It may seem counterintuitive to hit the links during a Texas summer when the sun is scorching, but the summer season can actually be a great time to be out on the golf course. The days are longer, which makes it easier to head over to the range after a long day at work to practice or pick up a quick nine holes.
Summer is also an ideal season to get the family out for some exercise. Since the kids are out of school, families can schedule group lessons together for a fun and engaging activity that everyone can enjoy. Playing a round together gets everyone away from their screens and devices, too.
Staying cool — physically and mentally — is the key to having fun on the course at any time of year, but especially so during the hottest months. Here are some ways to make a visit to the golf course more comfortable during the warmer Texas months.
During the summer, I recommend that golfers schedule their rounds for early mornings, late afternoons or early evenings when temperatures are cooler and the sun is lower in the sky. If golfers have a high sensitivity to the heat, I recommend avoiding the 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. hours or taking additional cooling measures during that timeframe. As the morning and late afternoon tee times tend to book up quickly during the summer, it is important for players to schedule their tee time at least one week in advance for golfers to ensure their preferred timing.
When spending time outside in the hot weather and sun, it is imperative that golfers remember to consistently replenish their fluids in order to avoid dehydration. I recommend keeping a couple of bottles of water or a hydrating sports drink in your golf bag and extras in the cart at all times. Most golf courses will also have water stations every couple of holes so you can fill up your bottle frequently.
In the excitement of the game, it can be easy to forget to take a moment for a water break. Golfers should drink water every few minutes, even if they don’t feel thirsty. Once thirst kicks in, dehydration has already begun and that’s when problems can start.
Another important tip is to stay out of direct sunlight when possible. If shade is hard to find, I recommend that golfers stay under the shade of their cart or use an umbrella until it’s time to tee off.
It is also vital for golfers to use a high SPF sunscreen and reapply at least every 30 minutes throughout their round to stay protected. It’s also helpful to wear sunglasses as well as a hat with a wide brim large enough to shield the eyes, face and neck.
Additionally, the right clothing will help keep players feeling cooler and less sweaty. I recommend opting for long sleeve, sun-rated shirts and pants with moisture-wicking labels. These fabrics transfer the sweat from the skin to the outer layer so it evaporates away quickly for an overall cooling effect.
If a golfer isn’t used to heat and sun, it can be easy for them to overexert themselves during their round. If possible, I recommend bringing a personal body fan as it can be a great way to prevent heat exhaustion before it hits.
If a golfer begins to feel tired or “off” during their round, try sitting or lying down in the shade and pour cold water on the wrists, the back of the neck and head to bring their body temperature down. I also recommend that players keep a cooling towel in their cart for a quick icy jolt when they start to feel overheated.
Of course, leaving the links for the blessed cool of the air-conditioned indoors is always a good option if you’re feeling faint or ill. Check in with any staff member, too. We’ve all been trained to assist golfers in need.
Naturally, a well-earned summer reward is cooling off with a snack or cool beverage at the 19th hole. Some golf clubhouses even have after-round dining or beverage services. The delicious food, air conditioning and maybe a game of pool will be the best prize for getting out on the links this summer.
About the Author
Ashley Skidmore is the director of golf at Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort and Spa’s Hill Country Golf Club. With nearly a decade of experience in golf management, Skidmore has worked at several golf clubs throughout the region including Wolfdancer Golf Club at Hyatt Regency Lost Pines, Teravista Golf Club in Round Rock, the Broadmoor in Colorado and Promontory Ranch Golf Club in Utah. She has received several accolades throughout her career including the 2020 STPGA “Golf Professional of the Year” and the STPGA “Player Development” award in 2017.