Here's how cold weather affects the performance of golf balls in cold weather and what you can do about it

It’s a question we often ask ourselves at this time year: ‘Should I use a different golf ball in winter?’ Does cold weather affect golf balls? Let’s have a look at the drop, if any, in performance you can expect…

So how does cold weather affect golf balls?

As the temperature continues to come down, the air becomes denser meaning shots are more affected by friction and drag. As a result, you can expect less travel from your usually reliable premium ball. And to make matters worse, the cold means less compression and therefore even further loss of distance.

So how do you calculate the change in performance? It’s actually quite easy. The optimum temperature for golf balls is around 23 degrees and for every 10 degrees below, you’ll lose about two yards of distance.

No more excuses now for coming up short.

How does cold weather affect golf balls

What can you do to prevent this?

A key thing is to make sure you are keeping your golf balls warm between rounds. Storing them in a car boot or unheated garage will mean they will be cold before you even start your round. And that means more distance lost.

It is not allowed in the Rules of Golf to heat your golf balls up while on the course but there’s nothing stopping you doing it before you play. However, you still have options at your disposal should you forget.

One method is to use a different ball each hole and keep the other in your pocket. This will stop them cooling down as quickly and ensure you get the most out of your golf this winter.

And another way you can avoid losing valuable yards is to change the ball you use entirely. A softer ball has less compression which helps to maximise the distance you can hit it. This is due to the fact the ball deforms more at impact. In simple terms, more of the ball comes in contact with the clubface helping to increase ball speed.

Personally, I play with a Titleist ProV1 in the summer but I’ll swap to the TruFeel for the winter months as it has lower compression so will travel further as the temperatures continue to plummet.

If you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the comments below or you can tweet me.