In the United States, over 26 million people play golf. It’s a huge sport with a massive following. To fans, pro players are akin to rock stars, with players raking in big money from winnings and sponsorships. The highest paid players in the world, Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods, each accumulated over $50 million during 2015. It’s no wonder that players take the sport, and their training, serious.
Just like any outdoor sport, though, players are at the mercy of the weather. Most golfers play on weekends, so imagine looking forward to a Saturday tee off only to meet a soggy, windy, or cold day. The weather has the potential to ruin an otherwise great weekend.
The next time this happens to you, here are five ways to salvage a rainy golf weekend.
1. Golf in the Rain
Hey, it’s just a little water, right? With the right gear, even a waterlogged game can be enjoyable. With an umbrella, a well-fitting rain poncho, and a positive attitude, you might be able to get those 18 holes in.
Don’t forget to bring an extra pair of socks!
2. Digital Golf
Try playing vicariously through a digital avatar. With Xboxes, Playstations, and gaming PCs, we are in the golden age of interactive digital media. Countless golf videogames recreate courses from around the world in such amazing detail that it’s hard to distinguish the game from actual footage.
The in-game physics are so good, you might even pick up something that you can use in your own real-life game. Of course, there is a drawback—it’s difficult to work on your actual swing while playing a video game.
3. Swing training
There are plenty of devices and methods for you to work on your swing without needing to go outside. Hang out in your basement—or garage, if you have low ceilings—and work out that swing with things like weighted clubs, bands, or a myriad of other training tools.
Just make sure to keep that follow-through away from any windows.
4. Golf Simulators
Combine swing training with video games and you get a golf simulator. If you’ve never seen one, they’re essentially a cubicle facing a large screen with enough space for you to swing a golf club. The power and direction that you hit a small, tethered ball is translated onto the screen and you can see how far it would go.
Golf simulators are fun, and they allow you to work on your actual swing technique with real-time feedback. Golf simulators are expensive, though, so unless you’re Tiger Woods, you likely won’t be able to get one for your basement. If you’re lucky, there is likely to be a golf simulator centre nearby that you can use.
5. Golfing in a Dome
If it’s raining outside and you want to play, why not play golf indoors? Indoor golf is great, although it may be difficult to find a facility with enough space for it.
Golf domes are the perfect solution. Inflatable air structures can create massive open spaces that are ideal for indoor golf training centres. Most golf domes have a combination of driving ranges, short game and putting areas, and some even have golf simulators as well. The Metro Golf Dome is an amazing facility that brings year-round golf to Toronto.
The next time the weather washes out your game, don’t despair, there are plenty of options to still have a day of golf. The best solution is to find an indoor golf facility and golf domes or bubbles are the perfect structures to hone your golf skills.