Do Golf Courses Close When It Rains? [Explained in Detail]

Are you among those golfers who enjoy golfing in outdoor courses or who have recently joined a public golf club? If so, you might be conscious about whether you can continue golfing when it’s raining. So, really do golf courses close when it rains? 

Fortunately, golf is the game which can be played in almost all weather conditions unlike other outdoor games including cricket or tennis. But it will definitely close in extreme weather conditions as the safety comes first.  

But when do the golf courses actually close or how can you play golf in the rain? So, this article will cover all the answers to these questions and also, give you some amazing tips on playing golf in the rain. Let’s begin. 

Do Golf Courses Close When It Rains

Do Golf Courses Close When It Rains?

In most cases, the golf courses will remain open in the rain. When it’s drizzling or raining lightly, the players can continue golfing with some safety tools. 

But if there is downfall or lightning and thunderstorms accompanied with the rain, the golf courses should be closed immediately to ensure safety for golfers. 

Therefore, for your better understanding, here are the reasons why and when the golf courses will shut down:

Heavy Rain 

When the rain is steady or heavy and lasts for longer than a few hours, the golf courses should be called off. Because it can damage the golf course badly. 

Most superintendents also don’t allow using carts in heavy rains, as the wheels can be risky to handle in such situations and damage the fairways. So, they call off the course and wait until the rain stops.   

Lighting and Thunderstorm

Golf courses are one of the most risky places while it’s lightning in heavy rains. Because, the golf courses are usually widely open places, where humans are the most at risk of being struck by lightning. 

And we also know well how dangerous lightning can be! So, if it’s lightning with a thunderstorm, nobody should take it lightly, rather leave the golf course and take shelter immediately. 

Standing Water

When there is heavy rain for a longer time, it can cause puddles on the ground and soak the fairways.

Furthermore, if the course has a poor drainage system, then it might be more vulnerable to damage the green. 

Considering these possible mischiefs, the superintendents may shut down the courses until the condition is resolved. 


When it rains, it makes the ground wet and muddy. For this, the grass surface can be a bit more soft and slippery. 

First of all, a slipping ground leads golfers to incorrect footing and traction. As a result, the players will lose swing and the ball trajectory will be decreased. 

Playing golf on a slippery ground like this can also drastically damage the turf and the golfers may also slip.

So, it’s better to stop golfing in a slippery ground and delay the game until the wetness fades away. 


Sometimes, a stormy wind can be accompanied with the rains when the weather condition is extremely bad. Golfing will be unplayable, when there is wind over 30 mph. 

In windy conditions, the players may lose distance and control over the shots. Swinging will also seem a bit harder. As a result, golf courses can be closed in the rain with stormy wind. 


Darkness is another common circumstance we often face while raining. If it is too dark when it’s raining, golfers will be unable to monitor the ball fly and land. 

In this case, the golf courses may temporarily shut down though it is usually up to the players. 

So, as we can see, there are a number of weather conditions or reasons associated with rain that can cause the golf courses to shut down. 

How to Play Golf in the Rain?

As we have already mentioned, golf courses may remain open when it’s drizzling or a little rain.

Though playing golf in the rain might be fun but won’t be a good experience when it comes to performance.   

But it happens mostly in competitive tournaments. The okay must go on unless the ground is totally unplayable. 

In such a situation, it will require some extra planning and preparations to maintain your performance in the rain. So, firstly, here are the things you should have before going to play golf in the rain: 

Dress accordingly
Source: NY Times

While playing in the rain, the first and foremost thing you should do is your dressing. You must wear waterproof jacket pants, gloves, shoes and a hat to keep yourself dry. 

Bring lots of handy towels

Bring lots of handy towels 

When you are going to play in the rain, don’t forget to bring a couple of handy towels. It will be useful to wipe off your hand and golf club after hitting a shot.

Get some extra golf balls and clubs

Get some extra golf balls and clubs 

While playing in the rain there is a chance to lose the ball in the rough and wet green. The ball can also become wet and unplayable. 

Similarly, you should bring some extra clubs (if you play 8-iron, also get a 7-iron in the rain) which are actually required for shorter games. So, it’s a good idea to have some extra balls and clubs in your golf bag. 

Protect the gear

Protect the gear 

In the rainy season or when there is a chance of rain, you should carry a waterproof golf-bag to protect your gear.

If the clubs and balls get wet, it will affect your performance as well as damage them badly in the long term. So, keep a water-resistant golf bag or buy a rain hood for the bag. 

Invest on some hand warmer 

Invest on some hand warmer 

In cold and rainy weather conditions, your hands can be too wet and damp to grip the clubs properly.

So, also bring a few hard warmers to keep your hands warm and dry. Now, here are some tips on how you can play golf in the rain: 

  • First of all, you should stay calm and confident to face the challenge. 
  • Have a better knowledge about the rules of your golf course while playing in the rain. 
  • Use fairways woods and hybrids rather than long irons. 
  • When it’s raining, the greens usually become slower and longer. So, be firmer while hitting chips and putts. 
  • Don’t expect more distance.
  • Hit lower to get more distance. 
  • Play simple shots and hit carefully. 
  • Lastly, don’t lose your hope and confidence.  

How Long Does It Take For Golf Courses to Dry out?

How Long Does It Take For Golf Courses to Dry out? 

Generally, courses are designed with a proper drainage system that can drain and dry out the ground quickly.

But how long the golf courses will take to dry out will actually depend on how heavily the rain has fallen. 

If there is a little rain and the course has a good drainage system, it will take a few hours to dry it out.

On the other hand, if an inch of rain has fallen in a shorter period of time, it may take approximately 2-3 days to dry. 

But if the rain causes significant damage to the course, it may take up to a couple of weeks to recover completely.

After all, when a golf course will dry out accordingly will depend on the weather condition and ground condition.

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Do you have more questions about if golf courses are open in the rain? Well, we also have the answers below: 

Is it hard to play golf in the rain?

Yes, it’s obviously a bit harder playing golf in the rain (mostly for beginners and average golfers). Rain causes wet and slippery fairways which makes it harder to get swing on the shots. But having the right gear and guidelines can help you to enjoy this challenge. 

What happens to the golf courses when it rains?

Rain makes the golf courses more complicated for golfing. The greens become softer and mushy as well as the fairways get slippery and muddy. 

Is it OK to play golf in the rain? 

Yes, it’s absolutely safe to play golf in the light rain, if there is no heavy downpour or lightning. But nobody should try this without the right equipment and proper training. 


To sum up, most golf courses don’t get close if the rainfall is moderate and there is no lightning.

Because, it’s not impossible to do golfing in the rain, though it may be slightly difficult to deal with. 

Furthermore, the policies for poor weather conditions may vary by the golf courses and clubs.

So, don’t forget to learn the club’s rules for adverse weather conditions before joining the club.

However, make sure that you are well- prepared with the right tools and dress up while continuing playing in the rain.

With proper knowledge and mindset, you will surely enjoy your day on the golf course even if it’s raining.


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