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The effect of temperature on your golf shots
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Nickesquire
The effect of temperature on your golf shots
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Friday October 30, 2020 10:29 AM
Excellent article by Chris Chaney, good info.

Does Cold Weather Affect How Far Your Golf Ball Goes?
As the weather around the country starts to dip, golfers in temperate climates are clinging to the last few possible days to play golf, often braving the elements to do so.

While being able to get outside and chase the little white ball around is reason enough to play, posting a good score is always the goal, so it’s important to understand what colder temperatures can do to your equipment so that you can adjust accordingly.

Naturally, when you have questions about golf ball performance, one of the best places you can go is to the experts at Titleist’s Golf Ball Research & Development department.

First things first, Titelist R&D says, it’s important to know that cold air is more dense than warm air, which will have an immediate impact on the distance your golf ball flies in chillier temps.

“Colder air increases both the lift and drag forces acting on the ball, which results in a slightly higher and shorter trajectory,” Rick from Team Titleist writes. “There is nothing a golfer can do about the effect of air temperature, besides taking it into account when planning the next shot.”

Another factor to consider is that cold golf balls simply do not perform as effectively as warm ones.

“If a ball gets too cold, its materials can lose some resiliency, resulting in a reduction of initial velocity off the club face,” Titleist warns.

A good way to avoid this phenomenon is to keep an extra ball in your pocket while you play and swap out the golf balls after a hole or two in order to get the most out of a warm ball.

“It’s also a common misconception that you should switch to a lower compression golf ball in colder conditions. This practice is meant to compensate for the increase in compression that occurs when a ball gets colder. If you play with balls that are at near room temperature as we suggest, this becomes a moot point.”

While that’s all good information to know, what are the actual numbers we need to consider? What percentage of distance should you expect to lose playing in colder temperatures.

Titleist says while it’s impossible to make an across-the-board claim that would impact every golfer in every part of the world, there are some basic rules of thumb that Titleist was comfortable releasing.

“For the air temperature effect alone, figure on a distance loss of about 1.5% per 20°F reduction in temperature,” they write. “For example, for a 50°day versus a 70°day, on a 200 yard shot you would lose about 3 yards.”

One and a half percent is not a lot, which is why Titleist says that while the golf ball may get the majority of the blame for decreased distance in colder weather, it’s actually the golfer that is to blame.

“The other factors that typically accompany cold-weather golf (i.e. cold muscles, wearing more layers, frozen ground, wind, etc.) might have a bigger impact on a golfer’s overall performance (than the golf ball).”

So if you’re planning to play in some colder weather, it’s important to keep your golf balls warm, but your body warmer.
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The goal has always been long and straight! But since I can no longer hit them long, hopefully straighter could be achieved more than occasionally?
 Message #96774
Nickesquire
RE: The effect of temperature on your golf shots
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Friday October 30, 2020 10:35 AM
QUOTED  “For the air temperature effect alone, figure on a distance loss of about 1.5% per 20°F reduction in temperature,” they write. “For example, for a 50°day versus a 70°day, on a 200 yard shot you would lose about 3 yards.”


As someone who plays alot of golf when it's 100 degrees+, I would presume based on years of experience that ADDING 1.5% for every 20 degrees the temperature rises above normal is also a good rule of thumb.
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The goal has always been long and straight! But since I can no longer hit them long, hopefully straighter could be achieved more than occasionally?
 Message #96775 - This was a reply to message #96774
mdames
RE: The effect of temperature on your golf shots
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Friday October 30, 2020 11:27 AM
Thanks for the information Nick. Another factor that affects distance and flight that I don't see mentioned is dry vs. humid air. Humid air also is more dense than dry air and will reduce your yardage.
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Alex326
RE: The effect of temperature on your golf shots
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Friday October 30, 2020 11:44 AM
Correct in that moisture in the air has a lot bigger effect on ball flight than air temperature. One of my playing partners is an F-18 pilot and when I first started playing he explained how the heavier air with moisture has a greater effect on planes and ball flight than a cold dry air.

Now the effect of cold on the muscles is completely different. We would routinely "warm up" aka ride for 30-60 minutes before a race to get the muscles ready to fire on all cylinders as they say.

But proper warm up is a different topic.
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Deepsea14
RE: The effect of temperature on your golf shots
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Sunday November 1, 2020 9:06 AM
Our league play day (finals) is held in October in New England. Closest to the pins, long drive, closest to the line etc.
Well a cold day years back. I prep the balls with hot water in a thermos. We'll have nice warm balls for the long drive. I'm the only one to use one.
I dump out the balls and they are steaming (it was cold that day) on the ground. A little too hot as the paint started to blister on the balata one.
Anyway I win the long drive and word gets around I used a heated ball.
Controversy settled by our golf pro who needed his interpretations book to decide I altered the golf ball and I was disqualified from the $$.
First time I ever heard of the big rule book.
Of course this goes over big at the banquet afterwards with the other 39 guys. Even my teammates turn on me!

Got my retribution the next year I won long drive playing by the rules.

#2

One Thanksgiving the weather was unusually warm after a very cold start to November. Open with no snow on the ground and the golf course stays open until snow forces it to close.
Played 9 holes with the brothers. The small ponds were frozen so any errant shots in hit the ice and bounced out often with a shot to recover.

Play an old Top Flite II in the cold and you will know where the nickname "rock" flite came from.

Temperature effects the game. As a flask does as well on a cold round! Good day.
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