The best winter golf gear can seem like a counterintuitive proposition. Winter clothing is usually meant to be heavy and protective—keeping heat in and the elements out with ample material that usually restricts movement. Most modern golf clothing, on the other hand, is light, airy and designed to never get in the way of a good swing.
It’s strange to think that golf—a game now so closely linked to sunnier, warmer weather climates in Hawaii, Florida, Arizona or California—was invented for play in cold weather that demands that heavy protection. Scotland gave birth to the sport, and anyone who plays links golf in that country knows a bright, cozy day on the course is possible, but rare. For that reason, you’ll need to suit up in warm, welcoming layers.
The Scots created a game that could endure cold, wet conditions, and they played it for centuries, along the ground, in heavy tweed coats and wooly plus-fours. Today, golfers willing to take on the game in less than ideal conditions have the advantage of modern materials and thermodynamic designs to keep them warm and dry.
This collection serves up a head-to-toe look at the best winter golf gear to keep you warm and dry yet free to move and play the game comfortably, even when the temperature or dew point planned their day without golf in mind.
What Constitutes A Game Of Winter Golf?
When discussing gear for winter golf, it’s important to consider that we’re not discussing the occasional practice of gearing up in boots, a stocking cap, mittens and a parka to step out onto sub-freezing tundra worthy of Lambeau Field to wack a ball across the ice shelf. That sort of white-out winter golf is nothing more than a gag—a gimmick offered at the occasional resort with a sense of humor.
Winter golf usually packs it in if the snow flies, but many courses stay open even with temperatures in the 30s and 40s as long as the grass stays open. Those temperatures often bring along wind and rain. As a result, the golfer needs to keep warmth in and moisture out, while allowing the wind to affect only your ball flight.