Golfing in 105 degree heat? You bet!

A golfer is silhouetted against the sun at Royal Lytham and St Annes golf course in Lytham, northwest England, Aug. 3, 2006. Most Utahns are trying to figure out how to stay inside and avoid the 105-degree heat forecast this week. But not golfers.

A golfer is silhouetted against the sun at Royal Lytham and St Annes golf course in Lytham, northwest England, Aug. 3, 2006. Most Utahns are trying to figure out how to stay inside and avoid the 105-degree heat forecast this week. But not golfers. (Matt Dunham, Associated Press)


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SALT LAKE CITY — Most Utahns are trying to figure out how to stay inside and avoid the 105-degree heat forecast this week. But not golfers. They see the summer heat as an opportunity.

"Since COVID, golf courses are so busy you can't get a tee time," explained Devin Dehlin, executive director of the Utah Section PGA. "When it is 105, you might be able to get a tee time from 1 to 3 that you normally couldn't."

Not only might you get a tee time in the middle of the afternoon, but you can probably play quicker, too.

"A lot of golfers like it because they know it's not going to be quite as busy," Dehlin said. "They'll get around the golf course and not need to wait as much. If they're prepped and ready and have their waters, it works pretty well."

Some golfers just get up earlier. Tee times start at 5:45 a.m.

"Especially in St. George," Dehlin said. "Their tee sheets are busy from 5:45 to 9 and maybe a little more mellow from 2-5."

Diehards versus fair-weather golfers

Diehard golfers don't care about silly things like the weather!

"The hottest I've ever golfed in is St. George, probably 110," Dehlin joked.

What about the coldest?

"Coldest I've ever played in was Park City, and it was probably 30-ish degrees," he said. "By the time we were on 14, it started to snow. By the time we got to 17, it was 3 inches!"

Dehlin admits there are fair-weather golfers, too. He hears golfers say: "'I'm a fair weather golfer. I've got to have my cart. It has to be 75 degrees and no wind.' But then there are people who — if it's raining and it's a day you want to golf — you're up for it."

Golf is the next big thing

Utah's golf courses were a little slow from 2012-2019, according to Dehlin.

"But once COVID hit, it was one of those activities people could get outside and do," he said. "We were able to stay open. Some procedures, like prepayment with credit cards, changed, and those changes have stayed."

In the late teens, from 2015 to 2019, "We had a few golf courses that closed, and now if we added three to five more public golf courses, we need them!"

The next big thing Dehlin is seeing in Utah is more women and kids on the course.

"The biggest explosion in golf right now is women and kids," Dehlin said.

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