- Water bottle, sunscreen and cap: While most courses have coolers at designated tee boxes, the little bit of water you get from a tiny cup isn’t nearly enough. Fill a large water bottle (20 oz.) before your round, then refill it as needed while playing. Always apply strong sunscreen (at least 25 SPF) prior to teeing off, and again at the turn if the sun is especially bright. Finally, a wide-brimmed cap will keep harsh sunlight off your face and out of your eyes.
- Tacky grips: Worn-down grips are useless when your hands get a little moist. In fact, they can actually harm your swing by forcing you to hold the club tighter. Regular golfers should replace their grips at least once a year. When they’re relatively new, a good soap-and-water scrubbing will restore much of the original tack.
- At least two gloves: If you’ve got just one glove, chances are it will be damp – if not soaked through – by the time you reach the back nine. Alternate gloves every few holes to keep them both dry. It’s a good idea to remove your glove between shots as well.
- At least two absorbent towels: One for your face and arms, another for your hands and grips. Again, it’s crucial to keep those contact points dry.
- Lightweight, moisture-wicking clothes: Sweat-absorbing shirts and pants are not only uncomfortable, they may restrict your freedom of motion. Golf apparel made from “technical fabric” is a great investment. Wear light colors (white, beige, yellow), which reflect sunlight rather than drawing it in.
- Golf-specific sunglasses: For eye health, comfort and to reduce fatigue caused by strain on the eyes. Some manufacturers even claim their shades can improve one’s green-reading acumen.
While hot weather is generally preferable to cold for playing golf, extreme heat introduces several variables that can hurt your game.
Sweaty palms, for instance, can cause the club to slip in your hands. It’s also easy to get dehydrated and suffer from fatigue and a loss of focus. You may even find that your shots travel a little farther than normal when temperatures are high.
Use this checklist to prepare for golf in the summer sun: