Do you live in cold weather like New York? Then, you understand how hard it is to play golf with soggy lies and ice-numbed hands.
Luckily, you don’t have to let the cold weather stop you from playing your favorite game. Instead, you can tee it up at the best winter golf destinations in the US. These golf destinations will offer you a blend of pure golf, relaxation, and unforgettable dining experiences.
If you’re willing to travel to escape the cold, then we suggest you stop by one of these warm and beautiful destinations.
Top Winter Golf Destinations In the US
During winter, Florida boasts excellent weather, and you never have to worry about the snow. Orlando may be known for its theme parks, but it has some great golf courses too. While there, make sure to stop by Championship Course at Bay Hill Club & Lodge. Reunion Resort and Golf Club is a must-visit because it features three 18-hole courses designed by Watson, Nicklaus, and Palmer. Other premium golf destinations worth checking out in Orlando include Orange County National and Magnolia Course.
If you want to get away from the cold weather to play golf, there’s no better place than the Scottsdale area in Arizona. Scottsdale is also home to many premier courses with breathtaking views like the Saguaro Course and Cholla Course at We-ko-Pa Golf Club. These courses are among the top seven public golf courses in Arizona.
Other top public courses in the region include Quintero in Peoria and Monument Course, and Pinnacle Course at Troon North Golf Club.
Palm Springs, California
California is the envy of the rest of the US during winter. The weather never gets oppressively cold, which allows room for year-round outdoor activities like playing golf. Palm Springs is perhaps the most popular city in California, featuring renowned restaurants, massive shopping centers, and countless festivals.
This golf-rich locale has the top courses in California, like the PGA West Stadium Course, where PGA golf tournaments get held every year. Connected to the PGA West Stadium is La Quinta Resort and Club, which offers world-class accommodation. While in the area, consider a trip to The Classic Club for a more challenging gaming experience.
Summer is not the only time to visit Naples in Florida. While it gets slightly colder in the area during winter, the temperature does change that much during the summers and spring months. What’s even better, it doesn’t snow or rain as much in Naples, meaning visitors can enjoy the outdoors all year-round. That’s why the area has made it to our list of the top golf destinations in the US.
Hilton Head, South Carolina
Hilton Head is considered a mecca for golf by avid golfers. This is because it has conducive weather for golfing. There’s no shortage of excellent public and private clubs in this area. And because Hilton Head is not that busy in winter, you’ll have a prime time playing golf at one of the many Hilton head’s distinctive courses.
Carlsbad is a coastal town in California famous for its warm weather, white sandy beaches, and many activities and events. But more importantly, it’s a great golfing destination during winter. Golfing in this area is more than just a game; it’s an experience.
Many world-class courses with stunning designs offer accommodations, golf classes with top golf pros, and plenty of resorts and spas to unwind.
The most sought out resort in Carlsbad is the Omni La Costa Resort & Spa. The Golf Magazine ranked it as one of the “Top 100 Golf Resorts in North America”. At the property, there are 36 holes at two challenging courses: The Legend Course and Champions Course.
Winter is a fantastic time to visit Hawaii because the temperatures rarely drop below 75°F. As a result, the area’s climate is ideal for most people year-round. If you find yourself in Hawaii, make an effort to stop by the beautifully designed courses at Lahaina.
Play a memorable round of golf at Kapalua Golf and Tennis, which features two best courses worldwide: The Bay Course and Plantation Course.
Over 20 professional tournaments have been held in The Bay Course. On the other hand, The Plantation Course hosts the PGA TOUR’s Sentry Tournament of Championships. It has held the mantle for the best course in Hawaii for the last 13 years. So, enjoy your next round of winter golf in Hawaii.
Playing Golf During Winter
Most golfers call it quits when winter sets in. But, little do they know, golfing during winter is super fun. The clear and quiet mornings, open golf course, and fabulous deals make the experience worth it. Furthermore, playing golf during winter will help you improve your game. Here are a few winter golf hacks to get more out of your game.
Ensure You Have the Right Attire
In winter, it’s crucial to keep your hands warm and dry, especially if you’re golfing. Purchase a pair of hand warmers or wet-weather gloves to keep things under control when playing in the rain.
You need an efficient thin base layer that keeps your body temperature at optimum levels and will not limit your golf swing. Also, wear a pair of thermal winter socks to maintain your body temperature at normal levels. Finally, add in a hoodie to keep your neck warm and blood flowing throughout your body.
Additionally, get some waterproof shoes and water-wicking socks. Yes! The ground might seem frozen after your first tee, but chances are it might not stay that way for long. As you play, the floor will get soggy and cold. That’s something you don’t want for your feet.
Carry The Right Equipment
The right equipment can help you overcome the unpredictability of playing golf during winter. Below is a list of gear you might need:
- Winter wheels: These wheels will pick up less mud, increasing navigation across the course. Also, they will not cause any significant damage to the ground.
- High Visibility Yellow Ball: Although serious golfers don’t like yellow balls, they’re much easier to spot than a white ball.
- Umbrella: You need a good size umbrella to protect you and your bag from rain, snow, or sleet while playing.
- Add loft to your driver: Your ball won’t roll in marshy and soft ground. Adding a loft to your driver results in more carry and more distance.
Warm Golf Ball Flies
A warm golf ball flies further compared to a cold one. A golf ball will carry two yards shorter every time the temperature drops by ten degrees. Therefore, it makes sense to keep your golf balls warm every time you’re out in the cold. You can do this by keeping the balls in your pocket.
Short Game Practice
In winter, courses play longer because of the chilly weather, frost-covered balls, and soggy grounds. In summer, your Par 4s might require only a flicked wedge and fair drive. But when winter kicks in, you might end up pulling out a 3-wood for your second shot and still come up short.
Chances are, you might find yourself scrambling a lot more with your pars. If you want to keep securing good scores, it’s wise to get your short game and wedge play on point.
Use a Golf Simulator
The dark evenings might not seem like the best time to play golf, but golf simulators can help improve your game. The putting of indoor simulators might be a bit off, but they’re fantastic for driving and iron shots.
Take More Club
When winter kicks in, the ball doesn’t go far and doesn’t roll on the green, so you might require more club.
Make The Most of the Driving Range
In the winter months, stop by the driving range frequently and develop a workout routine. Putting green will also help.
Understand Winter Rules
Preferred lies is a standard golf winter rule that allows golfers to lift, clean, and place their balls, especially when there’s too much mud on the balls.
But it’s essential to understand the specifics of the rule before partaking in any golf event or tournament.
After cleaning your ball, you’re allowed to move it within six inches, a full club length or a scorecard length. If you move past the allowable distance, you will be subjected to a two-stroke penalty.
After a rainy day, chances are you might run into some casual water on the course. If this is the case, and the water is visible under the ball or your leg when you take your normal stance, then you can drop the ball within one club length to the closest point of relief.
Embedded Ball Rule
This winter rule applies if the ball gets plugged into a closely mown turf, and it’s hard to find. If this happens, you’re entitled to a free relief in the rough.
It’s wise to ditch the golf cart and walk along the course if you want to stay warm during winter. Furthermore, many courses have cart paths only. As you can see, walking can get you to your ball faster than driving.
Make the Most of Winter Greens
While temporary green might have a more negligible effect on your putting, they can help in other areas of your game. For example, winter greens are smaller, so they place more focus on distance control.
That marks the end of our guide. Enjoy seamless travels to these top golf destinations. But before heading out, ensure you’ve packed all the equipment you require, and they’re in tip-top shape. Also, dress for the weather.