It’s been bitter this winter here in the north of England and I don’t do the cold very well.
Like most people I’ve been wearing lots of layers (2-3 t-shirts, a thick sweater and a waterproof jacket) to try and keep warm. The problem is I feel really restricted when trying to make a swing and my ball striking is definitely not as consistent.
In an effort to resolve this, I’ve experimented with different ways to keep warm without feeling like I’m in a straight jacket. Here’s what I discovered works great for me:
1. Lower Half clothing
A pair of base layer ‘skins’ (long johns for the older generation), followed by cotton trousers and waterproofs makes a big difference to heat retention – more so than the equivalent number of layers on your upper body. You don’t need the same feel and flexibility in your lower half so extra layers won’t restrict your swing, but they will keep you warm.
2. Thermal Socks
Keeping your extremities warm seems to help keep the rest of your body warm too. I’ve found the best option is to wear a pair of good thermal socks over a thin pair of cotton socks (thermal socks are designed to be worn over another pair of socks to trap the heat between the layers).
3. Mits & Hand Warmers
There’s nothing worse than a slightly mis-hit shot sending harsh vibrations through your frozen fingers. Get yourself a pair of big golf mits and place a disposable hand warmer in each, 5-10 mins before your round. The disposbale warmers (look like tea bags) last much longer than the re-usable gel variety – easily long enough to last a full round. THE single best weapon against the cold!
4. Bobble / Beanie Hat
I’ve never been one for headwear of any kind, but donning a hat this winter has made such a difference. Many of you will wear a warm hat already but if you don’t you’re losing a lot of unnecessary heat!
5. Top Half Clothing
When you wear extra layers on your legs, as well as a hat, heated gloves and thermal socks, you can keep upper body layers to a minimum. For me, a long sleeved base layer (i.e. Skins), followed by a polo t-shirt, followed by a loose-fitting sweater is ample even in freezing conditons.