to the sheer joy of a unique golfing adventure, there’s much to gain by teeing off rain or shine.

So, the next time the weather forecast looks less than perfect, don’t hesitate to grab your clubs and experience the thrill of golfing in the elements. I actually think people need to embrace golf more in the winter months when it’s dreary, staying stuck inside doesn’t help you mentally and getting out into the open fresh air will definitely help you in a positive way. Take my word I too used to shy away from winter golf however I’ve grown to love, embrace and enjoy it as much as I would on a warm sunny day. Always remember no matter how bad the weather gets there is always someone in a hospital bed would love to be in your shoes in that moment.

Padraig McGrath

PGA Golf Professional

#PadraigKnowsGolf

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If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

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