Top 21 winter golf survival tips

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Winter may be upon us, but if you are well prepared for playing on those cold mornings, the high winds and showers needn't dent your enjoyment of a round of golf.

Here is part two of our guide to make this year's winter fold season you best yet...

BACK TO PART ONE

12. Take advantage of green fee offers

We've put together a list of 49 green fee offers throughout the UK for you to take advantage of this winter. Click here 

13. Allow for less break on slower greens

There will be more friction with the ball as the grass gets longer and wetter, so putts will slow quicker and not take as much break. Allow for less break, keep the ball inside the hole if you’re  in doubt and favour a shorter and more aggressive putting stroke.

14. Get clued up about layering

Mats Lundqvist, Galvin Green’s Chief Designer, explains how to do it correctly

What are the key benefits of layering?

It revolves around comfort and the ability to match the right garments to the conditions. It ensures moisture and excess heat transports away from the body to keep you dry or cool. A tight-fitting base layer also boosts stamina by compressing muscles and enhancing circulation.

How many layers should you wear?

Galvin Green’s multi-layer concept recommends three for the serious golfer – a base layer for dry comfort, warmth and extra energy; a warm/cool layer for thermal regulation; and a shell layer for outer protection from the elements.

What happens if you wear too many?

Unless you have compatible lightweight clothing designed to work together, especially in terms of breathability, too many layers will prove uncomfortable, restrict the swing and have an adverse effect on performance.

What does breathability mean?

It comes down to thermal regulation properties that keep the body at an optimum temperature whatever the weather. Our Ventil8 shirts have been developed for golfers with hi-tech textile fibres dispersing perspiration and moisture over a large area more quickly than any conventional garments. That enables the golfer to play in comfort and focus on the game.

Should the layers be different  depending on whether it’s windy or rainy, cold or warm?

That’s exactly why the multi-layer concept was devised more than 10 years ago and why we now offer eight different garment options across the range. Gore-Tex, Gore-Tex Paclite Technology and Windstopper are a good example of how many options are available in different fabrics and styles to address a variety of conditions.

15. Try a fantastic nine-hole

Think British and Irish golf is all about five-hour rounds on 18-hole courses? Think again...

The Branston Academy, Staffs
Opened in 2001, this tree-lined course provides the perfect test for golfers wanting to sharpen up their short iron and wedge play. Play it: £7.50 for nine holes Mon-Thurs, £10 for 18 holes Fri-Sun; www.branstonclub.co.uk

Southport Old Links, Lancs
This enjoyable links/parkland hybrid begins relatively sedately, before turning into a formidable test. Play it: £12.50 for nine holes Mon-Fri, £16 Sat-Sun; www.southportoldlinksgolfclub.co.uk

Melrose, Borders
This picturesque course was established way back in 1880. Play it: £15 for nine holes; www.melrosegolfcourse.co.uk

Royal Worlington & Newmarket
This Suffolk gem isn’t cheap, but then again it is probably the finest nine-hole course on planet earth. Play it: £50 for 18 holes, £60 per day; www.royalworlington.co.uk

Leeds Castle, Kent
The castle which serves as a fantastic backdrop to a par-33 course. Play it: £9.99 for nine holes Mon-Fri; £13 for nine holes Sat-Sun; www.leeds-castle.com

Cruit Island, Co Donegal
Amazing views over the Atlantic Ocean and nine of the most spectacular holes in Ireland.
Play it: €25 per day; www.cruitislandgolfclub.com

16. Try out a par-3 course

Nailcote Hall, Warwicks
Home of the British Par-3 Championship. Play it: £12.50 for 18 holes; 02476 466174 or www.nailcotehall.co.uk

Academy Course, Gleneagles
Holes measure up to 213 yards, the wind is usually strong, the bunkers are deep, the rough is thick and the greens are tricky.
From £27; www.gleneagles.com

Chulmleigh, Devon
This undulating short course is packed with surprises. The views are stunning. Play it: From £9 for 18 holes; www.chulmleighgolf.co.uk

Dukes Meadow, London
Hosted Ian Poulter, Justin Rose, Paul Lawrie and Paul McGinley this May. Only McGinley broke par... Play it: From £10.50 for nine holes; www.dukesmeadows.com

Broughton Heath, Derbyshire
A massive 3,125 yards, which according to our calculator means the average length of each hole is 172 yards. Play it: From £14 for 18; www.broughtonheathgc.co.uk

Ampfield, Hants
Trees are the main hazard on this Hampshire course, with 400 to negotiate. Play it: From £13 for 18 holes; www.ampfieldgolf.com

17. Take note of the best winter tips from the tour

Paul McGinley, former Ryder Cup Captain: "There's the temptation to swing too hard, but that leaves your hands way behind, so you're out of sync. So to get a better strike, the body and the hands have to work in unison. Match them up, so that you can swing harder."

Jamie Donaldson, European Tour winner: "Don't eat yellow snow! And use your 3-wood more, because more loft equals more carry and distance in bad weather. It's all about rhythm. Find a saying that helps you do that, like tick-tock or Ernie-Els, as you swing."

Graeme Storm, European Tour winner: “Always club up, especially when you need to play a punch shot, as you’re de-lofting the club. And with your driver concentrate on trying to swing a little smoother, especially into
the wind.”

18. Know what to do with mud on your ball

If you can't lift, clean and place, mud balls can be a real pain at this time of year. It can have a significant effect on trajectory, distance and curve – but no-one can really predict what effect that will be.

Nike's golf ball guru, Rock Ishii, said: "It all depends on how much mud is on the ball, adding distance loss on a 200-yard shot might be as much as eight yards." So as a rule of thumb:

If there's mud on top of the ball, a shot will tend to spin too much and balloon up.

If there's mud on the side, it will tend to curve in the opposite direction of
the mud.

19. Pay attention to your lie in wet rough

Claggy wet rough will grab your club more, so don't be over-ambitious with your club selections for recovery shots. When the ball's sitting down (left) a wedge is ideal; an average lie (middle) suits a 7-iron; and you can be more aggressive when the ball's sitting up (right).

20. Invest in a hat and a pair of warm mitts

Years ago, pockets kept your hands warm. Now, though, all the major manufacturers make fleece-lined winter mitts that you can easily slip on between shots.

Also don't forget we lose around 10 per cent of our body heat through our heads. So get a woolly hat. Not only will it keep that heat in, more importantly it will keep your ears warm.

21. Favour a simple chip and run shot

Wet fairways and softer and slower greens can cause fat and short chip shots. Play more chip and runs with straighter-faced clubs like a 9-iron or pitching wedge. The extra bounce will help avoid chunky contacts and the ball will release better on the green.