Playing disc golf in cold weather or rainy weather isn’t an ideal situation for most disc golfers. Combine those elements and most would rather stay inside where it is warm and dry. What happens though when the tournament weather turns and you aren’t prepared?
Team Discmania’s Anneli Tõugjas recently started a discussion with other team members about having a hard time playing with heavy rain mixed with the cold weather. What followed was a great discussion between team members with some great ideas that all disc golfers can benefit from.
One thing to note is that “cold weather” doesn’t mean winter like weather. Rain combined with temperatures around 50-60°F (10-16°C) can really do a number on you.
Hand Warmers Are Your Friend
One of the most common themes was the use of the handheld hand warmers. Bob Kulchuk brings multiple packs to use during a round of disc golf.
“Start using the hand warmers 30 minutes before a round,” Kulchuk says. “Keep them in your pockets to starve them of oxygen. This makes them heat up better. Having more than one in the pockets helps with a little burst of heat.”
Bradley Brown is also a fan of hand warmers and adds a bit of equipment to make the most of them. Brown uses a hand warmer, like American football quarterbacks might wear around their waist, on his bag with hand warmers inside of it.
Brown says, “I put it on the back of my straps and walk with my hands behind my back in the warmer between holes. You’ll never have cold hands.”
Save the Paper Napkins
Keeping a disc dry is an endless battle, but you can take a few steps to make the most of a bad situation. Casey Pennington will save the simple paper napkins for when she eats out and keeps them in a plastic bag. Use a normal towel to get the disc mostly dry and then the paper napkins can finish the job.
This simple trick can really make your disc feel as if it is sunny and 70 out.
The Mental Game
Dominik Stampfer adds one of the most important points to keep your game strong in the rain.
Stampfer says, “Mindset is key in the rain. Once you think about losing your grip, feeling cold, changing grip, plastic type, etc... you are turning around from what you do in practice and getting out of your routine.”
“Prepare yourself mentally for a round, think of what you are doing when it starts to rain and keep your routine. Most importantly, keep smiling and enjoy the round. It isn’t fun to know that 99% of the field are approaching the rain round with less motivation?”
Kulchuk adds that you should also simulate these poor conditions. This doesn’t mean you have to practice in the rain. The next time you do field work, bring a bucket full of water. Dunk the discs and your hands in the water without drying anything off. This will give you the best chance to work through your bag and how each disc performs when wet.
Other discussions included the importance of not trying to throw at full power. You have less grip and you need to accept that. Add in managing expectations and knowing you can’t pull off the same shot in the poor conditions and you won’t get in your head.
The next time the weather turns in your disc golf tournament, don’t let a little rain and cold ruin things and keep your head strong and discs dry and the birdies will continue to shine down.
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