Don't Put Your Clubs Away: 8 Tips for Great Autumn Golf
The nights are getting shorter, and the days a little chillier. OK, so summer may be over, but that doesn't mean your golf has to suffer. There's something quite unique about playing amidst the blazing colours of such a beautiful time of year. Get ready for Autumn - golf's best-kept secret.
In many parts of Europe and America, the weather is perfect for golf in Autumn/Fall. Summer can be a little too hot at times, so the cooler temperatures at this time of year can be more in tune with the needs of the average golfer.
You'll also get your rounds in a lot more quickly, with many fair-weather golfers storing their clubs away until next Spring, and the views you'll get on some of your local tracks will be spectacular.
So, don't put those golf clubs in the garage just yet. Here's our collection of tips to help you play your best golf in Autumn.
One of the unfortunate realities of Autumn golf is the changeability of the conditions. When you're on the course, the weather can switch between a heavy rain shower one minute and warm, sunny spells the next. Layering up before you head out is a great way to prepare for all eventualities.
No matter what the weatherman says, don't forget to pack your waterproofs. At this time of the year, persistent light rain can quickly graduate to an incessant downpour. And it'll naturally happen when you're on the course's furthest point from the clubhouse.
Stretch it out
Stretching before your round is best advised in any weather, but it's particularly important when it's a little cooler. The colder temperatures can impact your golf game in several ways. It will take you longer to loosen up and swing your best, and - slightly more worryingly - you're at greater risk of an injury because it will take longer for those muscles to warm up.
Take the time to warm your body before teeing off, and it will help you hit better golf shots, shoot lower scores and lessen the likelihood of any severe muscle injury that could lead to a long lay-off.
Walk (if possible) to stay loose and warm
Walking the golf course in Autumn will get your heart pumping and keep you loose enough to hit your next shot. It's possible that if you're hunkered down in a golf cart, not only might you be damaging the golf course, you could be ruining your chances of a decent score.
Walking is also a fundamental exercise, so it's good for your game AND your overall health. Opportunities for exercise in Autumn/Winter may be a little harder to come by, so walking your round is a great way to blow away the cobwebs - both mental and physical.
Take more club
Cold air is denser and more compact than warm air, increasing the resistance your golf ball faces.
If you're finding that your clubs are losing 5, 10, or 15 yards of total distance, you haven't suddenly lost swing speed. It's likely the cooler temperature is having this effect.
Throw in much softer conditions than we've all faced throughout one of the hottest summers on record, and certainly you'll need more club.
Continuing to play through the latter months of the year will mean that your average scores will start to rise.
When you're playing in less-than-perfect conditions - all other things remaining equal - you'll post higher numbers. Don't sweat it. Treat this period as a time to relax, enjoy the vibrant autumnal colours, and minimise your expectations.
If you can revert your focus away from your game in between shots, you'll arrive at your ball calmer than if you curse yourself up and down for missing another fairway.
Play more short rounds
Shorter days, long working hours, and general family commitments all blend together to reduce the number of 18-hole rounds you will manage in Autumn. Don't let that mix completely keep you from the course, though.
Playing frequent shorter rounds - perhaps nine holes - will ensure you're getting the time to keep your game in shape while working on improving your areas of weakness at the range.
Hit the 19th hole & review your round on Hole19
After you finish up on the final green and exchange the usual pleasantries with your playing partners, head for the clubhouse's warm, welcoming embrace. Next step: review your round on your trusty Hole19 app.
How many Stableford points did you manage? How was your performance off the tee? How many putts did you take? All this, and more, can be found in your Round Summary.
Have one eye on next season
Autumn is an excellent time of the year to start focusing on the stuff you struggled with during the season.
Again, delve into the Performance section of the app where your recent round summaries will remind you of those areas of weakness. Now you can hit your local driving range with a specific plan of attack and areas for of your game to work on.
And with fewer people on the golf course in Autumn, you could throw a few balls down, try some different shots and generally experiment a bit more.
You might even be planning to play in a winter league, so it's even more pressing that you begin working on your game. Whether you are or not, it will be springtime again before we know it - so there's no time like the present to start grinding.