Some golfers can’t be dragged off the course, regardless of the weather.
If you are like this, then you likely understand how frustrating it is when the rain starts to roll in.
Rainy days and golf don’t mix all that well, and many players will try to avoid the rain when it starts to roll in.
If you are wondering whether your next round of play is going to be canceled because of rain, we have all the answers you need.
Although there is no exact measurement of rain that a golf course can handle, there are some important things to know to gauge how your next rainy day on the course is going to go.
How Much Rain Is Too Much For Golf?
There is no exact amount of rain that will close a golf course, but the determination will be made based on the golf course’s conditions.
If there is standing water on the greens or turf damage is possible from players being on the golf course, then the course will close.
In addition, if a golf course has had quite a bit of rain lately, they will not let golfers play the course for fear that damage can occur.
Essentially, the decision to close a golf course due to rain is going to come down to some key considerations that will likely be out of your hands.
When Do Golf Courses Close For Rain?
Golf courses will close for rain when conditions are no longer playable or when the golf course can be damaged by golfers being on it.
Here are a few of the things that you can expect will cause a golf course to close.
The main issues that golf courses try to avoid are damage to the course and injury to people.
1. Standing Water On The Greens
When you are watching a PGA Tour event, and you see that they have canceled the round due to rain, it was likely because of standing water on the greens.
Golfers can’t be expected to putt through a puddle as it is just not fair.
When it is a windy day, and you have to take wind into consideration, golf can be more difficult than it already is.
However, when you are a golfer, and you must putt through a puddle, there is no telling what a ball could do.
This is also unfair to the golfer who hits their shot onto the green, and it gets stuck or embedded because the turf is just too soft.
If the tournament committee or greenskeepers have allowed golfers on the course long enough for there to be standing water, this is an issue.
At this point, you are probably fairly miserable and soaked as well, and it’s time to call it a day.
2. Lots Of Recent Rain
If a golf course has had a lot of rain recently, it won’t be able to take in any more water.
This is important for players to realize.
Sometimes in the spring, when the rainfall is more common and the temperatures are not quite as high, the water doesn’t have time to dry up.
With water sitting there all the time with no place to go, fungi can start to grow in the grass as well.
This is a difficult time of year for golf courses to try and stay in great condition.
If you have experienced a lot of rain and something else is coming as you make your way to the golf course, chances are your round is going to get called off.
This is one of those days to find an indoor golf simulator and work on your game.
3. Golf Cart Paths With Large Puddles
A golf cart path can also sometimes have large puddles start to accumulate.
This makes it dangerous for carts to pass through and also can cause issues for the carts themselves.
Although golf carts can handle light rain or even a bit of heavy rain as they make their way into the clubhouse, the overall idea of keeping carts out in the rain is a bad one.
Many golf courses will say that you can go and play the course, but it is walking only.
Still, this can create issues with the turf, so if the water accumulation is this bad, your round may just get called off.
4. Water Collecting In The Low Spots On The Fairway
Most fairways have ups and downs.
When you look at the lower spots in the fairway, and they are collecting water, chances are the golf course is going to close things down.
This water needs to leave the fairway and dissipate a bit before it is fair to have players out on the golf course.
Is It Worth Playing Golf In The Rain?
Let’s say your local golf course superintendent decides that it is just fine to have you out on the golf course that day.
Maybe it’s just a consistent light rain, and the course actually needs it.
The question is whether or not you will even want to play when it is raining.
Some golfers don’t mind the rain, but others would rather save their greens fees for a nice sunny day.
Here are a few considerations to make when deciding whether or not the rain will impact your play that day.
1. Gear On Hand
One of the ways a rainy day on the golf course can be greatly improved is when you have the proper gear to help you play.
For golfers who play a lot in adverse weather conditions, there will be things like rain gloves, rain hats, rain gear, and more that they can wear on the course.
Having this gear on hand will help ensure that you are ready to enjoy the round of golf instead of standing out there soaking wet.
The rain gear that is available to golfers will not make conditions perfect, but it certainly will help players who are trying to make the most out of their round.
Perhaps the most important piece of all of this equipment is the rain gloves.
2. How Many Holes Left
Another way to determine if it is worth staying on the golf course is to think about how many holes you have left.
If you have three holes left, it’s certainly worth sticking it out and seeing if you can finish your round.
This is especially true when you have something good already going on.
If you are playing and it starts pouring on the second hole, you may have a bit of a different mindset about whether or not it is worth staying out on the course.
Most of the time, if you have made it to the back nine, you should just stick with it.
Some players will also cut a round short at the nine-hole mark if the weather is starting to look like it is going the wrong way.
3. Refundable Greens Fees
Some golf courses will refund the greens fees if it starts to rain, but others will not.
If you have started your round of golf and the greens fees are refundable, you may want to take a look at how many holes you can play and still get this refund.
Most courses will cut this off around the fifth hole.
Refundable greens fees will mean that you can come back another day when the golf course is in better condition and have a more enjoyable round of golf.
For the courses that do not refund the greens fees, it’s probably not worth finishing up the round of golf.
Players will want to try and finish if they know they are not getting their money back, and that makes sense.
It is a good idea to ask the golf course about their raincheck policy so that you can ensure you are not wasting money by trying to stick it out in the rain.
Some golf courses may not refund your entire greens fees, but they often will give you credit to come back for nine holes another day.
4. Wind And Temperature
The thing about rain on the golf course is it is not the only factor to consider.
If it is also windy, the conditions are even more difficult, and it becomes uncomfortable to play.
Rain and wind are certainly a bit different than playing golf in a bit of a rain shower.
Wind makes it nasty out there, and most golfers will want to avoid this when they can.
In addition, you have to think about the temperature.
Freezing rain is much more uncomfortable than summer rain.
If you have your rain gear in place, you may be able to deal with both the wind and the cold, but it is not quite ideal.
5. Other Options
Another thing to consider is what else you may go and do if you leave the golf course.
Leaving the golf course to go to an indoor golf simulator may still help you get your golf fix for the day.
However, if you don’t have the option to go and get some kind of golf in or do something enjoyable with your day, you may be more inclined to stay on the golf course.
Last but not least, we recommend taking a look at the radar.
If the radar shows that your golf round is just going to be bothered by rain for a few more minutes, then, by all means, stay out on the course.
If you can see the storms are almost over, then it makes sense to keep playing.
Golfers need to consider that bad weather can pass just as quickly as it started, and the radar is the best way to look at this and understand that it may be worth sticking things out.
Although this is not a 100% accurate way, it will give you a basic idea and is available on any smartphone.
Hopefully, you now feel as though you can make an informed decision about golfing in the rain.
Playing in the rain takes some dedication, and if you are not a golfer who is committed to the sport, you may decide to take the day off.
Try to consider the risks with the rewards when it comes to playing golf in the rain.
The reward is that you will get to practice your skills and learn a bit more about playing in various conditions.
The risk is mostly if there is lightning in the area, and this is when the golf course will likely just shut down.
Overall, the only thing you will need to watch out for is your clubs starting to rust.
Let them dry outside the bag after a round, and you should have no long-term issues with a day of rain on the course.