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How to handle tough playing conditions

Chuck EvansBy Chuck Evans,
Special Contributor
Golfing in the rain
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There's more you can do besides buying an umbrella to cope with unfavorable playing conditions (WorldGolf.com file photo)

It was evident that this year's Masters was played in difficult conditions: Weather, course conditions, and those undulating greens that Augusta National is known for.

All of these factors took a toll on the world's best players. But how can Mr/Mrs average golfer compete with less than favorable conditions?

First of all there's not much you can do about the weather, unless you decide not to play. But here are a couple of tips.

In windy and cold conditions always take more club! The harder you try to hit a shot the more the ball can "balloon" and the more any sidespin is magnified. This could be one, two, or even three clubs more than usual. In loosening up for the round pay particular attention to how far the ball is flying then hit with different clubs to find out which one gets to your normal distance.

In the cold, dress in layers, keep a hand warmer handy, and keep extra golf balls in your pocket to try and keep them as warm as possible. Warm golf balls fly farther then cold ones!

When you add rain to this the key piece advice is to make sure that your hands, golf glove, clubs and grips stay dry! Take extra towels, rain suit, and gloves to help.

Since you will have extra clothing on you won't be able to make the same length backstroke without a lot of effort. Don't worry about this, just make sure to keep your stroke comfortable with a firm foundation. Excessive movement is one of the things that kill most golfer's games.

If all else fails, wait until another day when the weather is better. There's an old story that goes like this: Two guys are sitting around the clubhouse and one asks the other, "So what do you shoot?" The other guy replies, "Usually in the low 70's -- any colder then that and I don't play."

Chuck Evans, G.S.E.D., a Golf Magazine Top 100 Teacher, is one of only 31 golf instructors worldwide designated to hold a doctorate in golf stroke engineering. He is executive director of instruction for the Medicus Golf Institute and has served as director of schools for the PGA Tour Golf Academy, and as director of instruction for the United States Golf Institute. He is also the author of "How To Build Your Golf Swing."

 
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