The Cold Hard Facts: Golf Balls

28 Feb

The temperature is climbing (at least the snow is gone… for now) and golfers have been spotted on the Rocky Ford Golf Course!  But do you know how cold weather affects your golf game?


  • Cold temperatures affect golf balls due to the coefficient of thermal expansion.  That simply means the ball’s materials properties can expand and contract with the heat or cold.  The best temperature for most balls is 70 to 90 degrees.  At 40 degrees, a ball can slow down and be shorter by 10 yards!  To combat this, many pro golfers actually warm their golf balls or use softer, lower compression balls.
  • Colder air may also slow a ball after its struck as cold air is denser and can create additional drag.  Former USGA technical director Frank Thomas estimates that for every 10 degrees temperature difference, it impact about 2 yards.
  • The club’s grip may also be affected, becoming hard and making the shaft feel stiff.
  • Bulkier apparel like sweatshirts or jackets can also affect a player’s swing and movements on the course.

Despite these effects, golfing during cooler weather is still very enjoyable and a great way to get fresh air and exercise.  But if you are looking for ways to improve your game, trying bringing your golf balls inside.

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