Wet golf courses are good for amateurs

It's spring in central Pennsylvania. That can only mean one thing... rain and wet golf courses. This year is no different. After having a snowy winter and a late thaw, the ground on many local courses is bound to be wet. But that's not necessarily a bad thing, is it? Sure playing a wet course can be annoying (nobody likes wet feet!), but wet conditions can actually improve your score if you know how the moisture affects things.

On the tee and fairway

You can notice the difference of a wet course right away, starting with your very first tee shot. While we all dream of a perfect shot hitting the center of a firm fairway and rolling an extra 10, 20, even 30 yards, the reality is that a lot of us non-professional golfers have a tendency to miss the center of the fairway or ignore the short cut completely and go straight for tall grass (why make things easy, right?). An advantage of a wet course is that you can make up for your bad shot a little easier. That tee shot headed for the side of the fairway? On a wet course, it won't bounce as much and could stay right where it is on the fairway. No more hard bounces off into the rough.

Approach shot

Rain benefits the amateur golfer possibly even more than the professional, as not only are those shorter irons going to stop quicker once they land (meaning you don’t have to take roll-out into consideration as much on your approaches), but you’re also far more likely to hold the green with a shot from further away that comes in lower and faster. Wet and sloppy conditions restrict the amount of roll you'll receive when hitting the fairway and approaching the greens. If you're aware of that, you can exploit it by choosing a different club or a different shot entirely. That wedge shot you might normally try to land 10 yards short and roll up to the green, you may now reconsider and try to loft it up to the pin knowing it will stick more than usual. 

On the green

On the green, your putts won't roll quite as fast, so you'll need to compensate for that. But this also means your ball likely won't roll as far on a miss hit. In dry summer conditions, your ball can roll on forever, but when it is wet and soft, the greens are very forgiving. You can be more aggressive, take more direct lines (hitting through the break), and not worry about running further past the hole than you started.

As you can see, while a wet course isn't necessarily ideal, it isn't the end of the world either. Learn how to take advantage of the conditions and use them to your advantage. Just be nice and replace any divots your create - by both your ball and your club after you take your aggression out on it for a shank into the woods. 


While I agree that a wet green is helpful to keep your putts from getting out of control, I'm not convinced that a wet course is helpful in any other ways. A lot of times, the wet grass causes your ball to skip and behave differently than it would on a dry surface, which can cause a more inaccurate shot.

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