COLD WEATHER WARMERS
by Susan Fornoff
It’s no longer golf season in Colorado, but for many of us on the Front Range and Western Slope it is the best time to play. The crowds have gone indoors and the rough has died off. Rounds move along quickly because no one wants to wait in the cold for distances to be measured and greens to be read. There’s that extra distance we all get from the frozen fairways. And I even like the way all those extra clothes restrict my swing!
Of course, it can be cold. But don’t let that stop you. Just don your thermals and follow these five strategies.
It’s all about the shoes. The ground is going to be cold. It may even have snow and ice in spots. So leave your lightweight canvas golf shoes in their bags and wear your sturdiest leather or synthetic shoes, over wool socks that will keep your feet not only warm but dry.
Treat yourself to one winter jacket made for golf. Vests sometimes suffice, but there will be days when you need strong protection from wind and maybe even snow. A jacket made for winter golf will have pockets in the right places, a warm but not thick windproof lining, coverage up to your chin and water repellency. This will not come cheap but should last years.
Go high-tech on your hands. The golf shops still sell those little packets that may or may not heat up to warm your hands for the round, but we have gotten our money’s worth from rechargeable, lithium-battery powered handwarmers that fit neatly in our pockets. Just remember to charge them occasionally in the summer so that the battery doesn’t die.
Get a gaiter. The pandemic energized neck gaiter sales because in the early days folks could use them as masks. That proved not so useful in preventing COVID, but a golf gaiter with a warm lining will cover any gap under your chin – and you can pull it up over your nose between shots. Unlike a turtleneck, it’s easy to put away when the sun starts warming things up.
Keep moving. This is the time of year to walk, if you’re at all able. The turf needs a rest from golf cart traffic, and it is hard to keep warm when you’re riding into a stiff breeze, stopping to take a shot, and then sitting back down on the cold seat to go to the next shot. If you are unable to walk 18 holes, cover the seat and consider investing in a portable heater made for golfers that fits into the cup holder. You can find one for $50 or $60 but will have to refill them with propane every round or so.
Veteran journalist Susan Fornoff has written about golf for publications including the San Francisco Chronicle, ColoradoBiz magazine and her own GottaGoGolf.com. She became a CGA member when she moved from Oakland, CA, to Littleton in 2016, and ghost-writes as “Molly McMulligan,” the CGA’s on-course consultant on golf for fun. Email her at email@example.com.
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