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How much does colder weather affect carry distance?

  • 27-11-2021 11:32am
    Registered Users Posts: 13

    Let’s say you have a carry distance for the driver of 200 yards in the middle of summer. How much would you expect the carry distance to reduce by in winter time? I’ve seen a significant drop in my carry distance recently and not sure if it’s to do with changes to my swing that I’m making or simply due to colder weather reducing carry.


  • Registered Users Posts: 12,405 ✭✭✭✭El Guapo!

    I was only reading about this recently. It does affect carry distance as cold air is denser than warm air.

    The article I read said that you would expect to see a couple of yards lost per 10° decrease in temperature. (I'm pretty sure that was Fahrenheit, if I remember correctly.)

    The percentage loss also varies depending on the club you were using. PW loses less distance than your driver for instance.

    I suppose it depends on what you deem to be a significant loss of carry distance. If it's a few yards then maybe it's the colder weather. But if you're losing 50 yards then its something different at play I would imagine.

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    Less carry and less roll out this time of year. The cold golf ball has an effect too.

  • Registered Users Posts: 17,506 ✭✭✭✭Mantis Toboggan

    I'd hazard a guess of about 10% wind also more of a factor in the winter.

    Free Palestine 🇵🇸

  • Registered Users Posts: 13 derambo

    Yes from some googling I did it seems cold weather only has a small effect on total distance. Other factors at play are:

    • more clothing worn during winter so you are more constricted and can’t rotate as freely.
    • when you are cold you are also more tense and won’t be able to swing as fast
    • cold golf balls won’t travel as far
    • Wind will be more of a factor

    Would be interested to hear what others driving distance is in winter v summer. I carry about 200 yards and total distance of 215 or so in summer. In winter I have a carry distance of about 170 and total distance of 175.

    Would be interesting if the likes of shotscope did some stats on this topic.

  • Registered Users Posts: 17,506 ✭✭✭✭Mantis Toboggan

    Just looking at my stats from this morning, I averaged 204 metres with the driver, summer would be more like 230. Fews today I found plugged.

    Didn't notice any difference with the irons, totally wind dependent.

    Free Palestine 🇵🇸

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  • Registered Users Posts: 12,405 ✭✭✭✭El Guapo!

    Mine is about 50 yards forward and another 150 into the adjacent fairway.

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,373 ✭✭✭spacecoyote

    Mygolfspy guys just put out the results of some hot/cold weather testing they did:

    They do have plenty of caveats and the conditions they used were somewhat extreme (balls exposed to about 40° for 6 hours for the hot test. Balls put in a freezer for 6 hours for cold test), but are indicative of a difference, particularly on the cold test.

    Numbers based on a 100mph driver swing with 9° lofton driver

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,867 ✭✭✭boccy23

    I was wondering something along that line. I put my bag in the car the night before I play. Regularly around Zero deg here at the minute so the balls are coming out of the bag cold. If I store these in the house and bring them from there in the morning, I was wondering whether this may help distance?

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,577 ✭✭✭coillcam

    Pretty much all covered here in previous posts. Very easy to swing from your boots in shorts and polo in the summer vs being layered up and near freezing in winter. There is definitely a small dropoff in carry distance but the rollout is non-existent in my course save for 2-3 dry months. I had a dead calm 5 degrees celsius day recently and my best drives were going pretty much 250 on the button but stopping dead. The same drives were going 260-275 in the summer (20C+) depending on if they caught a bounce. I find I'm having to be hitting about half a club or full club extra distance-wise at this stage of the year for my irons. Wedges are not really noticeable as I'm rarely hitting anything fully, to begin with.

    Headwind and crosswind are a far bigger problem in winter as they tend to be stronger. I've smashed my hybrid a few times into the wind and it was a disaster. Ballooning up into the air and then sailing away to the side. In normal conditions, they'd be a decent shot. Considering dropping in a utility iron for these situations as the gap from 3w to 4i is noticeable.

  • Registered Users Posts: 12,450 ✭✭✭✭prawnsambo

    That's not related to weather though, although tangentially because of the ball being refrigerated/heated. The real test would be in colder air which is denser and contains more moisture.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 8,373 ✭✭✭spacecoyote

    True. I did read a different study, a few years ago (so can't remember exact details) which approximated about a 1 yard reduction in carry for every 10° F change in temperature (so about 1 yrd for every 5.5° C change.

    I'm pretty sure that's not accounting for humidity, clothing, old hands, etc...just a pure temperature change.

    Think the study might have been published by trackman maybe?