The dog days are here, and with them we bring a few common sense -- and not so common sense -- tips to stay cool
July 11, 2017 by Jacob Wilkins in Instruction with 4 comments
We’re getting into the dog days of summer across much of the northern hemisphere, a development that can easily bring your scores as high as the mercury if you’re not prepared. Here, then, are some common sense — and not so common sense — tips to handle the heat during your round of disc golf.
- Water > beer. OK, yeah: This is probably the most obvious tip in the world. As you’re outside in hotter conditions, your body will perspire more in order to keep you cooler. You need to replenish these fluids by drinking more water. It might be a good idea to take a drink after every tee shot, and if you know it’s going to be hot outside, maybe grab Mother Nature’s finest refreshment instead of your favorite alcoholic beverage for that recreational round.
- Get a grip. As mentioned earlier, with hotter conditions comes more sweat. I think I have the clammiest hands in the world, so I utilize a birdie bag during almost every round. I’m currently sporting a dirt bag from Dynamic Discs, but I’ve heard a lot of good things about the Sportsack, Birdie Bag, etc. Something of this sort will help dry your hands out and give you a much better grip on the disc.
- Or learn to play in the dirt. If carrying a birdie bag is not an option for you, you might learn to play in the dirt. It’s something you’ll often see four-time PDGA World Champion Paul McBeth reach for, and my personal mentor always looks for dirt before he tees off, too. I used to think the latter looked like a moron, but now it’s become part of my pre-shot routine if I don’t use my dirt bag. The benefit is the same as that of a birdie bag, but you’ll come home with much dirtier clothes.
- Play like a Spartan. If you’re playing a longer course that requires multiple shots to get to the green, place your shots very strategically. Oftentimes, I’ll aim for shade if that shot doesn’t bring me any trouble. This actually reminds me of the scene in the movie 300, when the Persians block out the sun with arrows and the Spartans make the joke about fighting in the shade. Play like a Spartan if you can, but this may not be the case all the time: Obviously, I wouldn’t recommend throwing into trouble just for a bit of relief from the sun, as it will leave you frustrated and can cause your heart rate to quicken and body temperature to rise.
- Steal some pro tips. Observed at Pro Worlds, where temperatures rose to the triple digits: Devan Owens sticking ice cubes under his baseball hat, a trick he swore would buy you 10 degrees of body heat; Ricky Wysocki dunking a towel in a cooler before every hole. Sure, you might not have those resources at your local C-Tier, but stick some cubes in a Hydroflask, or leave a cooler in your car for when you get back to the parking lot turn.
- Plan ahead. There are a couple things you can do before playing that might make the round go better. If you know it’s going to be a scorcher, grab the sunscreen — preferably the kind that can be sprayed so you don’t foul your grip. The last thing you want to do is get sunburned the first day of a multiple-day tournament. Another clutch move is to put a couple bottles of water in a freezer, and leave these in your car when you get to the course. Depending on how fast or slow you play, you should be left with some nice, cool refreshment for after the round. Also, never underestimate the power of a fresh pair of shoes and socks. Putting on some fresh threads after a round can make the drive back home so much more enjoyable. Or go California style and pack the sandals.
I’ve come to learn most of these tips just from playing in the heat, while some tricks I’ve taken from playing with other people. As always, remember that you can’t change the weather; the only thing you can do is respond accordingly. Do you have any tips to beating the summer heat? Let us know by commenting below or responding to us via social media!