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While driving ranges can offer a fun outdoor experience for golfers, sometimes the weather isn’t cooperative. This begs the question “are driving ranges open in the rain or closed?”
Driving ranges do stay open if the rain is light to moderate. However, if the rain is heavy enough that it poses a risk to the players or the condition of the golf course then driving ranges will be closed as a precaution.
Other factors like lightning and high winds can also play a role in whether or not the driving range stays open or not. Another factor is whether the driving range is at a normal golf course or at a place like TopGolf.
In this article, I’m going to help you understand what weather conditions will typically force most outdoor driving ranges to close so you can plan ahead!
Are Driving Ranges Open in The Rain or Closed?
As I mentioned above, driving ranges and golf courses will typically stay open if the rain is light or moderate.
However, if the rain is heavy enough to soften the turf of the course — which makes driving a golf cart difficult — or could potentially cause players to slip and fall, then the range will usually be closed.
Keep in mind, owners of these ranges want to avoid as many accidents as possible. If an accident due to rain occurs, they can be held liable for any injuries sustained.
This is why they are typically very cautious when it comes to keeping a driving range open in poor weather conditions.
How Much Rain Does it Take For a Driving Range to Close?
Depending on the driving range or golf course you’re visiting, the amount of rain it takes to close will vary significantly.
For instance, some driving ranges have a drainage system that is more than adequate when it comes to collecting rainwater and keeping courses relatively dry.
However, some do not, which can lead to drainage problems and flooding during heavy rainstorms.
Generally, if a rainstorm lasts less than 1-2 hours, a driving range will not close. Instead, it may cause a rain delay which means you won’t be able to play until the rain has stopped.
On the other hand, a heavy rainstorm that lasts throughout the day, and doesn’t become less intense can certainly keep a driving range closed.
Risks of Golfing When It’s Raining
Now that we’ve answered the question “are driving ranges open in the rain or closed?” Let’s discuss the risks involved with golfing in rainy conditions.
Slipping & Falling
When swinging a golf club in the rain — especially if you’re swinging at a high speed/torque — then getting the proper amount of traction on the turf will be difficult.
This can lead to slipping and falling. Thankfully, though, you can prevent this from happening by wearing the right golf shoes.
I recommend going with spiked shoes. Even though spikeless shoes have been gaining popularity in recent years, they don’t provide the proper grip in wet conditions.
Diminished Grip on Your Clubs
Losing your grip on your golf club is another risk you face while golfing in the rain.
While you may think this isn’t a big deal, a club can be a dangerous weapon for bystanders. If you lose your grip while swinging, it could fly out of your hands and hit someone nearby.
Many accidents like this occur on driving ranges and golf courses throughout the country.
This is why you should keep your hands dry by keeping them under a golf umbrella and using a towel to wipe off your gloves in between swings.
There’s also golf gloves and grips out there that are specially designed to repel water.
While you may only have a slim chance of being struck by lightning (a chance of around 1 in 500,000 to be exact) it’s still a possibility.
This is especially true when you have a metal golf club in your hands as these can act as lightning rods.
This is why if a rainstorm is accompanied by high winds and lightning, golf courses and driving ranges will typically shut down as a precaution.
Are There Any Advantages to Golfing When it Rains?
It goes without saying, but rain doesn’t offer the most ideal conditions when it comes to golfing.
With that being said, there are actually a few advantages as long as it isn’t a heavy rainstorm accompanied by lightning and high winds.
- Softer Greens: attacking pins becomes much easier when you’re dealing with softer greens (a result of the rain). This means balls will stop much quicker.
- Less People: driving ranges are usually packed (depending on the area you’re in). However, when it rains, casual golfers will typically steer clear of driving ranges and golf courses which can provide a much better experience for you.
- Bunker Shots Become Easier: damp sand is often a lot easier to play from in comparison to dry and soft sand. Light rain can help you generate more spin on your bunker shots, which can help stop the ball closer to the hole.
- Greens Become Easier to Read: putting on a wet green typically leaves behind a faint trail that reveals the line. This can be helpful — for instance, if your friend hits the ball before you on the same line, you will then know exactly which way your putt will break.
What Should You Wear When Golfing in The Rain?
If you do choose to visit a driving range in the rain, you should prepare for these conditions by wearing the proper clothing. Here are a few items that are essential for golfing in the rain:
A raincoat helps when it comes to keeping you dry because it’s designed to repel water. It also can protect your skin from high winds.
When shopping around for rain coats you can wear while golfing, I recommend finding one that is flexible and light.
This will help you stay dry without limiting your movement when swinging a golf club!
2. Rain Pants
You may never have even heard of rain pants before, but these do come in handy, believe me!
Rain pants absorb and repel water, which can be essential for those who plan on driving golf carts and don’t feel like sitting on a wet seat.
3. Waterproof Golf Shoes
Getting your feet wet when golfing can cause you to lose control of your stance and potentially slip. Not to mention, it’s just uncomfortable!
This is why I recommend buying a good pair of waterproof golf shoes.
While most on the market are waterproof, you should always check the product description or specifications to make sure.
Non-slip gloves (either made of leather or polyester) can help you keep a good grip on your golf club in wet conditions.
Be sure to choose gloves that are designed for outdoor use in rainy weather. NOT regular golf gloves.
5. Golf Umbrella
Golf umbrellas have been a life-saver for me when golfing in the rain.
They can help ensure your clubs stay dry while keeping you dry at the same time. I don’t recommend using one in high winds though, as they can be blown away.
6. Microfiber Towel
You should always have a microfiber towel handy for water that happens to find its way onto your gloves, clubs, or grips.
Personally, I keep 2-3 towels in my golf bag at all times. I use one to wipe my grips and the rest to wipe grass and mud off the clubface.
So…are driving ranges open in the rain or closed? The answer depends on the range you’re visiting (and the specific rules they follow) and the severity of the rain.
Generally, driving ranges will stay open in light to moderate rain, but will close during heavy rainstorms, especially if they are accompanied by lightning, high winds and hail.
If you plan on visiting a driving range, be sure to check your weather forecast for the day to ensure you won’t be sent home!