When we reached the eighth hole at Barnsley Gardens—a downhill 210 yard par 3—the wind began blowing the rain sideways, the drops pelting my face like frozen pebbles. The temperature hovered somewhere in the mid 40s.
My confidence, already shaken from playing the first seven holes at three over, sunk as the trees swayed back and forth in the gusts.
The hole played dead into the wind. Trying to factor in the heavy breeze, the cold, and the downhill slope, I decided to play a 3 iron—a punch 3 iron that I hoped would cut through the wind.
Placing the ball in the back of my stance, I attempted to clip the back of the ball and send it darting on a low trajectory toward the green. Didn’t happen.
Let’s just say it was one of the worst shots I’ve made since returning to golf. I’ve been known to catch a shot heavy once or twice in my day, but this shot was horrid. Mud splattered on my face and clumped on the clubface. After traveling about 40 yards, the ball settled some 165 yards away, leaving me a downhill 8 iron into the par 3.
Wind whipping, rain blowing sideways, I proceeded to double bogey the 8th after a nice little 3 iron, 8 iron, chip shot, and two putt. Miserable hole.
You see, I’m not a bad weather golfer. I have massive amounts of respect for the guys that go out to The Open and shoot below par. Amazing.
It’s not that I won’t play in the elements; it’s just that I don’t play well in the elements. Cold, rain, wind. I pretty much suck at bad weather golf.
I played with my in-laws at “The General” course at Barnsley Gardens this past Saturday. When we teed off at 9 a.m., the temperature was probably in the low 40s. But the wind…oh, the wind.
In golf, we don’t judge wind in MPH, we judge it in clubs. The wind at Barnsley was probably a two or three club wind, depending on the hole. Maybe not terrible on a summer day, but when the temperature is in the low 40s, you feel it.
There are a few shots in golf that I loathe more than a long iron in windy, cold, rainy conditions. I simply don’t practice this shot enough to make respectable contact. Outside of a 50 yard greenside bunker shot, I can’t think of a shot that makes me more nervous.
I don’t feel like I make any shoulder or hip rotation in cold weather, which usually results with some style of a weak fade, and only worsens with a long iron. But I would have loved a weak fade on the 8th hole. There’s nothing more humiliating than wiping mud splotches off your face after hitting a fat shot.
But, when it comes to bad weather golf, I’m used to crazy stuff. No exceptions on Saturday.
So do you have any bad weather stories?