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Are Golf Courses Open in the Rain? – 7 Factors to Consider

wet grass golfing in rain do golf courses close
wet grass golfing in rain do golf courses close

Playing golf is so fun that many enthusiasts wish they could play all day. However, if you live in a particularly rainy region, you may be wondering whether golf courses are even open in the rain.

Many factors exist that may influence whether or not a golf course will close in rainy weather, such as lightning, flooding, and more.

In this article, you will learn the factors golf courses consider to determine whether they should close or not.

Are Golf Courses Open in the Rain?

Are golf courses open in the rain? The answer to this question is nuanced. A golf course may or may not close depending on the severity of the rainy conditions.

If the rain is too strong, the golf course will close. If the rain does not make the golf course unplayable, nor jeopardizes the safety of players, play will be allowed to continue, even under rain.

If the golf course is forced to close, you will likely not get a refund, despite not completing the round of golf you played for.

If a golf course needs to close in emergency, some kind of horn will play, informing you to immediately stop your round of golf, take shelter, or go home, depending on what is required in the moment.

7 Factors Golf Courses Consider Before Closing

1. Light Rain

In case of rainy weather, most golf courses will not close if the rain is light.

Playing golf under light rain poses no security threat, and can even help you play better golf in some distances.

In fact, as water enters the grass, it becomes softer and more sponge-like. A softer, more sponge-like grass condition will help the ball sit quicker when it lands, instead of bouncing the ball and making it roll far away.

If you usually have a hard time trying to avoid your golf ball from rolling on the green as it lands, a bit of rain can actually help the ball sit rather than roll, and lower your score.

However, if you are playing in the rain, you should use some golf rain gloves. They will give you more grip on your golf club under wet conditions than regular golf gloves would.

Golf Rain Gloves give you grip in wet conditions

If you do not remember or do not know how to choose a size for rain gloves, read our article: How To Size Golf Gloves?.

Furthermore, you will need some dark impermeable clothes, as well as shoes. The reason you want to be wearing darker colors is because lighter colors will look dirty more easily when rain and mud splash onto them.

You should also get your rain gloves in a darker shade of color, or a color that will be easy to keep clean-looking.

Finally, you should get a golf umbrella and a golf bag rain hood cover. The golf umbrella will help you protect yourself from rain, while the golf bag rain hood cover will keep your golf bag dry.

A golf umbrella will protect you and your clothes from wind and rain.

A golf bag rain hood cover will protect your equipment from water and rust.

2. Lightning

When the rainy conditions on the golf course are too severe, the golf course will close, and you will not be refunded for the round you paid for, even if you did not manage to complete it.

For example, if there is lightning, then the golf course is pretty much guaranteed to close.

In golf, you are brandishing long metal rods above your head, and lightning likes to hit metal objects that are high up. Playing golf under lightning is the equivalent of tempting the devil; you are running the risk of smelling like fried chicken if lightning hits you.

If lightning suddenly strikes, you should seek shelter immediately. On some golf courses, there are little cabins or roofs spread across the land under which to shelter yourself from rain or lightning.

3. Puddles & Flooding

Furthermore, in case of heavy rain that would form puddles and flood the grass, the golf course will likely close the facility.

In fact, puddles & flooding in grass are deemed to create unplayable golfing conditions. Excessive water on the golf course will make the ball react much differently than it normally would, and you could even lose your ball in puddles.

On top of being unpleasant, puddles will impact your performance. There is good reason to close a golf course during floods.

However, puddles & flooding can also be safety risks, in addition to reducing your performance.

In fact, as puddles and flooding start to form, the golf course staff will instruct you that golf carts are no longer permitted onto the grass.

In fact, when water soaks the grass and the ground beneath it, it becomes a lot softer, thus a lot easier to damage.

Considering golf carts weigh around 1000lbs or more, it is easy to see how they could damage the golf course’s turfs.

Do not drive golf carts on wet, marsh-like grass, because you can easily damage it, and it will take weeks to heal. If you would like to know more about golf cart driving etiquette, read the etiquette section of our article: How To Drive a Golf Cart?.

On top of damaging the grass, the weight of a golf cart can make the ground beneath it collapse, flipping the cart over and potentially causing severe injuries to its passengers.

Finally, in wet, muddy conditions, your golf cart’s weight can push it into the ground, trapping it in there. No matter how hard you push the gas pedal, you might not be able to get out of the ground, which will be extremely bothersome for you.

If there is a very big amount of rain, puddles & flooding, the golf course will have to close as well, on top of prohibiting the use of golf carts on the grass.

In fact, soft, wet, mushy grass is easy to fall and slip on, which could land you a bad fall.

For example, you might slip on a muddy patch of grass, and land on your wrists, breaking your bones and requiring a visit at the hospital and surgery.

4. Heavy Wind & Hurricanes

Another weather complication that often comes with rain is the presence of incredibly strong gusts of wind. If you are particularly unlucky, you may even have a hurricane on your hands.

Golf balls are little objects the path of which is easily affected by strong winds. A strong wind could potentially send your golf ball into an innocent bystander, killing them, or seriously injuring them, especially if the contact point is the head.

Furthermore, strong gusts of wind can make objects fly around, and even rip or break trees. Considering how many trees tend to be on golf courses, it is no wonder that wind becomes a great safety hazard if it is strong enough.

In the presence of strong gusts of wind, or something more major like a hurricane, a golf course will obviously close and require its users to go back home to shelter themselves.

Do not argue with the golf course staff that you can still play; heavy wind makes for dangerous playing conditions. Just go home to prevent safety hazards, even though you will not get refunded for your incomplete round of golf.

If you would like to avoid getting your round of golf cancelled due to bad weather, check the forecast before coming out to play and paying.

5. Fog

If the weather conditions are very foggy, you will not really be able to see the layout of the golf hole, nor other people.

Therefore, you will not really be certain where to shoot your golf balls, and you run the risk of hitting another person with your shots.

Obviously, hitting someone in the head with a golf ball at over 300 km/h can obviously kill them, or severely injure them…

That being said, in the case of fog, golf courses should close their facilities to protect the safety of everyone on the golf course.

6. Frost or Ice

Frost on a golf course can look pretty, but icy grass can cause you to slip and fall, if you step on the wrong spot.

As you fall on ice, you can slip and hit your head onto another piece of ice…sending you straight to the emergency room. There are many parts of your body you could twist, break, or injure while falling down on frosted or icy surfaces.

Therefore, if there is ice or hard frost on a golf course, it should close, and if not, we recommend avoiding those conditions.

7. Darkness

For the same reasons as with fog, it is hard to see a golf course in darkness, as well as other players.

Therefore, you will not really be certain where to shoot your golf balls, and you run the risk of hitting another person with your shots.

Hitting someone in the head with a golf ball at over 300 km/h can obviously kill them, or severely injure them…

The likelihood of hitting someone with a golf ball greatly increases in conditions of darkness.

That being said, in the case of excessive darkness, golf courses should close their facilities to protect the safety of everyone on the golf course.

What To Do After Playing Golf in the Rain?

If your golf course does not close and you end up playing in the rain, you should do some maintenance on your golf equipment, after you are done.

First of all, you should empty your golf bag at home, and let it dry in a temperature-controlled environment. If you do not dry your golf bag, it will smell bad and potentially accumulate mold.

Next, examine all of your golf clubs, clean the dirt on them and wipe them down with a dry cloth in order to remove any water on them.

If you leave water or liquids on your golf clubs, they will rust, and damage both the performance and the aesthetic appeal of your clubs.

If you need tips on cleaning your golf clubs, read our guide: How To Wash Golf Clubs? – Easiest Method.

Wipe your golf balls down as well, and remove dirt and mud from the rest of your equipment, including your gloves and your clothes.

If you need an easy way to wash all of your golf balls, read our article: How To Wash Golf Balls? – Top 5 Easiest Methods.

If you need tips on cleaning your golf gloves, read our article: How To Wash Golf Gloves? – Easiest Method.

Finally, if your golf shoes are wet, you need to let them dry in a temperature-controlled environment. However, if you let them dry without precautions, they might shrivel up or lose their shape.

To reduce the chances of your golf shoes deforming permanently, fill them up with rolled up or bunched up paper before leaving them to dry.

The rolled up paper will help your shoes keep their shape, by filling them as if some feet were in them.


There you go! So, are golf courses closed in the rain?

After reading this article, you have learned that golf courses will generally only close if the weather conditions are bad enough to impede on player safety or acceptable playing conditions.

If there are puddles or mini-lakes, crazy strong wind, or lightning, a golf course will close, and you will not be refunded if you already paid for the round of golf.

Golf carts will be prohibited before a course closes because their weight can damage course turf. Make sure to get clothing adequate for rain if you will play in the rain, such as rain gloves, dark colored impermeable clothes, a golf bag rain hood cover & a golf umbrella.

Do you like the rain when playing golf? Does it refresh you, or does it bother you? Let us know in the comments down below!

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