How much shorter does a golf ball travel in cold weather?
Golf Culture

How much shorter does a golf ball travel in cold weather?



As the cold weather starts to roll in, golfers might notice that their shots aren't going as far as they did just a month or two ago -- and that they're definitely not going as far as they did in the summer.

Golfers might be wondering if they're imagining things, but their eyes are not deceiving them.

Most every golfer believes that their golf ball flies much farther in the heat of the summer than in the colder months of winter (or even fall or spring), and, well, it does.

According to Titleist research, a golfer will experience an approximately 1.5 percent drop in distance for every 20 degree drop in temperature. If you carry your driver 250 yards, that 1.5 percent drop equates to 3.75 yards. Imagine that throughout the bag -- only on carry numbers. Firmer ground conditions may mean more roll at times.

However, the effect heat has on the distance the golf ball travels isn't quite as much as most golfers, including many professionals, think.

So how much does heat affect how far the golf ball travels? According to the folks at TrackMan, for every 10 degrees of increase in temperature, the golf ball flies approximately 1.33 to 1.66 yards farther, depending on the club being used. This is because the temperature changes air density, which is ultimately the factor determining how well the golf ball can fly through the air with minimal drag and ideal lift.

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