Photo by D’arcy Norman. Used under a Creative Commons license.
Pittsboro, NC – I’m an outdoorsy girl. And I love golf. But I was surprised to find out how many people are into golfing in winter.
Some say they like the challenge of golfing in the harsh weather. Others enjoy the relatively calm atmosphere on a course in winter.
Here in Chatham County, North Carolina, our winters are pretty mild. But as the weather this week has shown us, anything’s possible.So here are some tips for golfing in winter and a few great places to play up and down the Route 64 corridor.
Winter Gear for Golfers
Unless you’re one of those people who wear short sleeves in a snowstorm, proper gear is essential for enjoying winter golf.
Most folks start with high tech apparel to keep the body’s core warm. That means layers of clothing, including wind proof jackets, compression shirts and sweaters.
Mizuno Bio Gear High Neck Tee makes a great base layer. It even claims to improve your game: “Compresses muscles to reduce vibration and increase overall performance.” For $49 dollars, you’ll feel like a million bucks, that’s for sure.
Also from Mizuno, the Cabrakan jacket is wind and water resistant. It’s also the bomb at $79.
At this point, it bears mentioning that Japanese golfers are very devoted to cold weather tee times. Some of the best winter gear is made for the Japanese market.
Underarmour, Nike, Foot Joy and Callaway also make great winter golf gear.
Golf Pro’s Secret Winter Tip
My friend Mark, who used to be a golf pro, told me his secret tip for staying comfortable during cold weather golf: thermal socks.
If you’re serious about challenging yourself in extreme conditions, is it cheating to have a potable space heater in your golf cart? Coleman doesn’t think so, and many winter golfers agree. I’ve seen plenty of people with two of these nifty units in their cart.
For the gal (or guy) who’s planning on lots of winter golf, this is a pretty clever device.
Winter Golf Balls
Experts say that low-compression balls are more forgiving in cold weather. Callaway HX Tour Series X-Out Golf Balls are made with a polybutadiene rubber core for compression that is low enough not to be affected by the air. The balls have a 332-dimple design, which allows them to overcome denser air and even minimizes the effect of wind.
Where to Shop
Most of the local clubs have pro shops, and you can shop online. But we’ll give a shout out to the shop at Chapel Ridge. It’s loaded with winter apparel from fleece jackets, sweaters, vests, wind jackets, microfiber layered jackets, gloves and mittens, packs of hot hands, and even toboggans.
Tell them Julie sent you.
Winter Rules (Preferred Lies)
Golfing in winter even has its own rules.
In locations where winter weather can be harsh, with negative effects on golf courses, some courses will post a sign stating “winter rules in effect today,” or “preferred lies today.” This means that golfers may improve their lies in certain areas of the course. Those areas usually are limited to the fairways where bare ground can be showing due to dead grass. If your ball lands there, Winter Rules may allow you to move the ball onto grass.
When Winter Rules are in effect, notice should be posted at the course, including hopefully, specific instructions for application.
Here is a list of golf courses in the Pittsboro area. They are listed by proximity to Pittsboro, including courses in neighboring cities accessible from Route 64.
Chapel Ridge Golf Club, Chapel Ridge Course
1010 Chapel Ridge Drive
Pittsboro, NC 27312
Located just three miles from the center of Pittsboro, Chapel Ridge is an exceptional master-planned golf community developed on over 1,000-acres of rolling countryside. In addition to the Fred Couples Signature golf course, Chapel Ridge also features a clubhouse, swim and tennis center. Premiere facilities include a practice range and short game area, along with a clubhouse/grille and fully stocked golf shop.
Chapel Ridge offers the unique opportunity to purchase spectacular golf, nature, creek and hilltop view homesites. If you have visions of the perfect golf course residence, contact me for further information.
Chapel Ridge is a public course, with a sister membership to The Preserve.
The Preserve at Jordan Lake Golf Club
840 The Preserve Trl
Chapel Hill, NC 27517
Four miles from the center of Pittsboro is The Preserve at Jordan Lake, a 18-hole regulation length preserve course in Chapel Hill. Designed by Davis Love, III, the course features 7,107 yards of golf from the longest tees for a par of 72 .
Twin Lakes Golf
648 Willow Way
Chapel Hill, NC 27516
Twin Lakes Golf Course is a 9-hole regulation length golf course located near Pittsboro. The website has an interesting hole-by-hole diagram for those interested in checking it out. The pro shop offers club, pull cart, and equipment rentals, as well as snacks and drinks.
11000 Governors Dr
Chapel Hill, NC 27517
Located 9 miles from the center of Pittsboro, Governor’s Club offers several private equity courses to choose from. The Lakes Course boasts 9 holes over 7,043 yards with a par of 72. The Foothills Course offers 9 holes over 3,346 yards with a par of 36, and the Mountain Course has 9 holes over 7,043 yards with a par of 72.
Siler City Country Club Golf Course
150 Country Club Drive
Siler City, NC 27344
The Siler City Country Club features an 18 hole golf course comprised of lush rolling fairways and paved golf cart paths. The front nine was designed in 1957 by renowned golf course architect Ellis Maples. The back nine was added in 1987 by designer Tom Jackson. The combination of two great golf minds have created a course that should prove to be a challenge for golfers of all skill levels. Also featured is a fully stocked pro shop, driving range, short game practice area, putting green, on-site instruction and cart rentals.
Although this is a private course, they do have guest passes and specials during the week. Call for more information.
Tee To Green Practice Range & Golf Shop
3501 US Hwy 64W
Apex, NC 27523
If you’re looking for a driving range only, check out the Tee To Green Practice Range. Tee to Green features a one acre all grass teeing area that is open year-round and is fully lit for night practice. They offer a great selection of new and used golf equipment, as well as golf lessons, club fitting, and on-site club repair.
For fresh air in the great outdoors, nothing beats the leisure opportunities that abound in my home in Chatham County. For more information on Pittsboro and it’s surrounding areas, contact me. I’d love to show you around.