How to Golf and Stay Safe in the Rain

By Samantha-Rae Tuthill, Staff Writer
5/22/2014 8:26:27 AM

Golfing in the rain may provide some unpleasant, but not impossible, conditions. For those who truly can't wait to get out on the course, there are ways to stay safe and keep your game going in the event of rain.

Rain can make for challenging game play. With the ground wet, the ball won't roll as far, and the way it rolls can be affected as well. Make sure you take some time to take a few practice strokes before you start, so you can see the differences in how your ball moves and gauge how to adjust your game. Rainy conditions can also affect visibility, so make sure you are really aware of where the sand traps and water hazards are located so you don't end up stuck.

Using rain gear, like umbrellas and water-proof coats, will help keep you more comfortable so you can continue to play. Keep extra towels somewhere they won't get wet, and make sure your clubs are well-covered when they aren't in use.

Flickr user Lens Envy shows the right way to keep your gear covered when golfing in the rain.

It's important to not get too distracted by the weather to the point where you let it distract you from the rest of your game. Don't try to rush through playing, take your time and remember your fundamentals. It's also important to move slowly and carefully, as slick fairways can cause you to slip and fall.

The most important feature when it comes to golfing in the rain is being aware of lightning. As soon as you start to hear thunder, you are at risk of a lightning strike.

"If you're on the course and hear thunder or see lightning, head to the clubhouse," said Meteorologist Andy Mussoline.

He stressed the importance of seeking safe, indoor shelter. Do not stand under a tree and wait for the storm to pass. Trees are often targeted by lightning, and standing beneath one that gets struck could have devastating consequences.

Many golf courses now have sirens and other warning systems in place to let golfers know when weather conditions have the potential for danger. If you hear such a warning, it's important that you not try to play through, and to not even try and finish the hole you are on. When a warning is issued immediately pack up and get inside.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association did a study on lightning strikes and concluded that 5 percent of all lightning-related deaths and injuries occur on the golf course. No matter how well your game is going, it's not worth risking your life, so know when to go inside.