It is the day before the beginning of the Open at Royal Portrush in northern Ireland and it does not take long to realize the challenges all the golfers will face. There are usual concerns regarding adjustments to time, food choices and lodging comforts that all will face. This year the ultimate challenge relative to other majors is the weather. Not just whether it will be warm, cold or rain or not, but the wind will be a significant factor. So far it has blown in different directions throughout the day each day of the practice rounds. There has been no pattern for the players to figure out and rely upon. That means the one factor all PGA golfers agree is the biggest challenge, the wind, will be difficult to predict. The golfers that accurately interpret wind direction and adapt their game accordingly will have a big advantage.
Weather is a factor that will put most pressure on the golf apparel companies. So far every golfer has shown up with layers of clothing. The more clothing they wear the less their swing width. A big factor considering swing width can effect club head speed and distance. Also many do not realize that any physical issues a golfer will be dealing with will be challenged because of clothing. Wearing more clothing means your body has to work harder to overcome the resistance of layers of clothing. The more conditioned the golfer the better they will maximize their range of motion despite added resistance. However if the golfer is handling injuries to his back, neck, or hips it will be a most challenging week. Light weight waterproof clothing will be a much sought after item this week.
Enhanced challenges like these demand that the professional golfer be rested, focused on every shot, and conditioned to overcome the physical demands they will face. A great challenge for a great event. The Open.