Fall golf offers many advantages-and great views-to area golfers

The weather may be cooling down and the daylight getting shorter, but the fall season could be one of the best golfing times. At the end of the summer, most put their clubs away until the spring. However, there are advantages playing fall golf compared to the other seasons of the year.

Even though the weather is getting cooler as the season changes, it actually makes for better days to play a round of golf compared to the summer.

“You’re not going to be totally worn out or exhausted from the heat when you fall golf. It’s going to be nice for a period of time until it gets too cold,” said Mike Abell, director of the Golf Hospitality Association.

Not only are the cooler temperatures easier on the golfer, they’re also easier on the golf courses.

“When you get the better temperatures, the golf courses are generally in better condition because they don’t have to fight the heat as much either,” said Kane Chapman, head golf professional at WinterStone Golf Course.

“Generally, you’re going to have better weather and a better golf course to play than you get a lot of the time during the summer.”

The cooler weather also helps in different parts of your fall golf game. The chiller weather makes the playing surface harder, which will give your ball more bounce and roll than in the summer.

You could also take some riskier shots over or through trees in the fall. Abell explained a golf theory about hitting through trees.

“There’s a theory in golf that if you hit into a tree, it’s about 90 percent air, but when the leaves are on, it’s a lot less than 90 percent,” Abell said. “You might not go over that tree or through it if you are thinking 90 percent air in the spring, but in the fall, you might get lucky and go through there because you don’t have all the leaves and foliage.”

Fall golf can also be easier on the wallet. Abell said golf course pro shops will have clearance sales on clubs and apparel, plus tee times are usually more available at reduced rates. Certain days and times will be perfect and open, especially if you aren’t much of a football fan.

“During the fall, a lot of people sneak out during football games if they are not big football fans,” Chapman said. “A lot of people, when the Chiefs play, don’t play golf. They are more concerned with the Chiefs game, so it makes for a really good time to play fall golf.”

“The same thing can happen on Saturdays,too, if you’ve got Missouri, Kansas and Kansas State playing. It makes for a really good time to play fall golf.”

Plus, if you enjoy the great outdoors, the golf course can look very picturesque in the autumn, making the experience better.

“I’ve taken some beautiful pictures. In the fall, the foliage is absolutely gorgeous out there,” Abell said. “It’s such a relaxing sport when you can see all of that.”

Chapman echoed that.

“You get some fantastic views when the leaves start changing and our golf course is in really good shape right now, so it’s going to be a really good golf course to play,” Chapman said about WinterStone Golf Course.

The downsides are less daylight, meaning less time during the day to golf. Plus, the colder weather can make things rough on a golfer, partly because the ball doesn’t travel as well in the colder air and how it affects your swing.

“If you hit a ball when it’s real cold and you miss it the least bit, it’s going to sting,” Abell said. “It’s like a baseball will hit way down on the handle of a bat, you’ll sting your hand. This happens with the golf club as well.”

There are ways to stay warm. Some golfers will get a golf cart with a windshield or buy a cover or heater to avoid the cold. Some will also use hand warmers in their golfing gloves to avoid those stinging golf swings.

All in all, fall golf can be great.

“The fall season of the year is probably some of the best time to be outdoors where you’re going to be able to enjoy the sunshine, the breeze, and the views of the trees turning. To me, it’s the perfect time to play,” Abell said.

For more coverage of golf, visit http://kcsportspaper.com

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Article by Drew Parks

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