Most of our readers are well aware of the winter conditions we experience here in Michigan. And you’re likely also aware that we don’t let those conditions stop us from playing disc golf year round. We’ve discussed the discs, plastics, etc to deal with in the winter but we haven’t specifically discussed the gear we recommend, and there’s a lot of it.
I’m writing this article after returning from a round in 12 degree weather with a 2 degree wind chill. The park official was surprised at our devotion to the game, and we were just as surprised to see an active park official on such a day. That said, many other local disc golfers were playing today as well. How many of you know how to prepare for a round like this? We’re here to help.
Extremely thick clothing is warm and comfortable but not conducive to the violent action of a disc golf throw. You probably already know that layering is recommended. It’s up to you how many layers you wear, but we’ll remind you that you can always take a layer off.
I like to start with a base layer of thermal underwear. Something like the Under Armour Cold Gear is perfect albeit expensive. Chris prefers a waffle weave “long-underwear” for significantly less, it’s a little more rough but can give you that warm fuzzy feeling.
The second layer should be something like a tee shirt and maybe some athletic pants or shorts but make sure it doesn’t restrict your rotation. Next up will be something warmer like a sweatshirt and sweatpants. If I expect wind, I like to put a windbreaker on underneath the sweatshirt. The final layer can be a jacket or another sweatshirt if necessary.
Sometimes a simple winter hat will suffice, but sometimes you need more. A scarf keeps your neck warm as does a neck tube. In extreme cold, I’ll pull out a balaclava to cover my neck and most of my face. Don’t forget a warm glove for your off-hand.
You can even use a bandana around your face if you need an inexpensive option. Hoods may also do the job, but come with the disadvantage of decreasing your range of view. This can be troublesome when reorienting after your reach-back.
You can find a pretty good selection of disc golf winter hats here.
Hopefully you have some warm shoes or boots that provide decent traction and still hold up to the foot rotation you apply during a disc golf throw. I prefer waterproof hiking shoes – there’s nothing worse than having wet feet when it is cold outside.
You can also find sole warmers, kind of like hand warmers but shaped for the inside of footwear. If you’re not playing through snow then you may be able to get away with normal shoes plus foot warmers.
Don’t forget long socks. Similar to clothing, it may help to layer thin socks instead of wearing one large fluffy pair of socks that restrict your mobility.
SportSack or Osmosis Sport Bag
We’ve mentioned this excellent item before but it bears mentioning again. A SportSack or Osmosis Sport Bag is wonderful at keeping things dry.
We use these when the temperature drops under 40 degrees. Sometimes just one packet will work. Other times we like to put one of these in our off hand glove and keep one in our throwing hand pocket.
For those really cold days, I’ll use a latex glove underneath my winter glove for my off-hand. It helps retain more heat and keeps out moisture. This trick works well for snow shoveling too.
If you end up braving snow deeper than a few inches, you should look to attach a 2-3′ ribbon to the underside of your disc with some quality duct tape. This allows you to find your disc after it buries itself under the white powder.
You’ll want at least one extra towel in your bag to clean off the snow. You should also have an extra towel or two in your car just in case.
Plastic Grocery Bags
Speaking of your car, a plastic grocery sack makes for a perfect temporary shoe bag if those things get muddy. No need to dirty up the carpet in your ride.
A Tape Measure
Yep, just because it is winter doesn’t mean you shouldn’t measure out circle putts. Just kidding. Friend of the Puttheads Kevin Stacey told us a story about a disc of his that had slid out on the ice. A very prepared playing partner pulled out a tape measure, extended it to full length, and dragged the disc back to safety. Brilliant!
What did we miss?
Comment to tell us what sort of gear you use when the temperatures drop.
Check out other winter articles:
- Just Throw Podcast, Episode 5 – Cold`
- Winter Disc Golf – Discs and Plastic
- Winter Disc Golf – Putting
- Winter Disc Golf – Distance
- Winter Disc Golf – Benefits and Goals
- Winter Disc Golf Advice
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