Hurricane golf? Yeah, it’s really a thing. I doubt I’m the first one to do it, but a few buddies and I once played golf in a hurricane just for the hell of it. In the late 90s I was working as a greens-keeper at a golf course down here in Florida. Normally when a big storm came through, we spend the better part of our day picking up debris that had fallen out of trees and blown all over the course.
Since hurricane (now tropical storm) Hermine has finished pounding the gulf coast of Florida and is working its way up the east coast, I thought it might be a good time to share a few tips in case you have a momentary lapse in judgement and common sense and decide to go play golf in a hurricane.
When hurricane Floyd and its 110+ mph winds decided to do a drive by off the east coast of Florida in 1999, my buddy and I decided to brave the weather and try playing golf in it. The only thing I was worried about was thunderstorms, but in the case of Floyd we were mostly getting heavy rain and wind, so game on! Here’s what we learned:
- Golf balls don’t fly very well in 75 MPH winds.
- Most clothing is basically useless when soaked and flapping in the wind.
- Rooster tails on the putting greens are normal, just hit the ball hard!
- Not falling over while swinging is a bonus.
- Pace of play isn’t an issue when everyone else is on evacuation notice.
- If you’re luck, you might get on the weather channel with Jim Cantore.
Here are a few tips to help you get through your round of hurricane golf:
- Take a wider stance to avoid being blown over.
- Wear a bathing suit and leave the rain gear at home. It’s useless anyway.
- Don’t keep score. Why would you want to punish yourself like that?
- Don’t bother with an umbrella. It’ll be torn to shreds in 30 seconds.
- Wear googles. The sideways 75 MPH rain hurts your eyes.
- Hit your putts really hard to get them through the puddles and standing water.
- Rain gloves work pretty well. But holding on to the club is the least of your worries.
- Leave all the electronic doohickeys at home, duh.
- Forget golf shoes, wear rubber boots or Crocs.
Now, I’m not actually suggesting that you go out and play in a hurricane. That would be irresponsible. But if you are like me and have a a few screws loose and/or a deathwish, these tips might help you get through the day. Good luck, hunker down and have a great Labor Day weekend!