Golfing in the fall, especially on Cape Cod, can be exhilarating. The courses are in prime-time condition, with plush, carpet-green fairways. The changing colors of the leaves create an eye-popping visual landscape. The crisp, cool temperatures are ideal for walking 18 holes. And with fewer seasonal visitors, it’s easier to book a tee time and quicker to play a round.

Of course, there are drawbacks. There may be leaves on the ground, sunset comes much earlier and the golf ball doesn’t travel as far.

But with some adjustments, fall golf can be as enjoyable as a sunny July afternoon. Here are a few things to keep in mind when you tee it up over the next couple of months.

  1. Know What Dew Does

If you’re playing early, you need to understand how morning dew will affect your game, and you must adjust accordingly. The ball will not roll as far and any dew, or water, between the ball and the clubface will impact the direction and distance of your shot. Dew will also reduce spin on iron shots, and moisture of the greens will lessen the speed of your putts. You could also expect fliers out of heavy, wet rough, especially on wedge shots.

Generally speaking, play one more club than usual and always wipe your golf ball dry before teeing off. More importantly, wipe off your clubface before iron shots. As morning turns to afternoon and the dew dissipates, you should lessen these adjustments.


  1. Course Management Matters

The colder fall air is much denser than humid summer air, so the ball will not travel as far. For example, if you hit your 6-iron 160 yards on a summer day, you might lose nearly 10 yards in the fall. The colder it is, the more club you’ll need. Also, it’s usually windier in fall.


  1. Adjust Your Equipment

The cooler temperatures will lead to more than losing distance; you will also likely lose some feel. That’s why it’s a good idea to switch to a softer golf ball that will help you retain feel, especially around the greens. You should also consider hand warmers or winter golf gloves, which will reduce the diminished feel in your hands brought on by the cold.


  1. Layer Up

Staying warm is critical to enjoying your round and playing well. Wear multiple layers of clothing, which can be peeled off if the temperature rises. And don’t forget waterproof apparel and golf shoes. There is little more uncomfortable than being cold and wet on a golf course.

  1. Stretch

It’s important to stretch before any round, but it’s especially important in cold weather when your shoulders, neck and legs feel tighter than a drum. Remember, it will take you longer to loosen up and swing your best, and you’re at greater risk of an injury if you don’t properly warm up those muscles.


  1. Ditch the Cart

No matter your age, it’s difficult to stay loose in fall unless you are moving. If possible, forget the cart and walk. It will keep the muscles limber, you will stay warm and you’ll have more time to look around and enjoy the fall foliage.


  1. About That Leaf Rule

Anyone playing golf in fall has had this happen: You know where your ball landed, it should be playable, but it’s buried under a pile of leaves. There is no such thing as a “leaf rule” under the USGA rules of golf, but many local clubs allow free relief in such circumstances. If they don’t, talk it out with your playing partners on the first tee and decide what you will do if this happens. Don’t wait until your ball is lost under leaves before asking for relief.


  1. Finally, Have Fun

Your golf season is winding down and winter is coming, so don’t put too much pressure on playing well. Enjoy being on the course, accept the drawbacks that come with fall golf, perhaps work on a few things in your game that will pay dividends next year, and have fun.


Wednesday, July 17th, 2024

The Golf Courses are open, and carts are available.

18-hole carts are available up to the 3:00pm starting time.

9-hole golf carts are available up to the 5:00pm starting time.

Drinking water is available at filling stations by the clubhouse.