Just a handful of months ago I was so excited for summer. Shorts. Cold beer. Sneaking out the golf course midday. Now that July is here, you’d be best to avoid me if I’ve been outside in this 90-something degree heat for longer than a few minutes. Being overheated certainly doesn’t bring out the best in me. And I’d be silly to think that something that affects my attitude and interpersonal approachability won’t affect my game. We can’t actually separate “life” from the game, as much as we like to try. 

So how do we make sure this hot weather doesn’t become the reason we start losing every golf bet we make? Here are a few easy strategies to keep your head in the game and beat the heat!

Creature comforts – check the forecast and plan ahead. Make sure you pack things that help increase your comfort. You could throw an ice pack in your back to throw on the back of your neck before each tee shot. Or grab a clip-on fan for your golf cart (you know what looks more nerdy than a clip on fan…playing like crap). Make sure you have items with you that make you feel just a little more comfortable. 

Thought control – your body believes whatever your mind tells it to believe. It’s unlikely you will be able to convince your body that it’s a cool 65 with a light breeze when it’s 102 with 88% humidity. However, the more you focus on the heat, the more hot you will feel. All physical sensations require conscious attention to actually experience them. So find a way to focus on the little things that are good instead of focusing on how miserable you are. 

Time focus – does the saying go, “pain is temporary, glory is forever”? I think that’s what they say. Yes, you might have sweat through your shirt by the 2nd hole. Yes, you might need to keep your distance from your golf mates because everyone smells so bad. Yes, you might be red as a lobster. But it’s all temporary. If you can remind yourself that you’ll be in the clubhouse in just a little bit with a cold drink, it will be easier to push through without fixating on how miserable you feel. 

And if you’re one of those people who thrives in the 100+ heat, thank your genetics and rub it in everyone else’s face. Remind everyone of your physical prowess as you cruise through 18 feeling great. (Also, I hate you a little bit). 

For the rest of us, stay cool, stay focused, and know the weather will break eventually!

Dr. Chelsi Day

Dr. Day is a licensed clinical psychologist. She is an Ohio native who completed her Bachelor's degrees in Psychology and Health and Sport Studies at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio while competing on the Varsity Swimming and Diving team as a diver. She then went on to earn a Master's degree in Sport and Exercise Psychology from the Chicago School of Professional Psychology followed by a Master's degree and later a Doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology from Antioch University New England in Keene, NH.