Are Golf Courses Open When It Rains?
There’s nothing more disappointing for an avid golfer than discovering that it’s going to rain on game day.
While it can be frustrating, sometimes you’ll still be able to play golf. Understanding how golf courses tend to close due to adverse weather can better help you plan for rainy days.
This guide will cover whether golf courses close when it rains, the potential dangers of playing in inclement weather, and how to dress appropriately for rainy conditions.
Do Golf Courses Close When It Rains?
It depends. If it’s light rain without lightning or thunder, golf courses often remain open. However, heavy rain paired with lightning may cause golf courses to shut down to protect the safety of the golfers. If the course is flooded with water and the greens are too soft, there’s a good chance it will remain closed to prevent further damage.
Furthermore, large amounts of precipitation can saturate the soil to the point that the course is no longer in a playable condition. However, this greatly depends on the topography, soil type, and the type of golf course drainage system.
Golf Courses Tend to Close in Stages Due To Adverse Weather
Golf courses will slowly close down their facility based on pending weather reports. Here are the stages that courses typically go through when shutting down due to inclement weather:
- The golf course bans vehicle use and only permits players to walk. This is designed to prevent damage to the softer greens.
- The staff will provide safety recommendations to club members and continuously provide updates based on the weather.
- If the weather becomes hazardous, the course will shut down completely.
- When lightning is present, staff will advise golfers to stay off the green until the lightning stops.
However, it’s not uncommon for courses to stay open even in the most brutal conditions. Each course has different rules, so it’s essential to check with the facility rules ahead of time.
What Are the Dangers of Playing Golf in the Rain?
Golfing in the rain does pose several safety risks worth mentioning. It’s important to be aware of these dangers and to protect yourself with the right water-resistant gear and clothing if you decide to golf in the rain.
Rain causes the greens to become slippery and mushy. As a result, it’s easy to lose traction and footing when attempting to swing. This is how most golfers tend to lose power in their swings when it rains.
Lack of Grip
While the tackiness of a standard golf grip can withstand light rain, it’s not made to play in torrential downpours. However, rain inevitably causes hands, which offer poor traction. Keeping your hands dry gives you a better chance of gripping your clubs and swinging the golf club correctly.
Lightning isn’t anything to scoff at. During a thunderstorm, lightning typically strikes at the highest point. Given that golf courses are wide open, humans are the first thing it’ll hit. Furthermore, your bag is filled with potential lightning rods - especially metal clubs.
How Should I Dress for Golf in the Rain?
Golfing in light rain isn’t ideal. However, sometimes, it’s an unfortunate reality. You might be in the middle of a round and heavy rainfall breaks down without warning. In these instances, it’s always best to be prepared with rain gear.
Below is a list of essentials the next time you golf in the rain:
- Rain gloves: For a more secure grip, rain gloves help to prevent your hands from slipping. This ensures you’re applying the correct pressure and swinging the club optimally.
- Rain jacket: A rain jacket keeps you dry and protects you from outdoor elements.
- Water-resistant pants: Pants should be breathable and offer plenty of stretch for unrestricted movement.
- Water-resistant shoes: The right golf shoes provide group and traction while allowing you to walk the course in all weather conditions comfortably.
- Golf hat: Hats can keep the rain out of your eyes, especially for players who wear glasses when playing.
- Golf umbrella: An umbrella is a must-have for any golfer looking to play in the rain. It protects you from the wind and rain and can be used to shelter your clubs.
Frequently Asked Questions
Below you'll find some great FAQs on how golf courses are impacted by rain.
What Happens When It Rains on Golf Course?
Rain makes playing golf much more complicated - especially regarding grip maintenance, ball travel, and wet grass.
Do Golf Courses Give Refunds for Rain?
Most golf courses won’t refund you when it rains, as it's your responsibility to check the weather in advance. Golf courses are no longer liable if a player decides to take the risk and pay for a round despite incoming weather.
Do Golf Courses Close During Thunderstorms?
Yes, golf courses typically close during thunderstorms to protect players’ safety. Between metal rods and open fields, thunderstorms leave little room for cover.
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