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? 

Yes, golf courses may close or partially close when it rains, depending on various factors such as the severity of the rain, the condition of the course, and the policies of the golf course management.

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 light rain, some courses may remain open, but in heavier rain or during thunderstorms, courses often close for safety reasons to protect both players and the course itself from damage.

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:

Rain ConditionCourse Status
Light rainOpen
Moderate rainPartially open (Some holes may be closed)
Heavy rainClosed
ThunderstormsClosed (due to lightning risk)
After rain stopsDepends on course conditions (May remain closed if ground is saturated or if there is lightning risk)
Table showing the golf course open and closing situations in the rain time.

Reasons Why Golf Courses Might Close During Rain

  • Player Safety: Lightning is a major hazard during storms, and courses will close immediately to protect golfers.
  • Course Damage: Heavy rain can saturate the ground, leading to standing water, muddy fairways, and unplayable greens. This can damage the course and make conditions unfair for everyone.
  • Cart Restrictions: To prevent further course damage, many courses implement “cart path only” rules during wet weather, which can be inconvenient for many golfers.
  • Reduced Enjoyment: Playing in the rain can be uncomfortable and make the game less enjoyable.

When golf course Might Stay Open When it is raining?

  • Light Rain: Many courses remain open during light rain, especially if the drainage is good.
  • Duration: A short shower likely won’t cause closure, but prolonged heavy rain increases the chances.
  • Economic Factors: Some courses may stay open as long as possible for financial reasons, especially during peak season.

What to Do if You’re Planning to Golf in rain?

  • Check the Forecast: Look at the weather forecast ahead of time.
  • Call the Course: Contact the pro shop to inquire about their rain closure policy and current course conditions.
  • Be Flexible: Have a backup plan or be willing to reschedule your round if necessary.

Remember, safety comes first. If there’s lightning or significant flooding on the course, it’s always best to wait for better weather.

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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