When the weather turns chilly and the snow begins to fly, some disc golfers prefer to spend the season indoors. However, a good number of us would rather bundle up and brave the cooler temperatures so we can keep playing throughout the year.
For people who want to play during winter, this article will give you a few tips on how to play disc golf in the cold and snow. Let’s see what we need to do to survive winter disc golf!
Getting yourself prepared for winter play is very important. If you are miserable or numb, you won’t likely have fun. Nor are you likely to keep playing in the winter.
Believe it or not, you can prepare yourself and play in some pretty extreme conditions, and still have fun! The biggest factor in determining the level of fun you have is your comfort.
Here are some tips to make sure you are as comfortable as possible.
One thing I’ve seen a thousand times while playing disc golf in the cold and snow is that after people have been playing for a while, they start to get very warm. Throwing discs and walking around the course doesn’t burn a ton of energy, but it will warm you up. If you show up to play wearing a tee shirt underneath a thick warm coat, you will likely be comfortable when you first start playing.
However, when you start playing and get too warm, you don’t have much choice but to deal with it. If you leave your coat on, you’ll be too warm. If you take your coat off, you’ll be too cold. The trick is to wear more layers of clothes that aren’t very thick.
The people who show up with a tee shirt, underneath some thermal underwear, underneath a long-sleeve shirt, underneath a hoodie will still be comfortable when they show up. The difference is that when they warm up, they can simply remove one layer. If they are still too warm, off comes another layer. It’s much easier for a person with multiple layers to reach a point of comfort than a person with one big layer.
In disc golf we need to use the leverage of our body to get the disc to fly properly. That makes our bodies crucial and our hands indispensable in throwing. If they aren’t warm and dry enough to throw, our entire game goes downhill. These tips will keep your hands in good throwing condition.
Use a towel if the disc can get wet or snow covered. Keeping your hand free of snow and moisture will improve your grip, and more importantly will keep your hands warmer by not having to deal with the cold snow.
Gloves are pretty much a necessity in the cold. Keep your off-hand gloved, then use that hand to grab your bag, push your cart, or mark your lie. Your throwing hand can either be gloved or in your pocket to stay warm.
Disc Golf Hand Warmer
Since you will have to expose your throwing hand to the cold, having a hand warmer in your pocket will give you instant heat to warm your hand after a throw.
One word of caution about using hand warmers: having your warm hand in your pocket can cause a little moisture to form on your hand, possibly affecting your grip. Test your grip before you throw or putt to see if you need a grip enhancer to get your hands the proper amount of grip for you.
One of the big challenges of winter disc golf is keeping your feet warm and dry. Playing disc golf in boots might keep your feet warmer, but it also changes your run-up and x-step. Playing in running shoes might give you better footwork, but your toes might go numb. You have to decide whether you would have colder feet but better feet movement, or warmer feet at the expense of different timing.
Playing in the snow also creates the issue of keeping snow out of your shoes/boots. Gaiters are a great way to keep the snow out of your footwear and off of your shoes. That will ensure that your feet are at least dry.
Towels – Wiping the snow and rain off your disc before you put it in your bag will help prevent water from building up in your bag. Even if it is too cold for the snow to melt in your bag, the accumulated snow will melt in your car or house after the round.
Ribbon – Taping a long piece of ribbon to your disc will help you find your disc if it gets buried in the snow. Sometimes even a long piece of ribbon will get buried, since the disc can travel under the snow. Even so, the ribbon makes the disc easier to find if you do have to search around a bit.
Spare discs – The disc golf club that I belong to plays a lot of winter golf. We have been for many years. Although most of the time we go home with all of our discs, we occasionally lose one in the snow. Even rarer, once every blue moon we’ll hit a solid object and crack a disc. With those things in mind, you may want to leave any valuable or sentimental discs behind when playing in winter. Particularly if you’re playing in the snow.
Playing disc golf in the winter is definitely a different experience than in the summer. But, many of the same things that make it great in summer also hold true when the temps dip. We’re still playing with our buddies. We’re still get outside and getting some exercise. And were playing the sport we love!
On surprising benefit to playing in the winter is that we will be better in the spring! There won’t be any rust to shake off. If you haven’t playing in the winter, give it a shot!