Summertime is sweet — but playing your best golf when the thermometer soars requires special preparation and, on occasion, internal fortitude.
Just ask Canadian golf legend Marlene Stewart Streit, who, in 2003, persevered through 47 holes of match play in broiling Texas heat to capture her third U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur title. Streit, just six months shy of her 70th birthday, said fatigue and the unrelenting 32 C temperature were never serious considerations.
“I just wiped my neck and face with ice water and kept going,” Streit said of her victory over an opponent 10 years her junior. “I was ready to play however many holes it took.”
Streit knew that avoiding potential summertime health hazards such as heat cramps (painful muscle contractions), heat exhaustion (characterized by nausea, headache and fainting) and heatstroke (a potentially life-threatening condition requiring emergency medical attention) is mostly a matter of common sense.
Start by checking the weather forecast and then dress accordingly. On especially humid days, be sure to choose loose-fitting clothes and fabrics that won’t stick to your body. Shop for products that are made of Coolmax fabric, which helps to protect against UV rays and keeps you cool and dry. And choose light colours such as white and yellow.
Even on cloudy days, a hat or visor is an essential part of every golfer’s wardrobe. Visors enable the top of the head to release heat, unlike a hat, which traps it in.
Don’t forget the sunscreen and always bring a towel and plenty of water.
Staying hydrated is the single most important factor in combating the effects of heat.
Finally, try to book tee times early in the morning or late in the day when temperatures are cooler — even if that means you won’t be able to blame bad shots on the weather.