Golf can be an addictive sport. But there are times where your schedule won’t let you play during sunlight, or it may simply be too hot. You still have another option. The popularity of night golf has steadily increased over recent years. But what is it? How do you play it? Let’s tell you all about golfing closer to midnight hours.
What is night golf?
Just as the name says, night golf is playing golf at night.. The sad thing is that not all golf courses provide night golf. If you find a course with floodlights installed, you would be in luck.
You can practice and prepare for your first night golf experience at well lit driving ranges. Most of these can be found in rather humid areas such as Phoenix, Houston and Sacramento. Practicing here can be a great stress relief If you’re having a bad week at work or just a fun night out.
Night Golf VS Normal Golf
Some golfers say that there is improved visibility when playing at night. This may just be an opinion, but it is also dependent on the quality of floodlights on the course. Just remember that you will not be able to hit 150 yards and think that you will be able to find your ball just about anywhere on the course.
Even though floodlights are bright, they only brighten up the fairway and certain areas of the rough. If you find yourself slicing shots more than you should, be cautious when you play night golf and make sure to have your driver by your side.
Tips for Playing Golf at Night
Apart from getting used to the difference in visibility, there are a few other things to consider when playing golf at night. Play close attention and you should be having little trouble with your rounds.
Balance, in many ways, should be first on your list of priorities. However, it goes well beyond simply your posture. Of course, you need to make sure that your shoulder is over your knees when you are getting ready to swing. However, you also need to approach your golf ball using a balanced swig. Otherwise, when you hit the ball it will lack a smooth and consistent delivery. When it comes to playing golf, balance should also extend to your mental state by having a focused and positive mind-set.
Keep Your Golf Swing in Line
Focus on keeping your clubface directed towards the target and open. Envision a line moving from the golf ball towards the target. Got it? Now swing your clubface on that imaginary line.
When keeping the ball slightly ahead of center it will become easier to strike the ball by using a square clubface.
The sort of club you use can also make a difference so make sure to keep that in mind.
Use Your Fingers to Grip Better
Often new golfers will use their palms to grip the club. They end up with terrible slices and hooks because of over control. Also, the heat of some summer nights can cause a club to slide out of your sweaty hands. Let the grip of your club rest in the gap where your fingers join with your palms. Check that you relax your grip and then pay attention to the path of your swing.
Keep Your Eyes Still
Being short of a decent follow through is a cardinal sin in your golf swing. Keeping your head down and your chin up is the most solid golfing advice any golfer should follow even when playing at night.
As you hit the target, your club must be in full swing while you keep your head focused behind the ball. Your head should only lift in with your right shoulder. This movement makes way for a well-adjusted and level follow-through.
What You Will Need
We have touched on how to effectively play golf at night, but this cannot be accomplished without a few essentials in your bag.
UV Powered Glow in The Dark Golf Balls
The use of UV powered golf balls comes highly recommended for playing golf at night. These kinds of luminous golf balls are cost effective and are guaranteed to give you impactful results on the course.
These balls are activated by the use of a UV light, which should be included in each set you purchase.
Apart from its ability to glow effortlessly in the dark, these golf balls are amazingly state-of-the-art. The average UV golf ball has the ability to travel just as far as your usual, normal golf ball.
The only difference here is that It just won’t spin as much when struck against the green, and they tend to be slightly heavier so it won’t feel as delicate when you hit them as your typical golf ball.
On the other hand, the difference in your distances will be just about unnoticeable.
Just for safety’s sake we would suggest keeping your UV light in your bag, and perhaps invest in a spare. This is a very small tool, so you will also be able to fit it in your pocket. UV golf balls stay lit for just about fifteen minutes after charging. After that you only need to brighten them up by using your handy UV flashlight tool.
Oh and we have a slight warning for when you decide to buy these golf balls- they sink. Yep, UV golf balls do not float, just take that into consideration if you want to get them for your night golf adventures. Even though they are relatively cheap you don’t want to go throwing your hard earned money in a pond now do you?
Typically, UV golf balls can be bought in packs of 12 and include one UV light. You will need to fit this UV light with 3 AAA batteries, often included pack but it is always good to keep a spare.
Golf Headlamps for
You can find great benefits with headlamps when playing Night Golf. Despite the fact the ball is lit when you swing at it, you will need a light to observe your own surroundings.
If there are any other players on the course you will be more visible to them. This is most applicable when golfing at night with a small group. You are there to hit golf balls not your teammates. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
As we have said before, you will be able to see your surroundings. Accidents can happen, so wearing a headlamp helps you to avoid stepping into water or sandy bunkers.
Wearing a headlamp when playing golf at night makes It much easier to enjoy the game in dark times. Walking around with a flashlight can be quite inconvenient as you might need to carry around other items. Also, their batteries tend to die out at unexpected times. Headlamps tend to last for several hours, and the batteries can simply be switched when you need to.
This is more for those who are hosting a night golf event at a course. The most appropriate places to put glow sticks in such events would be in conjunction with the edges of the fairway. Some glow sticks can also be placed around the greens. Placing a few in the hole or on the flag would also be a great area. The more glow sticks you have the better it would be for players to see where they are playing.
Glow sticks are mostly used for recognized golf events, so plan this carefully. If you want to hang around on the course by yourself or some friends, there won’t really be a need for glow sticks. You will be wasting your time, dazzling the course for such a small occasion, which doesn’t really make much sense.
Despite its practical use, glow sticks are meant to entertain and add a little bit of fun to the golf course. So if you ever find a golf course littered with glow sticks, the players down there are in all likelihood taking part in a fun and fancy night out.
Night Golf In the US
The sad thing about night golf in America, is that it hasn’t really exploded onto every course- at least not yet. There are a couple of reasons why and they are kind of obvious:
- It’s rather costly to install and run lights.
- Wages of golf course staff tend to increase when courses are open at unusual hours.
- There tend to be certain restrictions and bylaws that govern light pollution after dark.
- The weather in certain states just doesn’t allow night golf.
- Some areas do not have a large enough number of people who play golf to stay open at night.
Places to Play
Despite night golf not being as popular as we would hope, there are some fantastic places that allot for golfing after dark.
Manor Valley Golf Course, Export, Pennsylvania
In 1964 Manor Valley became the first regulation-sized lit course on the planet. It is the only night course that we know of, situated between New York and Chicago.
Its lit front nine plays 2,888 yards, so you will be able to hit quite a few drivers. This is something hardly ever accessible to night golfers anyplace else in the US.
The Links of Naples, Florida
Here you can find the only lit golf course and aqua range in southwest Florida, this is also the third largest course in the country that offers night golf. Built in 2000, the Links of Naples boasts as many as four par 4s that are longer than 300 yards.
The course-plotting is a par 61 of 4,005 yards.
This course offers night golf on a seasonal basis; From November to April, from 6-10 PM and can be accessed on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays
Cloud 9 at Angel Park Golf Club, Las Vegas
Even though Las Vegas is an entertainment such as gambling, you won’t be dissatisfied when playing a round of night golf at the Cloud 9 at Angel Park. This is a 12-hole par-3 course and becomes 9 holes lit for night golf with holes ranging from 80-130 yards.
Westchester Golf Course, Los Angeles, California
The Westchester golf course has an upper hand over other night golf courses in the country. This is because of freshly extended holes added during its remodelling in 2010.
It plays as a 4,339-yard par 64 with a routing that has 8 par 4s. These range from 267 yards to 355 yards. Another drawcard is its 515-yard par 5, which is scarcely seen in night golf. Lights allow play until 10 PM every day.
Timpanogos Pasture Par 3 Course, Provo, Utah
This new golf course opened its doors in 2020, as part of a massive reshaping and rebranding of the earlier East Bay municipal golf facility in Provo, Utah.
Its main course has been upgraded with an extra seven-hole Legacy Trail Short course which is preferably played with S.N.A.G. (Starting New At Golf) gear. This course also has a nine-hole exclusive routing of 1,168 yards with holes alternating between 82 yards to 211 yards.
Playing Night Golf Outside of the US
If you are able to travel a bit out of the United States, the best night golf courses can be found at:
- The Emirates Golf Course in the United Arab Emirates where you will find the Faldo Championship 18-hole course.
- The Montgomerie Maxx Royal in Turkey gives an exceptional experience with 9 floodlit holes that you can play late at night.
- The Ba Na Hills Golf Club in Vietnam has an 18-hole course that is absolutely breath-taking at night.
Although not as prevalent in the United States, many golfers are gaining knowledge about the enjoyment that night golf can bring. You might not have even known that it was possible to enjoy golf under the moonlight until now.
As you can see there is no major difference from regular golfing other than the need for sufficient lighting.
We are excited to see that there are quite a few night golf courses surfacing across the globe, and hope this type of golfing becomes a greater norm for the sport.