From her experience Editor Emma Ballard can highly recommend taking up golf in winter. It may seem odd but she gives five reasons why new golfers should take it into consideration.

Today I was reflecting on an article I wrote for Lady Golfer in 2018 about why I thought winter is the best time to take up golf. A belief that I still hold.

It’s often something I think about every January as it marks the time I started playing golf regularly again after having children and moving to a new area. That was now seven years ago and all from a freezing start on a floodlit driving range.

You will probably have seen me speak about it before but it wasn't something that I embarked on by myself. I was joined by other Mums from my daughters' school and we still meet for a lesson most Monday nights.

But why start golf in winter and not during the warm summer months? Here are my five reasons why:

1. Looking for a new challenge

We all generally like to start the new year afresh, set ourselves goals to achieve and potentially think of new challenges.

The New Year mindset gives golf clubs the perfect opportunity to encourage new starters. My experience shows how that can work, with our taster session coming at the start of a new year. The majority of the women came because they wanted to try something new at a quieter time of the year for them and their family.

The timing is perfect for taster sessions to take place, as well as an introductory course of lessons when the golf club isn't as busy.

2. Facilities are quieter and therefore less intimidating

Talking about being busy. The weather will probably play a big part, as it has done this winter, but generally speaking, the golf club and courses will be quieter in winter months.

One of the main issues you hear around getting into golf is the fact that the sport and club environment is intimidating, especially for women.

Maybe introducing women to the sport in the winter months can mean that they find out that the club environment and sport aren't as intimidating as they first thought. Plus it provides them with time to get used to the club and golf course before the season truly kicks off.

3. Building up skills and confidence

If you start to learn to play golf in the winter, by the time the season gets into full swing you have built up skills and confidence. You may have also already ventured out for a few holes, all which helps when the courses get busier.

Rules and etiquette can also be a stumbling block for new golfers which is another area that can be addressed in advance of spring, whether that be during lessons or by holding an introduction to rules evening.

4. Ready to hit the course in the Spring

How great will it feel when the weather finally warms up and rather than just picking up a club for the first time, you're not an absolute newbie heading out onto the course?

You get the benefit of the best part of the year to be on the course. Imagine only starting to learn in April or May, by September you would most probably be hooked just as we head back into autumn and winter. Then there's a big chance of hanging up your clubs until the following spring (unless you really had caught the golfing bug).

5. Help drop out from the sport

Maybe not for me personally, but if some of the women I started playing with had hung their clubs up for winter, I am not sure as many would have returned. For a lot of the group, especially after the first year, it was felt that we weren't good enough just to walk away for a few months. We wanted to work on skills and technique over the winter so we didn't feel like we were starting afresh as the temperature rose.

There was also the thought that if we could survive one winter, we could probably survive more and my Monday night group is still there at -5 degrees on a Monday night (picture above this January)!

If I still haven't managed to convince you that winter can be a good time to start playing because it's generally just too cold, then don't forget the growing number of indoor facilities. Back in 2018 this wasn't much of an option.

These indoor golf setups, like Pitch London, are normally housed in a warm and cosy environment. There is nothing wrong with new golfers beginning their golf 'journey' inside. Again, honing and building their skill level to be ready for the course.

Obviously winter golf isn't for every new golfer but I hope I have shown that there are more pros than cons to starting to play at a time of year when many established golfer might prefer a coffee in the clubhouse rather than battling the temporary greens.

Are you interested in taking up golf? Then you can use PGA Play to find a golf coach near you. Find out more via the PGA Play website here.