do golf courses close when it rains

Do Golf Courses Close When it Rains?

If you see rain predicted in your weather app on the same day as your upcoming golfing excursion, you might panic. Do golf courses close when it rains, or is the game still on?

So, do golf courses close when it rains? Most of the time, golf courses will remain open while it’s raining, especially light rain. If the rain is heavy and paired with lightning, the golf course will likely close to protect the safety of the golfers. Courses may also close if the green is too soft to play on to prevent further damage.

If you’ve got a golfing trip planned at a time where it’s supposed to rain, you need to know whether or not the course is going to remain open. Well, this article is here to share whether or not you can expect closures, plus some other great tips for playing golf in the rain.

Do Golf Courses Close When it Rains?

The answer depends on two factors: the course and the amount of rain. With light rain, you can expect almost all golf courses to remain open. This isn’t the case with a heavier downpour, though, especially if it is predicted to last longer than a few hours.

Let’s take a closer look at why a golf course would close when it rains:

  • There is extensive rainfall that exceeds a few hours
  • Heavy downpour is paired with lightning
  • The green is too soft to play on safely
  • The golf course is not equipped to handle downpours

Keep in mind that some golf courses will handle the impact of rainfall better than others. For example, a golf course in a climate with heavy rainfall may be equipped with a state-of-the-art drainage system that isn’t found in drier zones.

Golf Courses Tend to Close in Stages

If the golf course is open at the beginning of the rainfall, it doesn’t mean it will remain open for the remainder of the day.

Most golf courses will close their courses in stages rather than blocking off the entire day. The stages will go something like this:

  • The golf course implements “walking only” to avoid damage to softer greens from vehicle use.
  • Staff continuously monitors the weather and makes safety recommendations for golfers. 
  • If the weather becomes too bad for golfers or the green, they will close down the golf course. 
  • If lightning is present, the golf course will recommend golfers stay off the green until at least thirty minutes from the last lightning strike.

Dangers of Playing Golf in the Rain

Just because the golf course isn’t shut down doesn’t mean there aren’t safety risks present while playing golf in the rain. Some of the potential dangers of playing golf in the rain include:

  • Slipping. Rain will cause the green to be slippery and somewhat mushy, resulting in slipping while attempting to swing.
  • Grip issues. Rain will also cause your grip to have less traction. While performing a swing, you may accidentally lose the club – which could end up hitting someone.
  • Lightning. Being struck by lightning is an obvious danger of playing golf in the rain, so be sure that the rainfall is not heavy and there is no chance of lightning for the day.

How to Play Golf in the Rain

If the rainfall is light and there is no chance of lightning, the golf course should remain open, and it will be safe to play.

That doesn’t mean that your gameplay won’t change, though. Playing golf in the rain will take a bit of extra technique and planning. 

You will also need some extra supplies to golf in the rain. Don’t even try to golf in the rain without these few items:

  • Waterproof clothing and shoes
  • Golf umbrella
  • Gloves
  • Towels
  • Waterproof golf bag

When you have all of your necessary supplies in order, consider these few tips for golfing in the rain:

  • Keep it simple. When it’s raining, it is no time for trick shots. Try to play as conservatively as possible to ensure your ball stays on the green. Otherwise, it might be a tricky and messy nightmare.
  • Go slow. Not only should you tread lightly on slippery grounds, but your swing should be slowed down, too. Don’t worry about not hitting far enough. It will get there. Be patient.
  • Be firm with chips and putts. When it comes to chipping and putting, you’re going to want to be a bit more forceful and firm to make sure the ball gets to where it needs to be.
  • Hit lower than usual. Hitting the ball lower than you usually would ensure that it gets the distance it needs without any unfortunate mishaps, such as slinging mud.

FAQs

Is it OK to play golf in the rain?

Yes, as long as it is safe. Keep an eye on weather conditions and avoid playing if there is heavy downpour or lightning.

What happens when it rains on golf course?

The biggest issue is that the greens become slower, slippery, and mushy, making it more challenging to play. Sand also becomes wet like mud, so ending up with a sand shot can be a tricky situation.

Can golf bags get wet?

Not all golf bags can get wet. I recommend buying a waterproof golf bag, especially if you live in a wet climate. You can also use golf umbrellas to keep you and your equipment dry.

Conclusion

Most golf courses will remain open while it rains, especially if the rainfall is light. However, if there are potential safety hazards to the players, such as lightning, then the golf course will close down.

The course will also shut down if the greens are too soft as walking and equipment can further damage the greens.