Beat the heat
5 ways to keep cool on the golf course
Southern California is bracing for a hot weekend, but you don’t have to let the heat affect your golf game or keep you away from the course.
When temperatures soar toward the 100-degree mark and higher, there are steps you can take to ensure you make it through your round without melting like the Wicked Witch of the West.
To prevent you from withering away like the Wizard of Oz villain, we’ve put together five ways you can beat the heat this weekend – or any other dog day of summer for that matter.
So read on before you get caught baking in the sunlight, on one of the hottest days of the year, on the hole furthest away from the clubhouse, and with no beverage cart in sight:
Keep cool during your warmup
The last thing in the world you want to do when it’s a 100 degrees outside is start an exercise routine in the hot sun right before you tee off. Save the two-hour Richard Simmons workout for another time. Instead, stretch out before arriving at the course to help limit your exposure to the sun, says Tom Burley, PGA Head Golf Professional at Indian Wells Golf Resort, where temperatures are expected to reach 117 degrees this weekend. When warming up on the range, he adds, hit the number of balls you feel satisfied with, but don’t spend extra time working on your game. In other words, conserve your energy for the round you are about to play.
Protect yourself from the sun
You don’t have to shy away from the sun like a vampire, but you should take some precautions, such as wearing sun-protective clothing, a hat, and sunglasses to protect your eyes. Golfers should also apply at least one ounce of water-resistant, broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher to all exposed areas 30 minutes prior to hitting the course, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation. The foundation also recommends a sport formula that is sweat resistant and won’t run into your eyes.
If you’re idea of hydrating on the course involves consistently filling up a shot glass, then you’ll be lucky to make it to the turn, let alone an entire 18 holes. The experts say you should drink lots of water. In fact, the optimal amount of water to drink per day is half your body weight in ounces, according to Instructor Robert Yang of the Titleist Performance Institute in Oceanside. So if you weigh 200 pounds, you should drink 100 ounces of water per day, and 40-50 percent of it should be consumed during an 18-hole round of golf, Yang says, as optimal hydration can improve your golf game mentally and physically. And fluids such as coffee, tea, juices, soda, milk, sports drinks and flavored water don’t count, so start guzzling the H2O.
Make adjustments for course conditions
Remember, things change on the golf course when the weather heats up. When it’s hot and dry, most courses play firmer and faster, according to Burley. The ball jumps off the club face more and, combined with hard surface conditions, you can probably expect more distance. Some greens will also be firmer than usual, so you will want to account for any bounces the ball might take before coming to a stop after a full swing or pitch shot, Burley recommends.
You need to eat in order to maintain your concentration and energy levels, but the PGA recommends that you eat something light so you don’t feel heavy and lethargic after consuming a big meal, especially being out in the scorching sun for five hours.
If you still need to find a cool way to beat the heat on the golf course, you can always play golf at twilight, find a course with a lot of trees and shade, or play a track close to the ocean.
On that note, here are 9 Southern California courses to play on a hot day:
1. Monarch Beach Golf Resort
2. Pelican Hill Golf Club
3. Trump National Golf Club
4. Torrey Pines Golf Course
5. San Clemente Municipal
6. Los Verdes Golf Course
7. Coronado Golf Course
8. Mission Bay Golf Course
9. Meadowlark Golf Course
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Greetings, fellow golfers, and welcome to SoCal Golf Insider! We are Rob Lyon and Eric Marson and we've been reporting and writing about the game throughout the region since 1995. Here, we will provide you with the latest news, features, reviews and more on all things golf in Southern California. Let’s tee it up!
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