One of the (many) great things about golfing on the Grand Strand is that, with the area’s temperate maritime climate, there are few times of the year when extreme heat or cold is an issue.
Especially during the dog days of summer, though, players on any of the Myrtle Beach area’s world-class courses can certainly work up a sweat during their round, particularly when playing in the full sun. But by taking the right precautions and on-course actions, they don’t have to let even the hottest of days on the course throw them off their A-Game.
Consider these six tips and tactics for coping with heat during your next round:
Of course, if you’re hitting the open fairway with your shots (as we hope you’ll be doing most of the day), you’ll be spending some time in the sun. But whenever possible, find ways to stay in the shade. Whether it’s by staying in the covered cart as much as you can, walking under an umbrella, strolling along the shaded tree line or hiding out under a hat, the less direct sunlight you encounter, the cooler you’ll be able to keep.
When playing in the heat, you’re going to sweat, expelling valuable liquids. And if you don’t replace then quickly enough by steadily drinking fluids, you’ll begin to become dehydrated — which can take a toll on your body, your mind and your game. Be sure to stay adequately hydrated throughout your time on the course, and even during the night and days before your round to ensure that your fluids are at sufficient levels when you hit the first tee.
When you’re sweating a lot, you can more quickly rehydrate and refill your stores of energy by adding supplements such as electrolytes, salts and carbohydrates (the additives that make sports drinks effective) to the water you drink. Look for supplements that are high in electrolytes such as sodium, potassium, chloride and magnesium.
When the heat really sets in, your body is already working hard trying to keep cool — and it can be exhausting. Do your best to conserve energy and get some rest between your shots, as well as between any walking the course you need to do. And if your body is showing signs of heat-related illness such as heat stroke or heat exhaustion, take the appropriate CDC-recommended steps.
Even with adequate hydration, when the temperatures get high enough and/or you’re active enough, your body can begin to overheat. To help it cool off, you can use a cooling towel or ice pack — and either will work better with the right placement. The best spots on the body to place these for the fastest cooling are the ones where your blood vessels are closest to your skin, and prime examples here include the back of your neck and your wrists.
While the heat can cause physical discomfort and ailments, it can also affect your concentration. By taking the above-outlined steps, though, you should be better able to keep your mind focused on the fundamentals needed to keep playing your game at the highest levels possible.
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