What to Wear Golfing in Cold Weather, 3 Main Items

The golf clothes and golf shoes you wear in the winter or during a tournament could really have an impact on your performance. Although golf is typically a warm-weather sport – for avid golfers, golfing in cold weather comes with the territory and nothing can keep them from playing a round of golf.

Some courses or tournaments apply “winter rules” during cold, wet months, generally permitting players free relief from the treacherous ground caused by the weather conditions.

The U.K. Senior Golf Association’s Rules of Golf even encourages tournament committees to stipulate winter rules when necessary “either to protect the course or to promote the fair and pleasant play.” Common sense dictates that golfers wear warm but flexible golf clothing in the winter that won’t hamper their swings.

The clothing manufacturers in the golfing industry have been swift to adapt and take advantage of emerging fabric technologies with a wide range of garments specific to golfers being made available. The ideal mix will allow the keen golfer to wear a golf shirt, golf gloves and winter mitts and still perform to your maximum irrespective of the external conditions.

Golfing in Cold Weather – Tips

If you play golf in the winter, then it goes without saying that you don’t just enjoy the game, you really love the game. Let’s be honest, playing golf in the winter is not always the most glamorous. Unless you are playing in the warmer climate provided on Portuguese golf greens, then golfing in the winter can be cold, damp and with the soft and mucky ground. But, you might be thinking, what golf tips are there for clothes to wear on golf courses where it might be windy or just blisteringly cold?

golfing in cold weather

Your clothes when out on a golf course can not only make you stand out from the crowd but also help up your game by keeping you alert, warm and able to withstand the cold weather. The days of wearing golf clothes that hamper you when playing are long gone.

The key to successfully remaining warm is to use a process widely known as layering. Mixing and combining different clothes for different conditions to ensure that you keep your hands warm, regulate your temperature and protect you from the wind, rain or sun.

Golf Clothing Layering Guide

Three layers are often considered to be the maximum number to be worn and these are made up of a base layer, a mid-layer for either warm or cold conditions and an outer external layer.

Golf Clothing Layer 1 – The ‘Base Layer’

Base layers are the items that are worn in direct contact with the skin. A primary feature in these clothing items is moisture management as it helps to quickly remove moisture from the skin. This is done in a way which natural fibres such as cotton and polyester are unable to achieve on their own due to high absorbency rates.

Ideally, the base layer should fit the shape of the body as closely as possible to allow it to work to its optimum in cold weather conditions. One of the main pluses to wearing a decent base layer is that it generates enough body heat allowing golfers to use their golf club more freely and perform better playing winter golf.

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Base layers made specifically for playing golf have been made to allow it warm and support the muscle groups often relied on during the golf swing. Muscles that include the upper back and shoulders helping to minimise the risk of muscular tears or strains.

With the advancement in technology, some base layers now come complete with Compression Technology that allows for a more snug fit. These are said to have been developed to improve blood circulation, aid body posture and boost stamina by stimulating oxygen levels in the muscles.

The good thing is that in warmer weather conditions, the base layer should wick sweat and moisture away from the skin to the outside of the garment. It should then evaporate quickly allowing a cooling effect on the body. Galvin Green is a brand well known in golfing circles for designing cold weather golf clothing that does a good job of keeping you warm.

Golf Clothing Layer 2 – The ‘Mid Layer’

The mid layer worn over the base layer is one of the best items for winter golf that you can get. It has a key role in regulating the body’s temperature subject to the prevalent weather conditions.

In cold weather, the mid-layer provides an extra level of thermal insulation to help keep the body warm and comfortable. It does this by ensuring body heat remains beneath the layers and does not escape in the cold. Mid-layers is cold weather golf gear that is constructed using soft and stretchy materials that provide a snug fit that in no way restricts the golf swing.

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In warmer weather conditions, the mid layer evolves into a primary layer allowing maximum airflow and moisture removal helping to keep the body cool and dry. At times like this, the mid-layer can take the place of the base layer and be worn directly next to the skin.

These golf clothing items are usually designed to be light, airy, soft and comfortable when bending over to pick up golf balls. If you get some decent ones, then they should come with built-in anti-bacterial properties which help to keep the golf shirt fresh.

Golf Clothing Layer 3 – The ‘Outer Layer’

The Outer Layer is golf thermal wear that is constructed to provide golfers with maximum protection against rain, wind and snow.

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It is important when choosing your outer layer that your choice is ideal for the predicted weather conditions you expect to face. It should also be constructed to the standard of having a breathable moisture-wicking ability, this will allow the triple-layer golf clothing system to work efficiently.

If you are thinking of what to wear to golf tournaments in cold weather then you should at the very least get an outer layer. The outer layer is often made to have waterproof, showerproof or windproof abilities. It is your outer protective layer when out on the green ensuring you remain warm, dry and able to perform at your peak capacity.

How to Dress for Golf in Cold Weather

Depending on where you plan on playing golf, the weather will determine how much layering you require. Unlike smart use of your central heating, nothing is set in stone and you are able to mix and match your golf clothes according to your particular needs. This allows you to combine any number of suitable golf clothing layers subject to the existing weather conditions.

Below are some of the most obvious weather scenarios you would often face when out on a golf course and the layering options available that you can opt for:

Cold and Rainy

  • Full body compression base layer
  • Warm thermally insulated mid layer
  • Goretex outer layer (including trousers and hat)

Cold and Windy

  • Full body compression base layer
  • Warm thermally insulated mid layer
  • Windproof outer layer and trousers

Warm and Rainy

  • A lightweight skintight base layer
  • Breathable golf shirt
  • Light outer shell and trousers if required

Clothing layers when playing golf can be combined in any number of ways. The options are endless and choosing what works best for you will help ensure you to play to your maximum potential no matter the weather conditions.