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Hitting range balls in -5 Degrees Celcius (23 Degrees F)

6 posts in this topic

Hey guys, I recently got a killer deal on a set of Rocketbladez Tour Irons but the only drawback was that they have X-Stiff shafts. My swing speed with irons is 80mph so I was really worried that I would have problems. Well, I've been going to an indoor range because it's freaking freezing here and I love them. I'm striking the ball straight, high and from the feel I expect some decent distance and  I hardly feel a difference from my old stiff shafts on my old RACS.

Now, today I went to a heated outdoor range but it was still only -5* Celsius (23* F). No matter how much I stretched and warmed up, I still felt stiff from the cold. When I started to hit balls, everything was going to the right. Not so much a slice with my irons as a straight push. Now could this be attributed to the fact that I was not limber enough to be squaring up the club face at impact due to the cold weather? At the indoor range there is no straight push whatsoever. I hit my irons dead straight there. So could it be that I was too cold and stiff to put in a solid swing or is it that the shafts are too stiff and they are not allowing me to square up the club face (even though I can do it fine in a warm climate)

One more thing, I know that you lose distance in the cold but I'm a little worried about this to. I normally hit my 8 iron 150 - 155 yards. Today in the dead of winter I was hitting my 8 iron about 110 yards. Should I be worried that the shafts are causing me to lose a considerable amount of distance or is that normal to lose that much distance in that cold of weather? I'm a little stressed because I've come A LONG WAY due to the lessons I've been taking and I don't want these shafts to screw everything up (even though I know that I can get fitted and replace them it's just a money factor right now, all my clubs were stolen and I had to replace everything). Remember, in a warm climate I love the way these clubs feel and when I hit it pure, the ball is going dead straight. Thanks guys.

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My advice is not to go to an outdoor range when it's that cold out. It doesn't matter if it was heated, they're not that warm. That kind of weather is not conducive to physical activity and you are liable to get hurt. Keep using the indoor range or wait until the weather gets warmer before you make a judgement on your clubs.
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I never worry about distance when it's that cold, I look carefully at ball flight and relative changes. I'm used to practicing in the cold now so my swing is the same in really cold temps and warm temps. Something psychosomatic about the cold that I was doing things differently but I've gotten over it. 23 is about my limit with heaters and no wind. Nowadays, upper 30s, low 40s is a good day for practicing.

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Don't forget, the BALLS aren't heated. The internal materials will contract and NOT respond as they would if they were warmer. Especially if the balls have been left in the machine overnight. Last week, I had to double check all the balls dispensed because as the balls go into the machine, they get washed. That water froze on the balls and needed to be practically chipped off. And that was only in temps just below freezing overnight. I grabbed a few at a time and tried to wrap them up in a towel and rub them dry to try and warm them up. didn't really work, but at least they weren't wet when struck (which causes other problems with ball flight). So, frozen balls is a situation to be avoided... :-D
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They keep the balls inside the clubhouse until you're ready to hit the range. I guess that they may be warm for a couple of minutes but it probably doesn't take long for them to get cold in that kind of weather.

The funny things is that I woke up this morning feeling really stiff and that never happens to me when I hit a bucket or two so I'm thinking that the cold was causing me to make some errors in my swing.  I hope that's all it was.

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I have hit plenty of shots with temps in the high 20s, and yes you lose distance. The balls don't turn into rocks if you hit them solidly, and they certainly don't change your shot direction based on the temperature. This was a swing issue and maybe being stiff from the weather could make a difference, or maybe you just had a bad day and couldn't get settled in.

Range balls do not behave the same as normal balls in terms of distance; forget the yardage markers. I'd hit normal balls farther in 25˚ temps than range balls in the summer if they're Top flite range balls that are beat up; my range uses srixon and nike range balls that don't go as far as a normal ball but a lot better than the cheaper ones at some ranges. The top flites are often poorly cared for limited flight models that just suck all around. I think my range's balls in summer temps would go about the same as a normal one in the cold, if not a bit farther. If anything's making you hit an 8 iron 110, it's likely limited flight balls, especially if you had no shots at all go your normal distance. Bad balls on their own can cost 25% for me. And that's assuming they're not cracked or worn or misshapen.

My experience has been that I choose to play 3/4 shots for about 2.5 clubs shorter distance than my normal stock shot in temperate weather. This means I usually hit my 7i around 180 for a stock shot in warm temps, but I hit a controlled shot for about 155 or so in cold weather. If I were trying to get 180 out of my 7i in that weather, I'd probably be about 5 yards short even if I maxed the club out. The overall effect is probably a little less than 2 clubs for temps in the 30s vs 70F, maybe a touch more if you're below freezing but that changes the game completely once the ball lands. I've carried a driver as much as 265 in freezing temps which is about as good as I can do for those conditions, but it bounced well off the green in one bound, leaving a small mark.

Where the temperature hurts your game is on the green, where it's nearly impossible to keep a ball near the hole on a frozen green. That can be 10 strokes easily if you don't allow a large margin for it.

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