Junior Golf: Planning Ahead-Weather

imageIn today’s Wednesday Waggle, we will look at how to properly plan ahead for weather and specifically for changes in weather. Since golf is an outdoor sport, the weather is always a major factor in pre-tournament preparation.

Every serious junior golfer will play in so many different weather conditions, it will make Mom and Dad’s head spin. Tournament play continues when the players safety is assured, the course is playable and there is adequate visibility. What this means is that you must have your daughter’s clothing and accessories available for several different weather scenarios at each event. And you’ll know what to bring when you check the weather in advance and have an idea of what the realities are on the course for the whole day.

Here’s a classic example. This will happen at least 1x every year, perhaps more. Your daughter tees off at 9:00 am and it is 60-degrees, partly cloudy with light winds out of the south. A pretty nice day really. On about hole #6 clouds start rolling in and the wind dies and then starts to come out of the north. Well, here in Texas we know what this means: find something warm and waterproof in a hurry! A front is hitting, a cold front or norther as we call them. Winds will likely increase to the 2-3 club level and some showers may be in store. So the temperature drops 25-degrees in 30 minutes and those that aren’t prepared are miserable, at least more miserable than those who were prepared because now everyone is dealing with strong winds, much cooler weather and perhaps some rain.

So how do you prepare for this? One way is to be totally unaware and unprepared and thus completely miserable once and then you will pack half of your house when you head to the next tournament. The best prep starts with checking the weather at least several days before the event and then keeping a close eye on the weather until you walk out the door. There are a million weather sites and apps and I am sort of a weather app junkie, but my go to iPad app is The Weather Channel. They have plenty of accurate, up-to-date weather. And today we’re talking about dramatic temperature changes which are fall, winter, and spring events, at least down here in Texas.

Your first consideration is for your daughter. To keep bag weight down put these “must have” items in her bag before she tees off: a beanie or insulated band to cover her ears, a cap/visor to keep rain out of her eyes, a waterproof windbreaker and 2 large hand-warmer packs. You may consider adding an umbrella but they are useless in high wind and frankly, most kids can’t stand them and don’t want the extra baggage and weight. Waterproof pants are also a great item if there is room in the bag. We have seen time and time again that many boys and girls will leave their rain pants on long after they have removed their rain jacket. Part of this is to free up their swing and part is that pants can be a pain to take off, but the legs seem to be very comfortable with rain pants left on. They don’t add any weight really. Remember: in most tournaments you cannot give your daughter anything once she tees off.image

Now for the spectators, Dad, and Mom, et al: if you are in a cart, simply put all the above items for each of you, plus a blanket or 2 in the cart and you are set. Leave them in the car and you’ll find yourself driving full speed to the car to grab your gear once the front hits. You may want some gloves or mittens since you are not moving your body and really not getting your blood flowing, so your extremities may get cold. And for you Moms who love to wear flip flops on the golf course: you better have some real shoes somewhere because your feet are going to get cold. And some good socks, not cotton. Walking spectators need basically the same items as the junior golfers.

See you on #1 tee, well prepared… Sam

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