Golfing in Hot Weather: Tips for Staying Cool and Safe

Looks like a glorious day for a round, right? Not so fast. While sunny days are undoubtedly some of the best for playing, they do bring with them a unique set of challenges, especially during the peak of summer.

With global temperatures at an unprecedented high, the risk of heat related issues is also at their peak. 

This can quickly turn what was supposed to be a fun round into what feels like some form of medieval torture. 

But relax. You can still play, but using a little caution and common sense. Let’s take a look at some basic tips for staying safe in the sweltering heat. 

Understanding the Risks

Stepping onto the green, sun shining brilliantly, and the fairways inviting you for a perfect round of golf—sounds delightful, right? 

Yet, as welcoming as it might seem, golfing under a blazing sun presents some very real risks. 

old man with heat exhaustion

What are some of these risks?

First off, the environment of a golf course during high temperatures is unique. The vast open spaces with reflective fairways amplify the sun's effects. 

While trees might offer some shade, many parts of the course are exposed, meaning you're directly under the sun's rays for extended periods. Add to this the physical exertion of walking long distances, carrying your golf bag, and swinging your club, and your body is sure to feel the heat.

The primary concern with playing golf in such conditions is the risk of heat-related illnesses. These conditions arise when your body cannot cool itself sufficiently, leading to a rapid increase in body temperature. The two most common heat-related illnesses you should be aware of are heat exhaustion and heatstroke.

Heat Exhaustion: Think of this as your body waving a yellow flag, signaling that something's not right. When suffering from heat exhaustion, your body struggles to cool itself. 

The symptoms can range from heavy sweating, a rapid pulse, and fatigue to more severe signs like dizziness, nausea, and headache. While this isn’t immediately life-threatening, it can rapidly progress to heatstroke if not addressed. 

When you notice these signs, stop your game and move to a shaded area. Hydrate immediately, and if possible, cool your body with wet towels or a cold pack.

Heatstroke: This is the red flag, signaling immediate danger. Heatstroke happens when your body's temperature rises rapidly and you're unable to cool down. It can escalate from heat exhaustion if not treated. 

The symptoms can be intense, including a high body temperature (above 103°F), a rapid and strong pulse, and possibly unconsciousness. It might be accompanied by confusion, agitation, and flushed skin. If someone you're with, or even you, start displaying these symptoms,Seek emergency medical help immediately.

While waiting for assistance, move the person to a cooler location and attempt to reduce their body temperature using whatever means available, like cold packs or wet towels.

It's worth noting that the progression from heat exhaustion to heatstroke can be swift, so always err on the side of caution. Beyond these conditions, dehydration is another common risk. When you're dehydrated, your body loses more fluids than it takes in, making it harder for your heart to pump blood. This not only affects your performance on the course but can also lead to cramps, kidney problems, and even heat-related illnesses.

But hey, don't be deterred! Understanding these risks is half the battle. By equipping yourself with knowledge, you can ensure your day at the golf course remains both enjoyable and safe. 

Preparing for a Hot Round

As a golfer, you're surely no stranger to the challenges that Mother Nature can present. Yet, there’s something uniquely challenging (and rewarding) about playing a round when the sun's at its zenith. However, before you set foot on those sun-soaked green, it's essential to be adequately prepared. Here’s how you can prepare for golfing in hot weather:

Know Your Weather Forecast

You might have a preferred golf app or perhaps a favorite weather website. Whichever you use, make it a ritual to check the day's forecast, especially the temperature and humidity levels, before heading to the course. Why is this crucial?

weather forecast app

Because understanding the day's conditions allows you to prepare mentally. You'll know what you're up against, allowing you to set realistic expectations for yourself. On days with high humidity, for instance, the air feels hotter than the actual temperature. This can affect your stamina and your swing.

Secondly, with an accurate forecast in hand, you can equip yourself with the necessary supplies. Think extra water bottles, sunscreen, or even a portable fan. A quick glance at the weather forecast ensures you aren’t caught off guard, letting you focus solely on your game.


While it's common knowledge that drinking water during your round is essential, what many golfers overlook is the significance of pre-hydrating. You might ask, "What's the difference?" Well, by starting your hydration the night before, you're giving your body a head start.

You see, when you're properly hydrated, your body's cooling system operates more efficiently. Sweating, as unglamorous as it may sound, is your body’s air-conditioning system. With adequate water in your system, you'll sweat more effectively, helping your body regulate its temperature and ensuring you don’t overheat.

A well-hydrated body also offers better endurance. Water is crucial for muscle function. By ensuring you’re hydrated, you’re providing your muscles with the best chance to perform optimally, shot after shot.

So, instead of downing a glass or two just before teeing off, consider drinking several glasses of water the evening before your game. Your body will thank you, and you might just see the difference in your performance.

The Right Clothing

Your choice of attire for a hot day on the golf course can mean the difference between a comfortable round and one where you're constantly wiping away sweat.

Let's start with colors. Light-colored clothing doesn’t just look cool; it feels cooler too! Darker colors absorb sunlight and its accompanying heat, while lighter shades reflect it. By opting for pale hues, you’re turning yourself into a human reflector, bouncing the sun's rays away.

Next up, the fabric. The market today is flooded with sportswear crafted with 'moisture-wicking' fabrics. These materials pull sweat away from your body and allow it to evaporate quickly. The result? You stay drier and feel cooler. Unlike regular cotton t-shirts that can become saturated with sweat, moisture-wicking garments remain relatively dry, allowing for better evaporation and, subsequently, more effective cooling.

Furthermore, these fabrics tend to be lightweight, which adds to your comfort. Remember, the lighter your clothing, the less energy your body expends in moving, preserving your energy for that perfect swing.

So in effect, the right preparation is more than half the battle won. By being savvy about the weather forecast, prioritizing hydration, and making smart clothing choices, you're setting yourself up for a successful and enjoyable hot round.  

Cooling Strategies

The sun beats down relentlessly, painting the greens with its hot, golden hue. Golfing in such conditions can be both challenging and potentially dangerous. However, armed with the right strategies, you can not only safeguard yourself against the heat but also enhance your overall playing experience. Here are some effective and fun cooling strategies tailored just for you!

Embrace the Cooling Towel

Have you ever draped a cooling towel around your neck during a sizzling round? If not, it's time to introduce yourself to this game-changer. These specially designed towels are made with fabric that retains water while remaining relatively dry to the touch. When wet and placed around your neck, they provide instant relief.

To use one, simply soak it in cold water, wring out the excess, snap it a few times to activate the cooling effect, and place it on your neck. The reason this works wonders is because the neck has a plethora of blood vessels close to the skin's surface. Cooling this area can effectively help lower your overall body temperature in a jiffy.

Portable Fans and Misting Devices

In the age of technology, why not use innovation to your advantage on the golf course? Portable fans are compact, lightweight, and can provide that much-needed breeze in stagnant heat. Many come with rechargeable batteries, ensuring that you have a consistent gust of wind throughout your game.

portable fan cooling down

Taking it a notch up, consider misting devices. These gadgets offer a fine spray of water alongside the air, making the cooling effect even more pronounced. When you’re walking between shots or waiting for your partner to make a putt, just a few seconds with your fan or misting device can refresh and rejuvenate you. Plus, they easily clip onto your golf bag, making them convenient companions.

Shaded Areas

Golf courses, in all their manicured beauty, often feature natural shaded areas. These can be under large trees, beside water bodies, or even in the shadow of structures like clubhouses or tall bushes. 

Being strategic about using these areas is a smart move in the heat.

shade on the golf course

Whenever you find a moment between your swings, or while waiting for your turn, gravitate towards these spots. Not only does this provide relief from direct sunlight, but these areas are also generally cooler by several degrees. 

If you're using a cart, park it under a tree while taking your shot. If you’re walking, pause under a shade before moving to the next hole.

Remember, the sun's position changes, so the availability of shade will differ as your game progresses. Be observant and adjust your strategy accordingly. For instance, if you notice a tree casting a long shadow over a bench around hole 4, remember that for your next round. Those few moments of respite can make all the difference to your stamina and comfort.

Incorporating these cooling strategies not only ensures that you stay comfortable but also optimizes your performance. When the body isn’t preoccupied battling the heat, you can focus better, swing more accurately, and enjoy the game to the fullest.

 So, the next time you step onto that sun-kissed green, be prepared. With cooling towels draped, fans at the ready, and an eye out for shaded sanctuaries, you'll be playing it cool in every sense of the word.

Post-Round Recovery

Congratulations on completing a challenging round of golf under the scorching sun! But not just because you’re out of the line of fire means that you’re good to go. As you revel in your achievement, it's essential to ensure your body recovers optimally from the exertion too. Here are a few things you can do to completely mitigate the heat stress.

Hydration is Stil Important

You've probably heard it repeatedly during your game, but here it is again: Hydration is paramount! After spending hours under the sun, your body has lost significant amounts of fluid, which needs to be replenished. It's not just about quenching your thirst but restoring the delicate balance of electrolytes in your system.

Tip: For every pound of body weight lost during your round, aim to drink 16 to 20 ounces of water. You might also consider sipping on a sports drink with electrolytes to replenish lost salts and minerals.

Cool Down Properly Afterwards

Jumping directly into a chilly shower might sound tempting, but it's best to let your body cool down naturally first. Begin by finding a shaded area and doing some gentle stretches. This aids in releasing muscle tension and promoting circulation.

Tip: Focus on stretching your shoulders, back, legs, and wrists—areas that generally work the hardest during a game.

Nutrient-rich Snacks

After a taxing round, your body craves nutrients to kickstart the recovery process. Now's the time to fuel up with a balanced snack. Choose something that combines proteins, healthy fats, and carbohydrates, just like a Whole In One Bar. This not only helps in muscle repair but also restores energy levels.

Dress Appropriately

Wondering why clothing matters at this point? You've already taken care of your golfing attire, but post-round, it's a good idea to change out of those sweaty clothes. Moisture-wicking fabrics are your friend here. These materials help to draw moisture away from the body, allowing it to evaporate swiftly.

Tip: Always keep a spare set of comfortable and ry, loose-fitting clothes in your golf bag or car.

Elevation Helps

If you've walked the course, your legs have undoubtedly put in significant work. Elevating your legs can help reduce muscle soreness and inflammation. It also assists in the venous return of blood to the heart, promoting better circulation.

Tip: Lie on your back and prop your feet up on a wall or raised surface for about 10-15 minutes.

Massage and Foam Rolling

These aren't just luxury activities anymore. A gentle massage or foam rolling session can do wonders for your post-game recovery. They help in breaking up knots in muscles and increasing blood flow to reduce cramping risk.

man foam rolling after a round

Tip: If you don’t have a foam roller, a tennis or golf ball can work as a makeshift massaging tool, especially for your feet and back.

Listen to Your Body

Always remember- every individual's recovery rate varies. Some might feel sprightly after a quick rest, while others might need a longer time. The key is to tune into what your body is communicating. If you feel any prolonged discomfort or unusual fatigue, it might be worth consulting a health professional as heat fatigue could be setting in.

Final Words

Enjoy your round. As temperatures seem to soar higher year after year, learning to adapt is the best you can do. Stay safe out there and have fun!