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A snow covered rural landscape in the countrysideCold conditions affect the body of the golfer in a variety of different ways - both physical and mental. Find out how to cope in cold conditions with the following tips.

When the body is cold the muscles and tendons are not as elastic and do not perform to their full capacity. In the cold the body is busy trying to keep the bodys core temperature constant by redirecting blood away from the skin and conserving energy rather than supplying the working muscles with a quality supply of warm oxygenated blood. The result of this is that the muscles do not stretch to their usual capacity and cannot produce as much force as they normally would be able to. In this situation, injuries can occur easily and the distance that the golfer can hit the ball will be reduced. As an additional note, the extremities (feet and hands) can get very cold thus distracting the golfer mentally and reducing the feel of the golf club in the hands which can have a detrimental effect on the short game.

To play your best golf in cold conditions, do the following:

Be prepared and wear the correct clothes. Lots of thin layers that can trap body heat and warm air are important to keep the body warm. These clothes need to be wind proof (and waterproof if raining) and flexible to allow full body movement.
It is a good idea to wear a hat, thick socks and have some gloves that are easy to put on and take off inbetween shots. Also, some hand warmers could be used to put in the gloves or pockets.

Warm up! Make sure that you arrive at the first tee having had at least a brisk five minute walk to get the blood pumping around the body. Intersperse the walk with small sets of stretches to loosen up the muscles but do make sure to keep moving at all times.

During the round
Keep moving, whatever you do dont take a buggy. Try to limit the amount that you stand still and keep stretching those muscles on each hole. Take a warm drink in a flask to let the body warm from the inside out.

Understand that the cold weather will mean that the golf ball is less elastic and so will not travel as far in the air, however, it may bounce and roll further than normal if the ground is frozen or frosty. Also, be aware that the muscles will not perform as well as normal and that the extra clothing you may be wearing could restrict your movements. Both factors will negatively affect the distance that you hit the golf ball. Make sure that you take an extra club for your shots, swing in a short, controlled manner and focus on striking the ball well rather than hitting it as hard as possible.

Follow these tips and you will gain an advantage over your competitors in cold weather.

Sorry Try Again! - See Explanation Below

Even using a softer ball will have little effect to the distance and feel of your golf shots in the cold. The ball will not be able to compress to its full extent denying you any advantage.

Sorry Try Again! - See Explanation Below

Many golfers would agree that this is a necessity, but the drink doesnt actually keep you warm. It tastes warm but the alcohol actually thins the blood and makes it harder for the body to keep warm. Have a hot chocolate instead and save the booze for the stories in the clubhouse.

Sorry Try Again! - See Explanation Below

This depends on where you are geographically. If you are one of those unfortunate souls in the UK then you either need to man up or choose a different sport!