Performance in Cold Weather

When talking about “cold weather” it’s important to include context. Cold weather in Minnesota is not that same as cold weather on the PGA TOUR.

The average PGA TOUR round is played in the upper 70s, so when the temperature dips below 70 degrees, these golfers start to leave their comfort zone. Some golfers handle the conditions better than others.

Looking at the bottom 20th percentile of rounds, we can see who performs best when playing in temperatures of 70 degrees or lower.

* Minimum 30 rounds to qualify. Stats are time-weighted and adjusted to the strength of competition.

Top 25 Performers in Cold Weather (since 2014)

Justin Rose (3.097 sg:total)
Rory McIlroy (2.754 sg:total)
Jordan Spieth (2.728 sg:total)
Rickie Fowler (2.705 sg:total)
Dustin Johnson (2.701 sg:total)
Phil Mickelson (2.642 sg:total)
Henrik Stenson (2.607 sg:total)
Marc Leishman (2.543 sg:total)
Patrick Cantlay (2.533 sg:total)
Jon Rahm (2.532 sg:total)
Brooks Koepka (2.503 sg:total)
Hideki Matsuyama (2.463 sg:total)
Jason Day (2.463 sg:total)
Paul Casey (2.442 sg:total)
Alex Noren (2.384 sg:total)
Adam Scott (2.323 sg:total)
Bubba Watson (2.257 sg:total)
Matt Kuchar (2.21 sg:total)
Rafa Cabrera Bello (2.121 sg:total)
Tony Finau (2.108 sg:total)
Thomas Pieters (2.078 sg:total)
Steve Stricker (2.007 sg:total)
Justin Thomas (2.001 sg:total)
Tommy Fleetwood (1.977 sg:total)
Sergio Garcia (1.946 sg:total)

Top 25 Cold Weather Specialists
(Cold Weather Performance vs. Expected Strokes Gained)

Alex Noren (2.384 sg:cold weather vs. 1.428 sg:total)
Scott Langley (1.362 sg:cold weather vs. 0.521 sg:total)
Danny Willett (1.321 sg:cold weather vs. 0.536 sg:total)
William McGirt (1.765 sg:cold weather vs. 1.095 sg:total)
Marc Leishman (2.543 sg:cold weather vs. 1.953 sg:total)
Dominic Bozzelli (1.175 sg:cold weather vs. 0.6 sg:total)
Phil Mickelson (2.642 sg:cold weather vs. 2.084 sg:total)
Whee Kim (0.849 sg:cold weather vs. 0.346 sg:total)
Sam Saunders (1.115 sg:cold weather vs. 0.621 sg:total)
Freddie Jacobson (0.95 sg:cold weather vs. 0.461 sg:total)
Kelly Kraft (0.926 sg:cold weather vs. 0.469 sg:total)
Nick Taylor (1.315 sg:cold weather vs. 0.861 sg:total)
Ryan Blaum (1.165 sg:cold weather vs. 0.724 sg:total)
Scott Brown (1.188 sg:cold weather vs. 0.769 sg:total)
Bubba Watson (2.257 sg:cold weather vs. 1.843 sg:total)
J.B. Holmes (1.814 sg:cold weather vs. 1.413 sg:total)
Beau Hossler (1.555 sg:cold weather vs. 1.159 sg:total)
Richy Werenski (1.097 sg:cold weather vs. 0.711 sg:total)
Andrew Putnam (1.409 sg:cold weather vs. 1.041 sg:total)
Cameron Percy (0.989 sg:cold weather vs. 0.622 sg:total)
Ernie Els (0.781 sg:cold weather vs. 0.437 sg:total)
Vaughn Taylor (1.424 sg:cold weather vs. 1.103 sg:total)
Martin Laird (1.577 sg:cold weather vs. 1.261 sg:total)
Steve Stricker (2.007 sg:cold weather vs. 1.697 sg:total)
John Senden (0.927 sg:cold weather vs. 0.619 sg:total)

Top 25 Cold Weather Anti-Specialists
Cold Weather Performance vs. Expected Strokes Gained)

Abraham Ancer (-0.045 sg:cold weather vs. 1.067 sg:total)
David Hearn (-0.105 sg:cold weather vs. 0.734 sg:total)
Byeong Hun An (0.765 sg:cold weather vs. 1.596 sg:total)
Grayson Murray (-0.313 sg:cold weather vs. 0.473 sg:total)
Mackenzie Hughes (0.024 sg:cold weather vs. 0.73 sg:total)
Wesley Bryan (-0.335 sg:cold weather vs. 0.342 sg:total)
Ian Poulter (1.021 sg:cold weather vs. 1.694 sg:total)
Charl Schwartzel (0.628 sg:cold weather vs. 1.29 sg:total)
Jim Herman (-0.131 sg:cold weather vs. 0.514 sg:total)
David Lingmerth (0.339 sg:cold weather vs. 0.962 sg:total)
Jonathan Randolph (-0.638 sg:cold weather vs. -0.05 sg:total)
Daniel Berger (1.182 sg:cold weather vs. 1.736 sg:total)
Tiger Woods (1.829 sg:cold weather vs. 2.382 sg:total)
Tommy Fleetwood (1.977 sg:cold weather vs. 2.507 sg:total)
Matthew Fitzpatrick (0.95 sg:cold weather vs. 1.47 sg:total)
Davis Love III (-0.502 sg:cold weather vs. 0.016 sg:total)
Justin Thomas (2.001 sg:cold weather vs. 2.511 sg:total)
Kiradech Aphibarnrat (0.759 sg:cold weather vs. 1.231 sg:total)
Billy Hurley III (0.027 sg:cold weather vs. 0.495 sg:total)
Tyrrell Hatton (1.317 sg:cold weather vs. 1.777 sg:total)
Shane Lowry (0.901 sg:cold weather vs. 1.358 sg:total)
Danny Lee (0.589 sg:cold weather vs. 1.043 sg:total)
Peter Malnati (0.157 sg:cold weather vs. 0.609 sg:total)
Harold Varner III (0.575 sg:cold weather vs. 1.004 sg:total)
Chesson Hadley (0.477 sg:cold weather vs. 0.904 sg:total)

Last Updated: May 13th, 2019

Q. For you, what is the toughest thing about playing in cold?
CHARLES HOWELL III:
How far the ball goes, I think. It changes so dramatically. I would say that is number one, just distance control, especially with crosswinds and the cool weather, et cetera. We just came from Malaysia, Mexico where it’s hot, humid, et cetera, ball’s going miles. You come here and all of a sudden — so yeah, I think just gauging that. You can hit all the balls you want on TrackMan, but you get out here and the temperature changes and the wind, it all goes right out the window.

It can be up to 30, 40 yards per club in certain situations no. We were on the driving range this morning hitting straight into the wind, trying to gauge how far some of these balls are going to start the day with somewhat of a parameter, but it’s just massively different. -2018 Sea Island

Q. Yeah, really gave you juice going into your inward nine. Lost a couple drives to your right coming in. Is that a problem or easily fixable, or just playing in tough
conditions in wind?
CAMERON CHAMP:
Just tough conditions, tight and whatnot. I’ll try to go figure it out on the range, but I think my body doesn’t really function well in coldness. So I’ll just try and stay as warm as I can and move it around and stuff like that. -2018 Sea Island

Q. Three straight years making the playoffs. How important is this early stretch in the season for you?
HAROLD VARNER III:
For me it’s very important. Sets up the schedule next year. You know, I think it would be ideal to take some off in the summer. I love going on the lake.

So, yeah, play golf while you can. I wish I was a little bit better playing in cold weather, but it is what it is. -2018 TPC Summerlin

Q. You’re from Evansville, Indiana; it’s cold up there sometimes. University of Illinois. So this really isn’t cold for you, is it?
DYLAN MEYER:
No. I saw a couple guys out here with stocking caps and stuff. Kind of made me laugh.

Yeah, I’ve been practicing in this for the last couple weeks. Back at home it’s been 5-, 60 degrees, and I kind of saw the forecast. What’s the point of going to Florida or somewhere warm. I just kind of got used to the climate, used to the weather, and that really benefited me.

Definitely being at home this long and getting this advantage to play in this weather has been nice. -2018 CC of Jackson

Q. Only had two bogeys for the entire week.
SETH REEVES:
Yeah. It was really good, especially in the conditions. Yesterday was cold and rainy and today was cold and windy.

I think after playing in Napa I just felt like I wasn’t getting enough out my putting and short game. Used the off weeks to just work on that and felt like I was in a good place; it paid off. -2018 CC of Jackson

ANDREW LANDRY: I don’t like playing in cold weather, honestly, but this isn’t too bad. -2018 TPC San Antonio (Valero)

Q. It’s supposed to be more typical Florida weather tomorrow and Sunday it might even get into the high 80s. Do you embrace that kind of heat?
HENRIK STENSON:
Yeah, I live here, I make Orlando my home, I certainly prefer 75, 80 compared to 45, 50 playing golf. I might be Swedish, but I’ve gone soft, I lived in a nice climate for too many years. So, yeah, give me heat rather than cold I would say. -2018 Bay Hill

Q. Apart from winning the Paul Lawrie, you’ve done well in a lot of events in Scotland.
KIRADECH APHIBARNRAT:
Yeah, I spend a couple years on The European Tour and that experience bring me up to this position at the moment. If you look back at my first year on Tour, it’s really difficult to play with the wind, in links golf and cold. It takes time. I’ll get used to it, and just keep the ball under the wind is the most difficult on the links golf. -2107 Alfred Dunhill Links