With the nights drawing in, the temperature dropping and the weather getting gradually worse, we spoke to a seasoned golfer about how to make the most of the sport throughout the winter months.

Head PGA professional at Oswestry Golf Club Richard Edwards takes a look at a few ways in which you can adapt to the changing conditions of the upcoming months and hit the New Year running.

Tip 1

Play ‘winter par’ golf

When the greens are not at their summer best and the weather is awful it is unrealistic to think that you are going to go out there and shoot under your handicap. Start thinking about adding strokes onto par to make up for the course’s conditions during the winter months.

Try adding two shots to each 9 to give yourselves a realistic target. This isn’t defeatist; it’s simply aimed at trying to make winter golf more fun.

Tip 2

Favour a simple chip and run shot

Wet fairways can cause fat chip shots. Play more chip and runs with straighter-faced clubs like a 9-iron or pitching wedge. The extra bounce will help avoid poor contacts and the ball will release better on the green.

Tip 3

Take advantage of winter rules

PREFERRED LIES – These vary club to club but check out what your local rules are and make the most of them.

EMBEDDED BALL – There is a local rule that allows clubs to extend free relief to anywhere through the green in extremely poor conditions. If this rule is in place, then you are entitled to free relief in the rough.

CLEANING THE BALL – Under the preferred lie rule, you can lift, clean and place your ball, placing it within six inches no nearer the hole, so be sure to take a couple of towels with you.

Tip 4

Allow less break on slower greens

As THE grass gets longer and wetter, putts will slow down and not take as much break. Allow for less break, keep the ball inside the hole if you can and if you’re in doubt, favour a shorter and more aggressive putting stroke.

Tip 5

Don’t fear the cold

Once you’re out and playing you soon warm up, so don’t let the cold put you off – and remember there is always the 19th hole to warm you up after your game.