By Jason Blanchard

As the summer heats up and the rains move in, many people don’t realize how much the water can affect not only how the ball responds on the greens but how the mud and water can affect ball flight as well.

The rain tends to soften up fairways and not only cause tee shots to not roll out as much but will oftentimes make mud stick to your golf ball. Mud will likely cause drastic changes in ball flight and distance for your next shot. The rule of thumb is that of opposites when it comes to dirt or mud on your ball.

If the dirt is on the right side of the ball, it will cause the ball to move left, and vice versa. If the dirt is on the top of the ball, it will stay low, and if on the bottom it should go higher. If the grass or dirt is between the club face and the ball at impact, many times you will get what’s called a flyer, putting less spin on the ball and causing it to fly farther and roll more when it hits the ground.

Another issue the rain causes is casual water on the fairways and greens. This is where the rules of golf are your friend. Rule 25 allows you to move your ball when either you are standing in water or your ball is sitting in water not inside a hazard. You may take free relief from this condition no closer to the hole.

Just remember that when taking any type of free relief you must take complete relief. In the situation of the casual water, make sure your ball and your stance are completely out of the standing water when you take your relief. If you take time to know the rules, you will be surprised how much they can help you.

Please feel free to reach out to me with any rule questions at golfguyosprey@gmail.com. Don’t forget to check out our YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCKORi1BixPjP_wCndPJ1ahA for some helpful tips ‘from the tee!’