Growing up in Endicott, NY, I learned quickly how to play in the fall. Our season was short and fall golf was a great time to play before the snow started to accumulate. Also, that is when our high school golf season would be played. Here are a couple tips to help you as the fall starts to roll in.
1. Take an extra club -When the weather starts to cool down it is important to adjust with it. You might have been killing the ball in July when it was 100 degrees but the balls just won’t fly as far in cooler temps. Drop down a club and make a smooth swing. You’ll be happy you did!
2. Work on your lag putting – Normally in the south the fall is when the greens are at their best…but that also means they are quick too. Lag putts that you could hit hard in the spring and summer and it would stop at the hole are non-existent in the fall. The ball will roll out a little more this time of year so stroke your putts accordingly and you can tap it in for par!
3. Keep an eye on it – One of the things that pains me is when someone hits an okay shot but doesn’t watch where it lands. It could have taken a bad bounce and moved into the rough. With all the leaves falling in autumn it is extremely vital to watch the ball until it lands and pick a spot to go find it. You’ll speed up play and also keep penalty shots off your scorecard!
4. Ryder Cup-it! – Normally when you play with your weekend group you probably just play some stroke play or a variation of that. Fall is Ryder Cup time and with that try a new game with your buddies. Learn Match Play and how fun and exciting it can be. Use your handicaps to level out the participants and play either individual or teams. Better yet, get a group from your club and make your own Ryder Cup event. It is a great change from dreery old stroke play.
5. Be prepared – Bring a light jacket or umbrella to the course. Check the weather forecast beforehand and know what to expect. Don’t get caught mid-round freezing your tail off because you forgot your windbreaker. Put it in your golf bag and forget about it. Also, especially in late fall, always have a knit cap in your bag to cover your ears on those cold mornings. Making triple bogey isn’t fun…..try making triple bogey with frost bite….it’s brutal!
Use some or all of these helpful hints as the fall season rolls into play and just have fun and enjoy the cooler temps. It’s a great time of year to play golf and one you need to relish!