By Adam Bowles
The dog days of summer are in full gear and if you have been outside in the last three weeks you know exactly what I am referring to. Every day around 10:00 a.m. the outside temperature begins to rise and the humidity begins to wake up from its nightly slumber. I begin to know exactly when this temperature jump starts because I can look at our tee sheets and see that the majority of players are in the morning. They have wisely chosen to begin their round before the 10:00 break. Very, very wise indeed.
In this edition of the 37th hole I am going to give you some tips for staying cool in the extreme heat and how to be prepared for your round of golf. The first thing you must do before all others is hydrate, hydrate and then hydrate some more. The number one medical issue that takes place on the golf course is a heat stroke. Heat stroke can be related to many different things but most commonly it is connected to dehydration. Year after year I see golfers having to leave the course because of the heat. Their pale face and lethargic movement tells me they are dehydrated. The best tip I can give you is to hydrate the day before you play. Trying to guzzle down energy drinks and waters as you are playing only slightly help. It is better to prepare your body the day before you venture out into the sun.
The second thing that can help is to take a towel with you to ice down before your round. This is the perfect relief while you are playing to lower the body temperature around neck and head. There is nothing more soothing than an ice towel around your neck on a hot day. There are even some companies that have a product on the market that is specifically designed for wrapping their towel around your neck.
The third thing you can do is to always park in the shade or drive your cart as near the shade as possible. In between shots or waiting on a hole, finding some trees with shade is a great relief.
The last tip I can give you is one most people do not think about. Maybe you should only play 9 holes instead of 18. Most of us think of a round of golf as 18 holes but there is no shame in only playing 9. You can still post a score, get out some of your competitive juices, and be home for the rest of the day and sit in front of your air conditioner.
Please take my advice on this issue as I also have a terrible time in the sun and always have to be on the lookout for the signs of dehydration. See you at the golf course soon, and you better have a water in your hand!
Adam H. Bowles, PGA, Golf Operations Manager, Bald Mountain and Apple Valley, 828-694-3040, firstname.lastname@example.org.