With the summer months ahead and the hot weather rolling in, I wanted to go over my tips to dealing with the heat based on my years playing in the hot Florida sun.
Everybody mentions this because it’s true. But, when you become dehydrated your alertness levels drop and you start to lose some hand-eye coordination in the process. From my experience, I would recommend not over-doing the sports drinks (i.e. Gatorade). But, you can’t ignore them either because they have the valuable electrolytes. Smart Water has electrolytes as well, but water doesn’t dissolve in the body as well as Gatorade. The issue with too much Gatorade is that it has quite a bit of sodium in it.
So, my suggestion is if you know it’s going to be hot out, drink plenty of water THE DAY BEFORE you play. Then the day of your round, I would drink 1 bottle of a sports drink before I would play and that would be my only sports drink (unless you’re having hydration issues). Then I would drink water for the rest of the day.
One thing you don’t want to do is over-hydrate (aka waterlog) yourself. The problem with over-hydration is that the symptoms are very similar to being dehydrated (cramping, low blood pressure, fatigue). I would try to drink some water once every 3 holes or so.
Getting into the shade usually makes things roughly 20 degrees cooler. For those walking, it’s best to get a push cart umbrella like this one from Izzo Golf.
Again, it’s obvious but some people don’t do it enough. Anytime you can stand in the shade, even if for only 30 seconds, it will help you keep your energy levels up.
Most people think of towels in golf when it comes to rainy days, but actually they are your best friend in the heat. I like to carry at least these 3 towels in the extreme heat:
A. Towel to clean my clubs off
B. Towel to clean my face
C. Towel soaked in ice water
I prefer to use Microfiber towels for the clubs and my face. Club Glove makes a great microfiber towel for cleaning your clubs.
This towel has an opening where you can stick your irons and so you won’t lose the towel from the fastener breaking. This towel is super absorbent, but also a bit abrasive. So that’s why I don’t use it on my face, but I will use it to clean my clubs, to absorb the sweat off my grips and my hands.
For the towel to clean my face, I prefer a softer Microfiber towel like this one.
For the towel soaked in ice water, this is used simply to help cool off. You can use any old towel. If you’re riding in a cart, see if they have a cooler available. And if you really want to get crazy, put some salt in the ice water of the cooler to help reduce the temperature even more. The towel soaked in cold ice water is extremely helpful in keeping your body temperature down in the extreme heat. I tend to find the best places to put the ice cold towel is on the neck, ears and the back of the knees.
Some people ask me what do I prefer, Gorilla Grip or the gripping lotion?
Personally, I prefer Gorilla Grip and it’s not even close. The gripping lotion takes longer to work and doesn’t stick as well. Gorilla Grip works instantaneously and the tackiness will stay for about a minute or so. Once the tackiness is gone, the hands will be dry.
Like towels, golf gloves are your friends in the heat. The problem is that you can end up purchasing a lot of them during the course of heat wave. A lot of people like Rain Grips. I do, too. From my experience they do last longer than typical cabretta leather gloves. However, they will still get old rather quickly when it’s hot out. The issue is the sweat and oils for the hands can’t be cleaned out and that makes them slick over time.
I prefer to grab 3 gloves and mark them 1, 2 and 3. I will play with glove #1 on holes 1, 4, 7, 10, 13 and 16. I play with glove #2 on holes 2, 5, 8, 11, 14 and 17. Then I use glove #3 on holes 3, 6, 9, 12, 15 and 18.
From there, I try to get them on a Glove extender (picture below):
I also try to get them in room temperature.
Heat and sweat = slickness.
I personally believe you could get more life if you hand them near some type of humidifier, but I don’t own one, so I don't know for sure.
I find that if you use these tips, you can pretty much use any type of golf grip and still be able to hold onto it pretty well. The leather perforated grips like GripMaster USA and Best Grips have I find to be the best with the sweat. Iomics are very good (although your likely to wear the grip down where you place the left thumb on the grip). The chord grips are pretty good as well.
But, if you want to get more time from your grips and keep them tacky, I recommend cleaning them afterwards to get the oils and sweat from your hands out. Again, sweat + heat = slickness. So keep them in a room temperature climate as soon as you can.
I simply clean my grips right as I’m cleaning my clubs. I take a bucket and fill it with dish soap water and grab my scrub brush, clean the heads and then clean the grips. It’s important to wipe the grips clean as well. If you do that, you can even play with Golf Pride Tour Wraps for a long time and have them keep their tackiness.
This is nothing new here...wear light colors and light clothing. The bigger issue is that your clothes are likely to have sweat stains. For hats, I do NOT recommend cleaning them by putting them in the dishwasher of clothes washer. The heat is just too much for hats and it will destroy the hat (visor). Instead, I just fill a sink with warm water and dish soap. I use a scrub brush (like the ones used for golf club cleaning) and use the soft bristle side. Get some Oxi-Clean and scrub out the serious dirt stains, gently. Then I use some sweat stain remover and scrub that where the sweat stains are located. I then let the hat(s) soak in the sink filled with soap water for about 4 hours. I then remove the hat(s) and place them flat on a towel.
Hope these ideas help you with playing in the summer heat.