No one likes playing in the rain. You get soaked, the discs get slick, and footing becomes treacherous as fairways get muddy. The more it rains, the more miserable the conditions become. Almost everyone tends to play worse in the rain, and for good reason…who likes to practice playing in the rain?
So the forecast for this weekend’s tournament is for steady rain, but there’s no way you are going to miss out. Have no fear. With a little bit of preparation, and a positive attitude, there’s no reason for a little wet stuff to put a damper on your game or your day. What follows are some tips and ideas to keep you sane and competitive no matter how drenching the weather may become.
Downgrade your discs
means is if you are throwing Champion/EliteZ type plastic (the candy stuff), you
should try Proline/EliteX or DX versions of your discs, if available, or perhaps
the STAR and ESP lines from Innova and Discraft. All three lines of plastic
offer a bit more grippiness than do the smoother "candy" plastics in the rain.
This solution obviously can be a bit of an expensive one, and can be a heavy one
too if you (or the weather) can't decide whether to go with the grippy stuff or
the regular stuff in your golf bag and you end up carrying both for the round.
Extra towels can be very effective, as long as you keep them in ziplock bags. This is perhaps the best rain remedy if you have the room in your golf bag to carry them. The ziplock bags keep the towels dry even if the rest of your bag is soaking wet. And every time the towel you're using gets soaked, you can whip a fresh dry one out of the bag. If you carry enough towels that you can use a new one every 3-4 holes, it should be enough that you're never wiping your discs with a sopping wet towel (which does nothing to improve your grip).
usually go into a Wal-mart or an auto parts store and buy a bag of shop rags for
a few bucks. They're small enough to fit into a sandwich-size bag, and you can
stuff a whole bunch of them in your bag if you have the room. And if you don't
care to salvage them after use, you can toss them away in a trash can and not
have to carry them after they're wet.
the habit, during the round, of wrapping your throwing hand in a towel between
throws. As long as the towel you use for this isn't soaked through, it will keep
your hand drier and hold off the "pruny" finger effect that can mess with your
grip. It also keeps the hand warm so it doesn't swell with the excess moisture.
This trick can be effective even on days when it's not raining. It's a great way
of keeping sweat off your hands on the really hot summer days, too.
There is a
product made specifically for disc golfers called "Birdie Bags". It is
a cloth pouch (kinda like a bean bag) that is filled with sawdust. The advantage
of it over rosin is that it won't clump on your disc like normal rosin would. You can
find Birdie Bags on a lot of online DG retailer sites if you're interested. Just
do a Google search for the term to find it. Or make your own…all it would take
is an old sock and some sawdust.
Because of the effects bad weather can have on all aspects of the game, lowering your expectations and dialing back on your shots will go a long way toward shooting a good round. Don't go for the max distance and a full power drive on every tee. Slow down your motion and your run-up; just concentrate on keeping the disc in the middle of the fairway. If it ends up a few feet short of your normal distance, that's ok. Going full power and having the disc slip out will result in far worse lies than just playing safe.
Also consider "discing" up on certain shots. For example, if you're at a distance where you'd normally throw a mid-range full-power, try a driver and take a little off your shot, again concentrating on accuracy over "reaching" your target. The one or two strokes that laying up and playing safe might cost you are nothing compared to the many strokes that could pile up if you lose control of your shots and your game.
Don't let a little water slow you down
Playing in the rain is one of the toughest things to do in a tournament, mainly because most people don't play casually or practice when it rains. As with anything, by practicing it, you'll get better with it. That’s the best remedy ever invented to make playing in the rain easier. So next time you plan to head to the course and it starts sprinkling...go anyway. Rainy practice is still good practice. And when that rainy tournament comes around, it won't even faze you.