How To Play Golf In The Rain? [Top Tips]

Playing golf in the rain is just something you have to get used to if you’re from a country like the UK. And you either learn to play in the rain or you don’t play much golf.

So how do you play golf in the rain? Let’s have a look at playing golf in the rain.

How To Play Golf In The Rain?

Ed Welton

Founder, Editor

Ed is the founder and editor at EEE Golf. He’s been playing golf for over 20 years, competing in many top amateur events. He’s played courses all over the world and played with some of the best players in the game. His aim is to help educate people about the game of golf and give insights into the sport he loves most.

How To Play Golf In The Rain?

How To Play Golf In The Rain?

When playing golf in the rain, it’s important to have the right equipment but you should also adjust your playing approach slightly to adapt to the wet conditions.

With the correct rain gear, as well as a different set of tactics and mindset, golfers can play good golf in the rain and get a few shots up on the opposing players.

Get Some Rain Gear

A successful round of golf in the rain starts well before any shot is hit. Having the correct equipment for a wet round of golf is a really good idea

The following pieces of equipment are a good place to start if you’re planning on playing wet weather golf:

Waterproof Golf Jacket

A waterproof jacket is a great place to start for keeping yourself dry on the golf course, but it’s worth investing in a rain jacket specific to golf.

Golf jackets are designed for golfers to swing in, so they’re not overly baggy, fit well and keep you dry at the same time.

When you have to layer up in the rain, there’s nothing worse than a rain jacket that gets in the way of your golf swing. So find a waterproof jacket that fits well and doesn’t impede your swing.

Waterproof Trousers

Waterproof golf trousers are another great addition to your rain gear lineup to help you have dry clothes at the end of the round.

Rain pants help keep your legs dry and add some extra warmth on those colder days.

Waterproof Golf Socks

As any golfer will tell you, there’s nothing worse than having wet feet during a round of golf.

If it’s raining heavily, you can have the best waterproof golf shoes in the world, but they won’t be enough to keep raindrops from soaking into your socks.

Waterproof golf socks are a real lifesaver, keeping your feet dry and warm, making for a far more pleasant round of golf.

Check out these waterproof golf socks from On The Toe to keep your feet this during Winter golf.

Waterproof Golf Hat

Keeping the rain off your face is a good idea on a rainy day.

A good quality waterproof golf hat will do just that, keeping the elements out of your face and your hair dry.

Rain Gloves

If you’re picking just one thing for a rainy round of golf, wet weather gloves are probably the most important to help performance.

Different to normal golf gloves, a wet weather glove is designed to become grippier as it gets wet, compared to a leather glove which feels like a wet bar of soap in the rain.

Rain gloves can also come in pairs, offering grip to both your left and right hand.

Golf Umbrella

Golf umbrellas are bigger than normal umbrellas, which means that they’re great for keeping the rain off you and your golf club.

If you’re considering golfing in the rain, you’ve got to be investing in a good golf umbrella and there’s no shortage of great options in the golf industry.

Golf Bag Rain Hood

Having sorted everything to keep you dry when out on the course, it’s now time to think about keeping your golf clubs dry.

Most golf bags will come with a rain hood, but if yours hasn’t, it’s well worth investing in one so that you can stop water from getting down into your bag and all over your grips.

A rain hood works perfectly to limit how wet your clubs get, even on those really wet days.

Extra Towels

Having spare dry towels in the bag on a really wet day is something I swear because it makes life so much easier and helps keep my gear dry.

When the rain is falling heavily, having a few extra towels to dry your clubs, hands and other areas is essential to playing good golf.

You can have the best rain gear in the world, but inevitably your clubs are going to get wet. So having a few spare towels in the bag will help you keep on top off it.

Adjust Your Golf Game

Adjusting your game to suit the bad weather conditions is important in golf if you want to play well.

Just like if you’re playing in the wind, golfers need to have a strategy for playing golf in the rain.

The following are what you can expect for a round of golf in the rain and how you go about adjusting to it:

Accuracy Over Distance

Lots of rain on the golf course means wet rough and wet sand bunkers, neither of which are much fun to play out of.

It’s more important that you’re finding the fairways rather than looking for a few extra yards. Otherwise, you risk getting mud balls and even losing your golf ball in the wet grass.

Ed’s Top Tip

Playing golf in the rain, you just have to accept that you’re going to lose out on plenty of distance. Therefore, there’s no point trying to swing harder and sacrifice accuracy.

If this means leaving the driver in the bag, then leave the driver in the bag.

If you’re losing out on 20 or 30 yards but still playing from the fairway, the round is going to be much easier and more fun, than trudging through wet turf to find a dreaded mud ball.

Softer Greens

Wet greens mean soft greens, which as a result will mean that you can stop the ball much more quickly than on a dry day.

Approach shots will need to land closer to the flag because you just won’t be getting the same rollout as usual.

This will need to be the consideration for practically all shots into the green. From 200 yards to short chip shots.

Balls will be stopping faster and so carry distance for each shot needs to be thought about and extra club used if necessary.

Slower Greens

Putting can become quite tricky when you’re golfing in rainy weather.

The wet greens become much slower than before, so you need to adjust your putting to hit the ball harder in order to reach the hole.

The greens will also have less break in them when they’re wet. So golfers need to understand this and play for less movement on sloping putts.

Softer Fairways

Just like the putting surfaces, the fairways will also become much softer and stop the ball from rolling out.

On soft fairways, balls will pretty much finish where they land, so the only distance you’ll get from the tee is via the carry distance.

Don’t expect to get the 60 yards of roll like you would on dry golf courses.

Softer Fairways
Softer fairways mean less run and more chance of balls plugging.

Swing Slower

You’ve probably heard the phrase, “When it’s breezy, swing easy” for playing in the wind, however it is very much the same for wet weather.

The harder you swing, the more likely the club is to slip out of your hand as you’re hitting the ball.

The smart play in the rain is focused on a nice smooth golf swing which is controlled and able to work even when it’s soaking wet.

Play Smart

In wet conditions, avoiding the rough is always the smart play. However, golf is difficult and it’s not that easy to just “avoid the rough”!

Therefore, when you inevitably do find the rough on a few of the holes, you need to think carefully about what sort of shot you play next.

A wet ball in wet grass is never an ideal combination. The long wet rough becomes very sticky and loves to grab hold of your club at impact, which usually means it will close the clubface and pull the ball left.

Then you’ve got water getting between the ball and the face, which can often result in the ball coming out “hot” and going much further with very little spin.

This is where course management comes into play more. Assess the danger and decide whether a shot can be played or not.

Oftentimes, it’s better to just chip the ball out of the rough and back into play, rather than trying to play the miracle shot from long wet rough.

Understand The Rules

Knowing the rules in golf is always a good idea, but especially when it’s raining as it can often give you an advantage.

Here’s a few of the key rules to remember when you’re playing in the rain:

Casual Water

Different to a penalty area, an area of casual water is another type of water hazard which you actually get free relief from.

Provided the casual water is not in a penalty area or out of bounds, golfers can get free relief when their ball or stance is in the casual water.

If you’re on the putting surface, you can also get relief if the water is in the line of play.

According to the R&A, “You are allowed free relief from an abnormal course condition when you have interference from such a condition anywhere on the course, except when the ball is in a penalty area or when the abnormal course condition is out of bounds.”

So basically, you can get a free drop, no nearer the hole, if you’re ever affected by water that’s not usually there on a golf course.

Winter Rules

Most of the time, lots of rain and soft conditions happen during the Winter months which means that golf clubs introduce Winter Rules to help combat the wet conditions.

These rules give players the opportunity to clean muddy balls in the fairways and replace embedded balls in the rough, which is great for when you’ve got a mud lie or you’re plugged.

Winter Golf


Playing good golf in the rain ultimately comes down to mindset.

You can either see the wet conditions as a real struggle, that won’t be much fun. Or, you can see it as a fun challenge that requires some strong will and battling.

It’s very easy to get frustrated in the rain, but you just have to take it one shot at a time and not get too annoyed when you hit bad shots.

The likelihood is you’re going to have bad holes, so it’s how you can react to those holes and move forward.

I always enjoyed playing competitions in the rain because I knew that even before I’d teed off, I would do better than half of the field because they were annoyed about the weather.

Simply by changing your mindset to see the weather as fun and an exciting test, you can overcome the tricky conditions.

Final Thoughts

To many, going out to play golf in the rain seems like a crazy idea. Why would you want to spend four hours walking around getting soaked through?

Well, rainy golf has plenty of few perks and if you’re properly prepared, it can still be a really fun day out on the links.


How do you play wet weather golf?

Wet weather golf requires good quality wet weather equipment, a strong mindset and an understanding of how to play the conditions. Shots won’t go as far and rough will become very difficult to play from.

How do you stay dry in golf in the rain?

A good set of waterproofs is the best place to start, as well as an umbrella to keep the rain off you and your golf clubs.

How should I dress for golf in the rain?

Dressing for rainy golf is all about finding a waterproof which fits well, as well as a rain hat and waterproof socks.

How do you play golf in heavy rain?

To play good golf in the rain, players should swing slower, take fewer risks and focus on remaining calm despite the elements. Rain gloves will also help with gripping the club when it becomes very wet.

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