If you love golf, you should love rain. It creates open tee times on crowded courses, and it keeps slowpokes and choppers at home. You have to be prepared, though. I’ve played hundreds of rounds in lousy weather, in half a dozen countries. Here’s what I’ve learned. — David Owen
1. The most important piece of equipment is rain gloves. They don’t keep your hands dry, and they don’t “work better the wetter they get.” But they absolutely prevent your clubs from slipping, even in a deluge.
2. If you wear rain gloves, you don’t need to keep your grips dry, and that means you don’t need a towel. Leave it in the boot. It’s going to be soaked and useless. Leave your headcovers, too.
3. Rain gloves are great for cleaning glasses: Each finger is like a mini chamois.
4. Umbrellas can be more trouble than they’re worth, especially if it’s windy.
5. Breathability is a key term in the rainsuit world, but the second law of thermodynamics will prevent the vapour your body generates from migrating out on muggy days. So if I want to cool off, I just unzip.
6. In warm weather, polyester or nylon shorts are a lot more comfortable than rain pants. Your skin is 100 per cent waterproof, so use it!
7. Wool socks keep your feet warm, but wear thin synthetic socks under them to help stay (sort of) dry.
8. Rainsuits also are useful on blustery days, too.
9. Wear rainpants as pants – only adding long johns if it’s cold. Avoid pants that have “reach-through” slits instead of pockets; those slits are like open portholes in a storm.
10. I’ve improved my rainsuit by adding suspenders to keep them from sliding down.
11. Leave the baseball cap at home – it’ll drip water on your ball when you putt. Go with a nylon rain hat. I like the Seattle Sombrero, from Outdoor Research. Zero Restriction and Galvin Green make hats for golf.
12. Your raingear is useless in a thunderstorm. Don’t be a hero. Head straight in.