Golfers are allowed 14 clubs in their bag, but in inclement weather, there are many other specialty items that are just as important as the drivers, fairway woods, hybrids, irons, wedges or putter.
When rain tries to put a damper on your game — as in Friday’s opening round of the Schenectady Classic, when a persistent deluge nearly washed out play — you need to make adjustments. Special equipment is available to help you remain dry, but you also need to make changes in your mental approach. Having a good caddie can help tremendously.
“There is a reason why caddies on the PGA/LPGA tours tell people that keeping players happy in rain is a daunting task,” said Schenectady Municipal Golf Course head pro Matt Daley.
“Mostly because it’s hard to not only stay dry personally, but keeping equipment dry is a challenge.”
Daley said enlisting the services of a good caddie, even a friend, during a tournament is a great idea, but most of us can’t — or won’t — go that route. There are some excellent alternatives that are much less costly.
“FootJoy makes a great rain-specific glove, which enables a player to keep their grip while playing in such conditions,” Daley said. “The wetter they get, it almost seems they get a tackier grip. Packing extra towels is always an excellent idea, as well as [extra] golf gloves should the player not want to wear the rain gloves. Nothing can take the place of a good rain suit — pants, jacket and hat. I keep it in my bag all the time, as you never know when inclement weather is going to come in.”
OK, so you’ve got your rain suit, your extra towels and your gloves. What else can you do to remain competitive in the pouring rain? “The best advice playing in these conditions would be to stay calm, swing slower and use an extra club for approach shots,” Daley said. “The extra clothing and slower swing accounts for less clubhead speed, of course, which means that obviously the ball won’t travel as far. Patience is so incredibly important. I cannot stress that enough. The best way to look at it is everyone in the tournament you may be playing in has to compete in these conditions, so try to rise above it and play harder. You just might surprise yourself.”
Many of the Capital Region’s top amateur golfers will be competing in the annual Troy Invitational Friday through Sunday at the Country Club of Troy. The only 54-hole major amateur tournament without a cut traditionally draws a solid field in the open, senior and junior divisions. Matt Horton is the defending champion. He’s won twice.
The Saratoga County Amateur will be played Friday at Van Patten Golf Club, with the top 12 finishers of the opening round in each division advancing to Saturday’s finals at The Edison Club. Entry fee is $60. Contact Adam Catanzarite at Van Patten GC (877-4500 for more information.
Scott Berliner, the six-time Northeastern New York PGA Player of the Year out of Hiland Golf Club, will be competing in the 50th Annual Professional National Championship at Sunriver Resort in Sunriver, Ore., today through Wednesday. Local PNC winner Eric Mabee of Berkshire Hills CC is also competing.
The next Eastern New York Golf Association weekly event is set for Wednesday at Brookhaven GC.
Normanside Country Club (Wednesday) and Pinehaven Country Club (June 28) are the next two events for members of the Empire Golf Club. Cost for Normanside CC is $50, including cart. The fee at Pinehaven CC is $65, including cart.
The Capital District Elks Junior “Fun” Golf Tournament, for boys and girls ages 12-18, will be held July 21 at Eagle Crest Golf Club. Entry fee is $30 and includes golf, lunch, trophies, door prizes and four greens fees for the overall medalist to Saratoga Spa Golf Course. Qualifiers from this event will be eligible to compete in the 62nd Annual New York State Elks Junior Golf Tournament at Orchard Creek Aug. 6-7. Participants don’t need to be affiliated with the Elks. For more information or an entry sheet go to http://eaglecrestgolf.com.
At Stadium Golf Club, John Roth used a 5-iron for a hole-in-one on the 184-yard 15th hole while playing in the
Cappy’s Body Works league.
Jim Scheckton posted his first career ace with a 7-iron on the 150-yard 16th hole at Amsterdam Municipal Golf Course.
Jeff Gerlach holed out with a 7-iron on the 165-yard third hole at Airway Meadows Golf Club.
George Lindemann eagled the 246-yard, par-4 sixth hole at Mechanicville Golf Club with a 4-wood and a wedge from 95 yards out.
Also at Mechanicville GC, Joe Maru eagled the par-4 18th hole with a driver and a 7-iron from 135 yards out. He was competing in the End Zone league.
At Amsterdam Municipal Golf Course, Carl Leo eagled the 10th hole.
Also at Amsterdam Municipal, Jim Geiger and Joe Taylor each eagled the 10th hole.