Friday, July 2, 2010

Some Tips For Playing in the Heat

With Summer here and a lot of the nation going through a heatwave, I figured I would discuss some of the tips I know of when it comes to playing in the heat. I do have pretty good experience in this because for the last 14 years I've lived in Myrtle Beach, SC...Atlanta, GA and now in Orlando, FL. I will say it's a whole new ball game in Orlando.

First, we know that we have to stay hydrated. This is certainly not something to laugh at as a friend of mine unfortuantely passed away at the age of 18 due to heat stroke. I suffered heat stroke myself once and it was an awful experience. Afterward I had been in an Air Conditioned room for hours and still felt like I could barely breathe.

Water is of the utmost importance to hydrate yourself, but you may want to bring a sports drink with you because Gatorade and Powerade have electrolytes which help hydrate the body. However, they do contain sodium. Gatorade contains less sodium than Powerade. I wouldn't suggest drinking a lot of Powerade/Gatorade in favor of water though. I would suggest constant water drinking and then maybe one Gatorade a round.

One thing to also note that it is possible to over-hydrate and get 'waterlogged.' This usually happens with long distance runners who go nuts over hydrating and completely over-do it. The danger of over-hydrating is that the the symptoms are almost exactly the same as being dehydrated, so people start to drink even more despite being already over-hydrated.

After that, playing in heat is much like playing in the rain as you should:

1. Have plenty of golf gloves
2. Have plenty of towels
3. Dress for the Occasion
4. Know when not to play

The problem we have in the heat is that the sweat gets on our hands. I would first suggest finding some No Sweat Sports Lotion at a local Wal-Mart.

I would mostly use it on the non-glove hand. For the glove hand, I carry 3 gloves and alternate gloves on each hole. So, I will use a glove on the first hole, then put it away until the fourth hole while I use one glove for the second hole and one glove for the third hole. Then rinse and repeat.

With towels, I personally like to bring 3 towels with me. One towel will be just for cleaning my clubs. The other towel will be for getting the sweat off my face and hands. And the last towel will be ran thru ice cold water and used to cool me down thru the round.

One thing you may want to try is occasionally putting the cold towel under the back of your knees. I know it sounds goofy, but it works.

Obviously, we want to dress for the occasion. The new 'climacool' golf shirts are really good.

And while we may like to walk, be smart to take a cart if you have to. Or at least use a trolley.



Anonymous said...

I sometimes pop a couple of ibuprofen before the round. I find it helps especially with the mid-late round headache. I also mix up an electrolyte cocktail (10 oz water + 3 scoops of an electrolyte/energy powder I get from a nutritonal supplement company.

Anonymous said...

I forgot to mention something about your 3rd towel idea. I completely soak the towel, put it in a ziplock bag, zip it (making sure not to have to much air in the bag), and store it in an cooler with ice).

Oh and don't forget your sunblock!

Unknown said...

I think playing golf in heat can be very difficult. as player preparing yourself for playing in heat conditions is important.
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