I don’t want to be a rumor killer, but on Thursday, September 22, at exactly 9:07 pm ET, summer will end in the United States and fall will begin. I still have tomatoes ripening in my garden, but the days here in New England are noticeably shorter now and the nights are getting cooler. I’m looking forward to seeing the leaves turn red, yellow, and orange, but I’m afraid of the rake blisters that will build up in the backyard.
As much as I look forward to the first rounds of golf every spring, fall is my favorite time of year to play. After nearly a full season of playing, my game is as sharp as it gets and walking the field on a cool 60-degree day is better than battling the heat and humidity. Still, going in the fall usually means playing in milder conditions, dealing with mud and morning dew, along with cooler temperatures and the occasional fog. So here are some things that I make sure to do before I go to the course in October and November.
Replace your spikes
Champ Scorpion Stinger Golf Cleats. (champion sports)
Professionals on the PGA Tour and LPGA change the spikes on their shoes every few weeks, but weekend players hardly ever do. In the fall, when the grass is soft and wet, you need extra traction, so check what kind of cleats your shoes can use and make sure the cleats are in good shape. If they aren’t, Softspike’s Scorpion Stinger is a good option and costs $17.99 per pack. Within minutes, you’ll have the traction of a new shoe.
Bring a windproof top
Peter Millar Hyperlight Merge Hybrid Jacket. (Peter Miller)
Often on a cold morning, the air temperature isn’t too bad, but it’s the wind that makes you feel cold, so wearing a windproof or windproof shirt can keep you surprisingly comfortable. The Peter Millar Hyperlight Merge Hybrid Jacket ($198) blocks the breeze and provides some insulation, but its four-way stretch material won’t restrict your swing.
wear waterproof shoes
Puma Ignite Articulate Golf Shoes (Puma)
Water doesn’t evaporate as quickly from the ground in cold weather as it does on hot days, so playing golf in the fall requires wearing waterproof shoes. The Puma Ignite Articulate ($180) provides plenty of cushioning as you move with your foot, and it comes with a one-year waterproof warranty.
remember a towel
Ghost Golf Towel
You really should have a towel year-round to help keep your clubs clean, but the soft grass and wet sand make it a must in the fall. The Ghost Magnetic Towel ($40) can be attached to your golf bag, but it also has a silicone-coated magnet that lets you lift it off the ground with an iron, wedge or putter. The 18″x18″ microfiber towel can hold up to 400 percent of its weight in water.
Use Visibility Golf Balls
The Q-Star Tour Divide coloration creates a 36-degree alignment line on the greens. (David Dusek/Golfweek)
Cut a hit through the trees during a fall round, and the ball will most likely be hidden in the leaves, so choosing a high-vis option makes sense. There are plenty of non-white golf balls on the market, but you’ll be hard-pressed to find one that’s as easy to spot in the Srixon Q-Star Divide ($34.99). This streamlined, three-piece golf ball features a thermoplastic urethane cover to provide distance off the tee and spin around the greens.
Invest in a good thermal mug
Yeti Rambler 20 oz. travel mug (Yeti)
When it comes to thermal mugs, there are two types of people: those who have a good one and those who need a good one. The Yeti Rambler 20-Ounce Travel Mug ($40) will hold your big mug of coffee securely in the cart and keep it warm all morning.
Get a cashmere sweater
Cashmere Crew Neck Johnnie-O Chatham (Johnnie-O)
Sure, this is luxury, but consider this: Cashmere is eight times more insulating than regular sheep’s wool, resists wrinkles, and is extremely lightweight. Well-made cashmere sweaters like the Johnnie-O Chatham Cashmere Crewneck ($278) can also last for years and look great on and off the field.
bring a hat
FootJoy Pom Pom Solid Knit Hat (FootJoy)
Your mom was right, when you cover your head with a beanie like the Foot-Joy Pom Pom Solid Knit Hat ($30), you stay warmer.
The story originally appeared on GolfWeek