It’s that time of year again: winter. When the word “winter” comes to mind, visions of snow covered trees, icicles hanging from roofs, and outdoorsmen braving the iced over lakes with a fishing pole in hand may come to mind. What probably doesn’t come to mind is the game of golf. A green course and blue skies are nice when it comes to playing a game of golf, but it’s certainly not required.

Every year on the first Sunday of January, Cog Hill in Lemont, Illinois hosts a winter golf challenge called the Eskimo Open. It’s not the golf as in the summers, but it is definitely a lot of fun and a challenge for all participants. No matter what your golf game level, anyone can experience and enjoy a game of winter golf, if they are properly prepared for the day.

Dress Appropriately

Golf is typically played in a pair of shorts or lightweight pants, a light shirt, and a sun visor, but obviously not when the game is played in winter. Dress accordingly based on the weather and layer up. Investing in lightweight layers will help you move more easily than wool or regular long johns. It’s also great idea to bring a few hand warmers, just in case the chill starts to get to you.

Consider a Different Golf Ball

Winter typically brings snow, which could be an issue when you hit a white ball on a white course. Bring along some different colored golf balls to keep you from getting frustrated when the time comes to retrieve your ball.

Stay Hydrated

This rule applies to golf in the summer and golf in the winter. It’s always important to keep hydrated throughout your time playing golf. I recommend water and a thermos of hot cocoa.

While winter golfing may not be the next winter Olympic sport, it can be a lot of fun and a great challenge for golfers at any level. There are some major advantages to this kind of golfing like the absence of mosquitos and not having to wait for other players to finish at their holes before your turn.