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cold weather effects on golf ball distance

Greg M

I play golf almost year round and a couple of guys are always switching to different type balls. I know cold weather has some effect but does it really matter?

56 Replies

  1. Hotsauce

    I have no idea, but I have a similar question for TT.

    I recently played in some pretty chilly weather, and played a sleeve that has been in my car overnight.  I swear that I lost some distance, so after two holes I switched to the ball that had been in my pocket, and sure enough it was back to the consistent distance.  

    I know this is kind of off topic, but will a ball lose distance if it's cold?

  2. John V

    Yes, you will lose distance with a cold ball or playing in cold weather.  I play in Minnesota from the end of March through the beginning of November (I think yesterday will be my last round!).  Early in the spring and late in the fall I lose about 1/2 club distance on full iron shots and about 10 yards on driver shots.

  3. dan t

    HI   Ball loses 6 yards per 5 degrees of temperature drop.


    See here in Canada I swing a 7 iron 90 mph however because of the cold you only get 135+ yards carry off that swing @ 90 mph   whereas if I was in a warmer place that ball would fly 155+


    Putting balls in your pocket is definatley the wise thing to do


    Warm balls fly farther!

  4. Brent W

     Try putting a ball in the refrigerator and then drop it on a solid surface with one that is at room temp and see what the difference is.

    Maybe try different golf balls.

  5. Chris S

    It is my understanding that when the weather gets to lets in the 40* range, the materials in the ball become harder to compress on club impact. This would be the main reason i think you would see some loss of distance in colder weather. I myself just stay using my Pro V1x year round.

  6. Tony G

    I agree with everyone else that the cold will make the ball harder and will not compress on the club face as it would during warmer temps.  You could keep a ball or two in our pocket and let your body warmth keep them warm, or get a hand warmer and keep them wrapped in a bag and that should help.  You may rotate your golf balls every hole to get the best from your game.  Good Luck!

  7. Greg W

    Cold weather defintely affects distance.  The golf ball does not compress as much. Also, forget about the golf ball and think about how tight your muscles feel, cold your hands are, and all the layers (shirt, longsleve, jacket, etc) you have on. All these factors affect your swing speed making it slower. Combine that with reduced ball compression and there is your loss of distance. Me personally, When I am bundled up in colder conditions, I lose about 15-20% distance.


  8. Pete D

    If you keep your golf bag & balls indoors overnight before playing, you will minimize the effects of the cold. USGA rules prohibit you from artificially warming your golf balls once the round starts, but at this time of year, rules go out the window for most of us.

    Sitting on your golf balls on a heated car seat warms them up even more on the way to the course.

    I read that golf balls can take many hours to cool down right to the core, but as others mention here, extra layers of clothing and stiffer muscles may shorten your swing, thereby reducing distance.

    I'll play right until the snow flies in southern New Hampshire!

  9. Hotsauce

    "Winter rules Danny, Winter rules"  I keep them in my pocket and switch them out every hole.  I'll be doing the same thing in Northern Mass.  Let's hope winter comes late and leaves early.

  10. John L

    Really guys. Cold golf balls are becomeing a topic. Look I'll agree that yes balls don't fly quite as far but how many of you get on launch monitors in 35 degree temperatures. how about the cold affectes on your body might be more limiting to your distance that a golf ball. Im only 29 and i know that when its cold im not as limber and i dont swing as hard naturaly. Number two on limiting my ball flight distance is the extra layers i ware to compensate for the temp.  These layers also reduce my swing range and speed. Im not saying the ball dosent loos a yard or two based on temp. but really the reduction distance is all in your self and your bodies reaction to temp. Makeing excuses based on a golf ball is rediculous. the only time i've ever used cold temp. as an excuse for truly shooting a considerably hight score is when the ground was so frozen my ball bounce off the green like i hit the cart path, from 90 yard 3/4 SW shot. thats is that is my only complainte about cold weather is its cold. not the ball not my clubs. just the hardness of the ground witch i have to learnt to compinsate for and the temp. of my body. Please stop debateing about how far your ball goes in the winter couse of the science of temp. and ball make up. it just sounds so petty.

  11. Hotsauce

    It's tough to control how flexible you feel in the cold, and it's tough to control the number of layers you wear during the cold months, and you can never control course conditions, but you can without a doubt control something like putting a ball in your pocket.

    I don't think anyone is making excuses, but more or less looking for anything that can help in the bitter months.  Everyone who tees it up after the leaves fall off the trees knows that their not shooting in ideal scoring conditions, but if you're on this forum you probably want to play your best whenever you play.  If I can gain not lose 5 or more yards than I'm all ears.

    Thanks for the tips guys.

  12. John L

    Ok so maybe i was alittle hard on the forum for talking about cold golf balls. Sorry if i came of a little "rough" just a force of habit from my work enviroment were pretty hard on each other and do anything we can to give each other a hard time. But i think my main objective of what i posted was to try and guys to focus on course management. if you accept lost yardage in winter months and plan for shorter shots you can club up and make better scores. You get what im saying brother. Just trying to get guys to focuse on course management and not extra yards. I used to be a huge bomb and gouge player. I thought i had to crush every driver shot. but i learned that short and straight beats long and wrong every time. I'll take a 250 tee shot dead center fairway every time over 310 and in the woods. i backed off to an average of 290 this year and went from a 11 handie cap to a season low 5 and stabilized at 8 before the season ended. I just find winter golf to be an excuse to swing clubs. I even play diffrent clubs in the winter. IM sure any one who has hit blades with x100 shafts and corded grips in sub 40 temps will agree even pure shots sting. I'll break out some cavity back s300s with mid size grips just to play. anyways guys good luck this winter on getting as much golf as you can in. i think we all can agree that when your addicted to golf you'll play when ever you get a chance.

  13. Cathy E

    I think the originial question was - if temperature is a factor on the make-up of the ball, is there a preferred ball to play when the temps are colder or do all types of balls react similarly when the temps go low and it doesn't it matter?

    The one upside to hitting balls when it's 30 degrees is that the ground is usually freezing up, too, and the roll is awesome!  I do that every year at this time just to see how far they will go.  Titleist fleece cap and rain gloves (the all-weather are just too bulky for me) are a staple for me this time of year...even if it's just 30 minutes of hitting balls on our closed course.

  14. David Browning

    Like everyone else has already stated, yes, colder weather does in fact have an impact on not just golf balls, but other equipment as well.


    Here's the tricky part though...if someone does anything intentionally to keep their equipment (golf balls, golf clubs, etc.) warm during a round, (PLEASE correct me if I'm wrong), they violate the rules.


    Happy golfing!

  15. Brian D

    You are 100% correct.  The balls will not compress as much in the cold weather as the warmer.  Right around the 42* and colder mark, I change over from the ProV1 to the DT's as their are a bit more compress to start with.


    Also correct on the other front.  Try keeping a ball in your pocket and alternate the balls between the holes.


    Good luck and stay warm!

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