There’s almost nothing else like a day of disc golf in the rain: a moisture-filled, saturated, and waterlogged series of throws put together with every complaint and swear word ever thought of. Well, that’s atleast how me and my friends feel. Playing out in the rain absolutely sucks sometimes, but it can be fun if you play your cards right.
So how do you play in the rain? And how do you play your round well? That’s easy. You can crush your rounds in the rain by focusing on your safety, prepping appropriately for the conditions, and making sure to play according to the tips listed a little bit later in this post.
Now take this quick and simple how-to, grab your stuff, and get out on the course for some awesome rain-filled action. Don’t worry, you can dry off later.
Embrace your failure
Before you do anything, though, think about a couple things so that you don’t start hating disc golf in the rain. You’re playing in the rain, so remember that. It’s going to be crappy and it’s going to be wet. You need to learn how to embrace your impending failure. You will not do as well as you normally do. Your throws and your score will be something out of a cheap Halloween horror flick – terrorizing and bad.
Don’t expect to crush your round when it’s raining. You won’t do well. Understand that immediately so that you can do your best with each and every throw. Once you prepare mentally, you can start thinking about your safety.
Let’s talk about safety
So, safety is extremely important. I’m not going to rant on and on about this, but there are a few quick things you need to do in order to be safe on the disc golf course.
Be careful with everything you do.
There are a lot of things that can happen during the rain or during a storm that can lead to someone getting hurt on the disc golf course. Tree limbs can fall and hit somebody, so just be observant and look out for anything like this happening. It’s also very slippery out, so the possibility of injury is very high. Take every necessary precaution in your play to avoid this. You want to go home in one piece.
Thunder is okay, but lightning can kill
Although it is very unlikely that you will get struck by lightning, it has happened many times to a lot of unlucky people. If the course gets too precarious, quit your round and go home. Live to play another day. I’d rather play in better weather anyway. Learn when to pack up your discs and hit the road.
Take a friend
If you do choose to play in crappy weather, take a friend or two out with you. This could be really important just in case something bad does happen to you or to your friends out on the course. There is somebody that can get help. Hopefully nothing bad ever happens, but just in case, there is someone able to do something. It also helps to have someone to suffer through the round with. Playing in this weather by yourself is miserable. So why not suffer together?
Wear the proper attire
wearing the right clothing can help make sure you both stay dry, stay safe, and keep you from possibly getting sick after your round. There are five parts to your attire that you need to look at to make sure you are ready to go!
1. Your footwear needs to be on point
This may be the most important part of your wardrobe if you’re playing out in wet or rainy conditions. Your choice of footwear is critical to disc golf anyways, but if it’s wet and slippery outside, you need shoes that will able to stand up to the weather. A pair of sturdy, slip-resistant, all-weather shoes are what you need.
• Merrell sport hiking boots – I actually have these for my full-time law enforcement job, but they are awesome for playing disc golf. They’re very comfortable right out of the box. I have a pair of the Merrell Moab sport hiking boots. You can check them out on Amazon here.
• Rubber football/soccer/baseball cleats – These are actually a really good option for playing in rainy conditions because of how the cleats grab into the dirt and grass. But make sure you can wear these while throwing on concrete tees. You should be good.
• Outdoor shoes – A great option for you. Shoes similar to the Adidas Terrex Swift R2 GTX work very well for disc golf. They are made for gripping while hiking but the bottoms are not overly defined so you can easily throw on concrete. You can get a couple of good pairs on InfiniteDiscs.com
• Golf shoes – There are very few options of actual disc golf shoes. Latitude 64 makes a pair called the T-Link Disc Golf Shoe. But if you want more “golf” choices, you may have to go for a ball golf shoe like the Adidas Tech Response 4.0WD golf shoe. You never know, these shoes could be the secret to winning in disc golf!
• Rainboots – Because why not? Style is important, right?
2. Waterproof pants?
Yeah, sure. When it’s raining or really wet, you need to at least wear pants out on the course. I often opt for a pair of cargo pants to get me through wet rounds, but another option is a moisture-wicking pair of pants or something that is water proof. You could grab a pair of SingBring waterproof hiking pants or Colombia Rebel Roamer waterproof pants. You can find both on Amazon for a reasonable price.
3. What kind of t-shirt?
Doesn’t really matter for this. Anything that won’t weigh you down if it gets wet.
4. Your jacket
In the rain, look for something waterproof. You have a couple of options here.
• Raincoat: This is a great choice if you want to stay completely dry but isn’t your best choice for competitive disc golf. Mobility may be limited.
• Rain poncho: Better flexibility. Good waterproofing. This could work!
• Waterproof sport rain jacket: The Colombia Watertight II jacket is a really good fit for disc golfers. It offers flexibility, waterproofing, and just a little bit of style for your game.
5. Disc golf gloves
Before you even ask, yes, disc golf gloves are perfectly legal and approved by the Professional Disc Golf Association. You can see the rule here. If you’re interested, you can also read our post on this here. To date, though, there really are not a lot of pairs of actual disc golf gloves. The only pair of gloves designed for disc golf are the Friction Disc Golf Gloves. You can get them here on InfiniteDiscs.com. Apart from that, your only other options come from the plethora of ultimate frisbee gloves or regular hand-warming gloves.
I would stretch for a pair of the Friction disc golf gloves because they are made specifically for disc golf. Grab a pair and try them out. I’ve been told from other players that these are fantastic for wet weather and that you can grip them easily as if they hadn’t gotten wet at all.
Don’t forget to bring an extra pair of clothes!
That extra pair of clothes will save you after your round. Unless you’ve taken every single precaution, you will most likely be very wet after a full round in the rain. It’s important to think ahead and grab an extra shirt, pants, socks, and shoes for the ride home. If you don’t, be prepared for your drive to be uncomfortable.
So you see that it’s very important for you to be dressed appropriately for these wet rounds. The better you prep, the more fun you will have. Now let’s take a look at some gear you will need for your bag.
Bring your stuff
Before you go out, you’re going to need to prep some gear for your rainy round. With that, you need some stuff. Of course, all of this is optional (just kidding, it’s not).
1. An umbrella
This is pretty obvious. If it’s raining, an umbrella can help to keep you fairly dry. It’s your choice, though, whether you want to take a large umbrella to cover everything or a small umbrella just to keep rain off your face. The large umbrella will be clunky and may slow you down but it can keep everything dry. The small umbrella will be lighter and quicker to maneuver during your round, but may not help keep everything you’re carrying very dry.
I usually play with a small-sized umbrella that you can see in the picture below. It looks fairly large, but it’s a one hand umbrella that just covers your body and that’s about it. The picture below the one of me shows the size compared to my Dynamic Discs Sheriff disc. Pretty small but does the job. You can find them from around $10 bucks on Amazon up to around $30 bucks. If you want a larger umbrella, you can get one from about $20 dollars up to $100 or more.
Yes, you will need multiple towels. I recommend taking at least two with you and having more on hand in your car or at home for cleaning your discs/future rounds in the rain. You can always go the route of buying a towel specifically for disc golf like the Innova disc golf towel. But I believe there are much better options.
First off, remember that you’re playing out in the rain so your towels will get dirty. Grab a cheap set of towels from Walmart or Amazon and take those out with you. They’re the basic option to help you clean off your discs and keep them dry. If your looking at towels for keeping your discs dry, you should look for more of a chamois towel or something awesome like the shamWOW! towel. Those options can keep your discs super dry so they won’t slip on any of your throws. Amazon has really cheap options that you can check out. Also, InfiniteDiscs.com has a great selection of disc golf towels.
3. Birdie bag/Rosin bag
A really great disc golf accessory to own is something like a rosin bag or birdie bag. Rosin helps to keep your hands dry, but is better for dryer rounds. Those are great if it’s not raining. If it is raining, pick up a birdie bag to help keep your hands super dry during the round. A birdie bag consists of sawdust or dried wood powder that helps absorbs moisture. These small bags are cheap and can be kept in a pocket or zip-lok bag for easy access. Definitely a go-to product in the rain. Here’s a good one on InfiniteDiscs.com.
Before this article, I had no idea what a rainfly was. But now I’m hooked. A rainfly is a small waterproof cover for a bag. It works similar to a hairnet, stretching over and around your bag. Some rainflys, like those made by pounddiscgolf.com, have magnets to hold them in place. But they’re all fairly waterproof so they can help to keep your bag pretty dry. Check out the picture below for an idea of what a rainfly is.
Time to play
You’ve prepared mentally, made sure to think about your safety, and grabbed everything you need, now comes the fun! It’s time to go out and play your round! Remember to continually be careful whenever you’re playing in the rain. I can’t stress safety enough. You want to go home in one piece.
Don’t think about getting wet
Now that you’re playing, think about something, or, well, don’t think about something. You want to try to keep your discs as dry as possible for your throws, but it’s raining and you can’t do anything about it. So when you’re playing in the rain, just say, “f*ck it,” and go play. Don’t think about the rain or getting wet. It will rain and you will get wet. Focus on your techniques and how you will crush each hole.
Take it a little slower
In the midst of every throw, try to take it a little bit slower. Like we mentioned earlier, Be careful with everything you do. Trying to speed through a wet round could cause you to get hurt. Grass, dirt, and teepads are normally always slippery during rain or after. So take each throw more slowly to avoid that. A simple approach to each shot will see you do better in the rain.
Don’t run up on your shots for momentum
Also, don’t ever run up for momentum on your throw. As something we mentioned in our post, “101 Disc Golf Tips to Take Your Game to the Next Level,” you shouldn’t ever run up on your shot to get momentum for the throw. This rings especially true when it’s wet in the course. It also piggybacks off the last paragraph on how you should take everything a little bit slower while you play.
Disc the f*ck down
Discing down is another fantastic way to help yourself do better in the rain. While it’s wet, avoid using drivers in your game. Instead stick with mid-range discs or try using a putter for your round. Discing down allows you to have a little bit more control of your discs, as slower discs are generally easier to throw more accurately. You won’t get as much distance but that’s okay. If you do throw a bad one, at least you won’t have thrown it as far as it would’ve gone with a nice driver.
Cheaper plastic is better in the rain
Skip the high quality plastic and take some cheap discs out. The plastic that make up Innova DX discs or Discrast beginner discs like the Avenger SS or Buzz SS are perfect for the rain. Cheap plastic is better to grip for your throws in the rain. The Innova DX starter set is a great set to have for play in the rain.
Don’t sacrifice your pars
Next, as you throw towards the basket, don’t sacrifice your pars. This another simple tip from our 101 Tips guide. You should do this all the time, but it’s even better advice in the rain. Your throws will be tougher and your approaches will be even harder. Take the easy shots and don’t try risky long putts. Seek to just make every par and you will do better in the rain.
Play in the rain to get better
The crazy thing is, if you really want to get better, playing in the rain is a way to improve your skills. You should look to try and play in bad conditions because you never know what the weather will be like outside. If you play tournaments, this will help your game. This way, when it’s nice outside, your game will be spot on.
What about the wind? Well, make sure to check conditions before you go out because the wind will even further determine your disc selection. For some help on how to play disc golf in the wind, check out our awesome article, “Mastering Disc Golf in the Wind: A Beginner’s Guide.”
It can be fun
Don’t knock it before you try it! Playing in the rain can be really fun. Getting out on the course and getting wet while trying to throw your discs hundreds of feet can be a really interesting challenge. Usually when I go out, I try to play when it’s nice and sunny. But getting out in the rain and staying out through your round can make for a really awesome time on the course. Most of my friends love to stay out and try to beat each other when the rain starts falling. Now it’s your turn to get out there and give it a try!
After your round
After you finish up your saturated round, it’s time to wrap stuff up and take everything to the house. Hopefully it’s been a fun round for you, but now you need to take care of a little housekeeping so that you can be ready for your next round.
First, grab your extra pair of clothes and throw those on. You’re most likely soaked by the end of this, so a fresh pair of clothes will do you good. If you have another round, then boom, you’re ready to roll. If you’re headed home, it will help prevent a wet car and even more work when you get home. A fresh pair of clothes also feels awesome. You don’t want to be uncomfortable the whole ride home.
Next, clean off your discs. Either at the course or at home (I prefer at home), take all of your discs out and grab one of those old towels we talked about having a little earlier. Wipe down every disc and get every bit of dirt and grime off. You don’t want cakes on mud. That sucks and is super hard to get off when it dries.
Lastly, keep those discs out and focus on your bag. Clean off any dirt or mud, then let it sit in front of a fan or in a hot place to dry out. You should try to keep your bag nice so it lasts you a while.
So what have we learned?
I’d say, up to this point, We’ve learned quite a bit about playing in the rain. The thing I’ve learned the most from writing this article is that I definitely want to go and play when it’s sunny out! It’s a lot easier and I don’t really need that much stuff. But playing in the rain can be fun, too. You just have to do those couple of things I mentioned above. If you can be safe, prepared, properly dressed, and mentally ready, you can go out and crush it in the rain. That’s what I want for you. To absolutely dominate if you have to play in wet or rainy conditions. And I know you can do it. So get out there and go throw!
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