If you love golf as much as I do, you want the season to last as long as humanly possible. I’m not ashamed to say I’ve played golf on Christmas Day in New York state, and I’ve played countless rounds in 40 degree weather, or worse. When you start playing golf in these freezing cold rounds, it’s smart to be prepared and buy some cold weather golf gear; having the right gear will save you from being miserable out there while you’re trying to go low on your round.
So what cold weather golf gear do you need exactly? Be prepared to layer up, and have specific golf clothes that you can go to for these kinds of rounds. As a native New Yorker, I’m an expert on staying warm on the golf course- read our full guide below on the best cold weather golf gear you can find!
Winter Golf Tips: How to be Prepared for Your Round
Golf in colder conditions takes a little more prep than your mid-August round. Here are a few useful tips before you head out for a winter round!
- Warm up properly. In colder conditions, your body is naturally more tense and stiff, making an injury a bit more likely. Make sure to spend some time loosening up your muscles by stretching, taking a few practice swings and getting your muscles fully warmed up.
- Layer up. Nothing is worse than being unprepared and freezing cold on the golf course. I’d rather have too many layers and take one off; make sure you wear multiple layers for maximum comfort.
- Opt to walk and carry. When it’s wet and cold out, most golf courses don’t allow carts of any kind, so be prepared to walk. Walking and carrying will keep your muscles warmed up, and make the cold a little more bearable!
- Take advantage of Winter Rules. Winter rules allow you to pick, clean and place your golf ball when you’re in the fairway. Take advantage of this, and give yourself the best shot you can to the green.
- Club up. In the cold weather, the ball isn’t going to travel as far, and that can throw off your game a bit if you’re not prepared. It’s usually a safe bet to club up when you’re playing in weather below 50-60 degrees.
- Bring an extra golf towel. When you’re out on the course in winter conditions, you will get muddier than usual. Your ball will be dirty on every hole, so having an extra clean towel can come in handy.
- Adjust your driver loft. If you’ve got an adjustable driver, you should increase your loft in the winter months. Cold conditions usually mean your ball isn’t going to roll much once it lands, so maximum carry is critical. If you don’t have adjustable loft, tee it up higher, and make sure you catch the ball on the upswing.
Best Cold Weather Golf Gear in 2020: Staying Warm on the Course
For the Base Layer: Under Armour Men’s ColdGear Armour Compression Mock Long Sleeve
First thing is first when you’re playing golf in the winter months; you need that thermal base layer to keep yourself warm out there. When you’re playing in 40 degree weather, the wind and conditions can chill you to the bone, which is why having the right layering is absolutely critical to be comfortable on the course.
Under Armour’s Cold Gear Compression Shirts are not a new thing, but they are extremely effective and are perfect for a base layer for cold weather golf. These compression shirts have dual layer fabric for extra warmth, and are made with a 4-way stretch so that you can swing freely with this style shirt on. This base layer is designed to feel like a second skin, and frankly it isn’t just for golf; having one of these comes in handy on the ski slopes, during cold weather exercise, any many other situations.
We love this base layer, and it’s been trusted by countless athletes as their go to cold weather golf shirt.
Want an Alternative? Check out the Nike Men’s Legend Long Sleeve Tee
We know compression shirts aren’t for everyone, and some people feel uncomfortable with them on, which makes sense. The Nike Legends Long Sleeve isn’t a compression shirt, but definitely does the trick as a good base layer to wear to the golf course. This style shirt can still do the trick, but if you’re not going to use a compression shirt you need to tuck this shirt in for warmth!
Best Cold Weather Golf Gloves: FootJoy StaSoft Winter Golf Gloves, Pair
If you’re going to play golf in cold weather, winter golf gloves are non negotiable. Your hands will freeze with a standard golf glove, and the game suddenly becomes a lot harder if you can’t even feel the golf club you’re holding.
FootJoy dominates the golf glove market, and their standard StaSoft golf glove is the most popular glove on tour. The StaSof golf glove is a premium glove made for performance and durability, and those same qualities translate over to the pair StaSof Winter golf gloves. These are one of the more expensive options you can find for cold weather golf gloves, but the premium quality makes a big difference on a cold round.
These gloves combine thermal protection with soft leather for an exceptional grip and feel; they’re meant to stay warm without feeling like you’re wearing a bulky pair of gloves. The gloves feature fleece on the outside of the grip, with CabrettaSof leather on the palm and inner grip. Equipped with an All Climate Grip and moisture control, these are the best golf gloves for winter golf we could find.
Want a Cheaper Option? Try the Callaway Golf Men’s Cold Weather Golf Gloves
While we love the Winter StaSof golf gloves, we know they’re at the high end of the market. Callaway produces a pair of winter golf gloves that’s just about half the price of the Titleist version, and they still do well to keep your hands warm while you play. These gloves have a textured digitized synthetic leather palm for additional gripping abilities in wet conditions. Equipped with a microfiber outer shell and a fleece lined interior, these gloves help keep you warm and keep moisture from soaking through your gloves. The only true downside is that they’re made from synthetic leather and in turn they’re a bit cheaper quality.
These are a strong option for anyone who doesn’t want to pay top dollar for cold weather golf gloves. If you’re on a budget, these are definitely a safe bet.
Winter Golf Pants Pick: Under Armour ColdGear Infrared Showdown Golf Pants
In general, golf pants are usually do a pretty good job of protecting you from the elements. But, if you’re playing in some seriously cold conditions, a pair like the ColdGear Infrared Showdown golf pants go a lot further on keeping you warm so you can play your best. Under Armour’s Cold Gear is infamous for being some of the best cold weather exercise gear on the market, and these pants are no exception. The Cold Gear Infrared lining inside of these pants provides a soft, thermo-conductive inner coating that helps retain body heat. The golf pants are also moisture wicking, and are made of a stretchy fabric providing plenty of mobility and comfort while you’re out on the course.
You’ll need a pair of winterized golf pants if you play in ~40 degree weather or so. It makes a huge difference, and really helps retain warmth out there. I love these pants and keep a pair in my drawer for late season golf, and can comfortably say these are exceptional winter golf pants.
Bring Softer Golf Balls: Callaway SuperSoft Golf Balls
Even if you play a high performance golf ball like a Pro V1, you’re going to want a softer golf ball for winter golf. The ball just doesn’t go as far when the temperature drops, and it can feel like you’re hitting a rock if you play a higher compression ball. Sure, you’re going to lose a bit of control on the greens, but cold weather golf often brings soften conditions that allow the ball to drop and stop anyway. To get the most distance in the cold, we recommend the Callaway SuperSoft golf balls. These have an ultra low compression of 38, which will help you squeeze every yard of distance out of your swing. Winterized golf balls are definitely a must have for a winter round, so throw a box of these in your bag for your fall and spring rounds.
Winter Golf Hat Pick: Callaway Golf 2020 Classic Beanie
Look, you know what you’re going to get when you buy a winter hat or a beanie. They all do the trick, and I’m not going to try to convince you this is a way superior winter golf hat. That said, we love the Callaway Classic Beanie; it looks great, and does the job on the course. We prefer a golf branded winter golf hat at the very least when we play. This hat is made with knitted acrylic yarn, and is lined with fleece on the inside to keep your ears warm.
Basic, gets the job done, and should be a staple in your golf bag come fall and spring.
Golf Hand Warmers Picks: Titleist Golf Hand Warmer
Hand warmers are probably the most important thing on this entire list; warm hands can get you through a round. It becomes much harder to swing a golf club if your hands feel like blocks of ice, and makes the game much less enjoyable. Enter: the golf hand warmer. Titleist produces a golf hand warmer that is basically a fleece lined pouch that you stuff your hands into. You can strap this pouch onto your waist so that you can shield your hands in between shots as you walk or ride the course. While the Titleist warmer it self does a decent job, if you want the best possible warmth you’ll want to stick some Hot Hands Hand Warmers in there to crank up the heat. The Titleist pouch features an exterior pocket to hold the warmers.
Hand warmth is non-negotiable in cold weather golf if you want to put up a decent score. The Titleist hand warming pouch is conveniently made with the golfer in mind, and should be a staple in your winter golf set up.
Add on for Titleist Hand Warmer: Hot Hands Hand Warmers
I won’t go into crazy detail here, but if you’ve ever done any sort of winter activity, you’ve probably come across these bad boys. The Hot Hands hand warmers are life savers in cold weather, and make for the perfect complimentary product to the Titleist Hand Warmer. You shake them up, stick them in the pouch, and they heat up quickly and last for hours on end. This is a no brainer, definite buy. I keep 2 packs of these in my golf bag for emergency use at all times in the cold months. If you live in a seasonal location, just get them.
Cold Weather Golf Pullover Pick: Nike New Therma Repel TOP Half Zip OLC Golf Pullover
Earlier we mentioned how critical it is to layer up in the cold; a golf pullover is a critical layer to keep your upper body warm. More often than not, this will be your absolute top layer of clothing, so you want a well insulated quarter zip. We like the Nike New Therma Repel pullover for that exact reason! Nike deploys their brush Nike Therma fabric with a water repellent exterior to keep you warm and dry while you’re out playing. This one fits well and does a great job keeping you warm, but does tend to run a little small in sizing.
We found this to be mid range in price when compared to other cold weather golf pullovers. The value vs quality on this pullover made this a no brainer for our top pick in this category.
Cold Weather Golf Gear FAQ
What do I need to wear to play golf in cold weather?
Having a good time playing golf in cold weather is about staying warm and layering up.
You’ll need a very warm base layer- you’ll want thicker socks, a thermal base layer shirt, and warm pants. We also recommend wearing a traditional winter hat to keep your head warmer against the wind. A little warmth hack is to use hand warmers, the same ones you use to ski to keep your hands from going numb, or a heated pouch to stuff your hands into between shots. Winter golf gloves also make a huge difference compared to traditional golf gloves; the lining is meant to keep you much warmer, and does the job well. Lastly, make sure you have a comfortable and warm golf pullover or nonrestrictive golf jacket.
Is cold weather bad for your golf clubs?
The short answer is no; playing golf in the cold is not going to adversely affect your golf clubs in any way. They won’t get damaged, and you definitely don’t need any special cold weather golf clubs- that would be outrageous! Extensive exposure to the extreme cold isn’t great for your clubs (let’s say, below 30 degrees), so in the winter we recommend storing your clubs inside rather than outside. The biggest impact the cold weather has on your golf clubs is the distance they can produce for you. Every 10 degrees you’ll see a 2-3 yard loss in distance, so you should plan to club up on your approaches to the green.
Can you golf in 40 degree weather?
You can absolutely play golf in 40 degree weather, and frankly if you’re passionate enough about the game you can play in even colder conditions. Being able to play well in that type of cold weather boils down to being prepared with the right cold weather golf gear and layering effectively to stay warm during your whole round. Playing golf in 40 degree weather can extend your golf season dramatically, so by all means go for it!
What Are Winter Rules in Golf?
Winter rules allow golfers to lift, clean and place their golf ball in the fairway, within one club length, no closer to the hole. These rules can go into effect anytime during the year, but are most common in the winter months. Golf courses will put winter rules into effect when the ground is wet or muddy, and likely to cover your ball in mud or dirt when you land in the fairway. Winter rules help make the golf course more fair.
When you have the right gear, the golf season can last a very long time. I like to start my season as early as possible- mid march ideally in Upstate New York, and often times it runs straight through Thanksgiving! For the fringe season months, it’s very important to layer up, and bring your best cold weather golf gear to the course. Make sure you keep a warm base layer, warm golf pants, hand warmers, a winter golf hat and any other layers you think are critical. Having these items makes cold weather golf a walk in the park (or on the course, we should say).