With Winter on its way, it’s a great time to look at the best golf clothing to keep you swinging when the temperature drops.
For golfers in the UK, Ireland and Northern Europe teeing it up in Winter means cold, windy weather, wet muddy courses and temperatures below 10 degrees.
Lots of people play all year round, but to enjoy Winter golf, you’ve got to dress properly and have the right protection to handle the elements.
The past two decades have seen big changes in fabric technology and golf clothing. The days of wearing a long-sleeved cotton roll neck with a lambswool jumper are gone.
Clothing is lighter, more breathable, stretches several ways and is designed for athletic movement.
This Winter Golf Gear guide looks at technical clothing, outerwear, accessories and equipment to keep you comfortable on course.
Layer up to stay warm
The best way to be comfortable for winter golf is to layer your clothing correctly.
A proper balance of layers keeps you warm but also allows your skin to breathe, temperature to stay consistent and for sweat to be wicked away so that you aren’t left feeling clammy and cold from your own perspiration.
The modern trend is to wear a compression base layer that keeps you warm, cosy and help stop your muscles getting tired.
Some people find a base layer too tight fitting and restrictive or don’t have the figure for it.
Those golfers will find a simple Merino wool roll neck or cotton roll neck to be an ideal base layer. They are looser but crucially still breathable alternatives to compression tops.
The mid-layer can be a simple polo shirt or long sleeved polo for added warmth.
Make sure it is breathable, natural fibres like cotton are good for this, whilst more technical shirts are moisture wicking and make good mid layers. Then wear a light mid-layer fleece on top or a wool sweater.
Golf courses in Winter are usually wet and muddy.
Just walking the course can leave trousers caked in mud.
Put away the white slacks or lighter chinos and opt for a solid dark trouser (black or grey) which won’t show as much dirt in the clubhouse afterwards. Click here to check out men’s golf trousers from leading retailer Function 18.
Some brands, including Under Armour and Stromberg, make specialist Winter trouser blends that are thicker and more insulated to provide warmth and protection against wind and colder conditions.
If you don’t mind wearing waterproofs then your rain jacket can act as an ideal outer layer.
The three layers should work well together to provide breathability, warmth and comfort.
Invest in great golf waterproofs
The single most important piece of kit you can own for winter golf is a good set of waterproofs.
Golf waterproofs have changed dramatically in the last 20 years.
When fabrics like GoreTex entered the market, companies that specialised in producing cutting edge clothing for mountaineers and skiers started to use these special fabric technologies in golf waterproofs.
The main things you are looking for in a waterproof are a guarantee of water resistance and a comfortable fit that gives you freedom to swing the club without feeling restricted.
Scottish company ProQuip is one of the most recognised outerwear brands because they focus on making ultra-lightweight, quiet and playable rain gear.
A handy tip for any winter day, mild or freezing, is to wear your waterproof trousers to avoid getting mud and divots splashed all over your slacks. It’ll also cut down on your washing
If it’s a slightly warmer winter day but still muddy then wear a pair of shorts underneath your waterproof trousers. It’s actually quite comfy.
Look after the tools of your trade
The most important winter golf gear you can have in the bag is a good pair of mittens and a beanie hat. Your hands are the tools of the trade and if you want to play well you must keep them warm and dry.
This makes sure that you have the feel you need for chipping, putting and pitching. If it is a really cold day you can also buy hand warmers, small pads that react with oxygen to produce heat and slip nicely inside your gloves.
A good hat is essential as the head is the place where we lose the majority of our body heat in cold temperatures.
They don’t cost the earth but they keep you comfortable on cold days.
Invest in a Rain Glove and Bucket Hat
If you can buy a pair of rain gloves and a bucket hat that are water repellent even better because nothing gets you colder than rain when it’s worked its way through your outer layers onto your skin and the grips of your clubs.
Rain gloves are an amazing invention and actually grip the club better the wetter they get. The last thing you want to do is grip the club tighter just to stop it from slipping out of your hands, so buy a good quality pair of rain gloves for winter golf.
Lots of companies make bucket hats which are super handy in wet weather and cause the rain to run off and away from your neckline and onto the ground.
Even with good waterproofs rain can get into your collar or pockets and slowly seep into your under layers.
Sacrifice style for sensible shoes and socks
Ok, so spikeless golf shoes look and feel great in the summer but are they going to cut it in the winter months, through mud, frost, rain, sleet and maybe even snow.
The answer is not really.
It’s always a great idea to have a pair of winter golf shoes, ideally hard wearing, waterproof and black with a good set of soft spikes on the bottom.
There’s nothing worse than getting wet feet after one or two holes and having to walk on them for the next three hours. It’s uncomfortable but can also lead to long term problems caused by build of up bacteria when your feet are wet.
The new trend in spikeless golf shoes or hybrid golf shoes also means that many of the shoes on the market don’t provide the grip and stability you need for winter golf.
There is absolutely no point in throwing on a beautiful pair of white shoes or super light trainer style shoes to play in mucky conditions. Be sensible, go for durability and function over fashion for Winter Golf.
Invest in some good Merino Wool socks. They will keep your feet warm and dry and they are breathable which allows air to escape and stops your feet becoming too sweaty.
Tee up a Yellow Ball
Lastly, it’s not a bad idea to use a yellow ball during the winter months. With so many leaves on the ground and the rough grass left uncut it’s often easier to find a yellow ball than the traditional white ones.