For most golfers and golf courses, the golfing day ends as soon as the sun goes down. The cost that it would take to light an entire golf course is beyond what many course managers want to pay, and most golfers are content to go home when there is no more sunlight. This is no longer necessarily the case thanks to the advent of night golf. There are 2 distinct ways to play night golf:
- You play golf at night with the course illuminated by floodlights. This usually happens on shorter courses and par-3s and usually 9 holes are illuminated, however some courses will light up their entire course for special events. You are playing golf at night, but essentially with stadium lighting so you play just like you would during the day.
- You play golf at night with little to no additional lighting and you use glow in the dark golf balls, tees, glow sticks, etc. This costs little to nothing for the golf course, and it is a great way to host a fun event or to do something different on the golf course.
For the purposes of this review, we will focus on the second option since the first option is simply lighting up your golf course like a baseball stadium. Night golf, while played like regular golf, has some challenges and intricacies that you have to learn to play well and those things, along with a description of night golf, will be described below.
Night Golf Course Recommendations
Night golf is a relatively new thing in the world of golf, so here are some recommendations we have if you are looking for an event to play or if you are planning on hosting your own night golf tournament.
The best way to find night golfing events close to you is either to ask the pro at your local course if they know of anything, or to do an internet search for local night golfing events. Most courses do not have night golf as a regular event so you may not even know it is going on in your city, but it is getting more and more popular as a yearly event or fundraising opportunity for local charities. It is less competitive and more geared to fun, so you may not see it often at your high end country clubs, but you may find out your local municipal course does it regularly.
If you are having a night golf event, there are a few things that you should make certain to have both for fun and for safety including:
- A way to light the tee box and greens.
- Glow sticks lining some areas of the fairway.
- All flag sticks should be illuminated.
- Glow in the dark balls and tees.
- Headlamps are a good added touch.
- It should be one of the only events where the saying “the more glow sticks the better” applies.
The biggest perk is that night golf means that you get to play more golf than usual. The addition of things that glow in the dark make the event that much more fun, but the key is that while most golfers are back home dreaming about the course, you are out there playing it. It is one thing to have a golf simulator at your home and using that to keep your round going at night, it is another thing to be out on the course playing even in the dark.
Night golf is a great way to differentiate your golf club, your charity, or your annual event from anything else out there. Golf tournaments are so normal and commonplace that they no longer move the needle, but night golf and all that goes into it help to make a very memorable event.
If you are putting on a real night golf event, we would suggest either finding a par-3 course or shortening up whatever course you are playing to much less than 6,000 yards. The reason is that, unless everyone you invite to the event is both a really good golfer and experienced in playing night golf, the round could drag on for quite while. The challenges presented by limited visibility could be frustrating for many golfers and it could take some of the fun out of the event.
Night Golf Tips
Distance is less important.
This is important for two reasons, the first is that if you hit it too far the ball will be really hard to find, especially at night. The second is that a glow in the dark golf ball will not have the same design and technology that a normal golf ball does so it will just not travel as far. If you normally hit your drive 250 yards, expect 220 yards or less. The key to night golf is being to find your ball and to keep the ball moving down the fairway away from any obstacles or hazards.
Do not take it too seriously.
If you shoot your best score ever playing night golf then something is seriously wrong with your game. You play golf with glow sticks more to have fun and less to compete. The point is do not get made when you top the ball or when you struggle to reach the green in regulation. Night golf is usually accompanied either by a fundraiser for a great cause or a fun social event, so keep things in perspective while you are playing and enjoy yourself.
Follow the 2-minute rule.
If you are unfamiliar with the 2-minute rule, it is simple: “If it takes more than 2 minutes to find your golf ball, drop a new one and play it as close to where your ball went as possible.” If you are playing with glow in the dark balls, tees, and glow sticks then it will probably not be the most competitive event you have ever entered. Treat it as such and do not get bogged down in the things that make golf take forever.
Night Golf Accessories
Glow in the dark golf balls
When it comes to glow in the dark golf balls, there are more choices than you probably ever imagined. Here are the 3 that are out there, along with our pick for which one you should use for your next golf outing.
UV light powered golf balls. (Our Favorite)
These golf balls get charged by a UV flashlight and then last for about 15 minutes per charge. They are our favorite because charging them with the flashlight is very little work, but the ball flies almost as far as a normal golf ball and does not damage your club.
Glow stick golf balls. (Our Least Favorite)
These are a slightly older option and have an actual glow stick inside the golf ball. If you do not set these balls up correctly or if the glow stick is not installed correctly, they can damage your club and especially your driver. They are heavier, do not fly as far, and are just not a very good option.
LED light golf balls.
LED golf balls are impact activated meaning that they light up at impact and not before. They only fly about 65% of the distance a normal ball does, but they are a decent option.
Our favorite glow in the dark golf ball is the Glow V1. It has better features than the other glow in the dark options and does not really perform much worse than a normal golfer. The ball has a UV light that needs about 60 seconds to charge with a UV flashlight after which you get about 15 minutes of illumination. They are slightly expensive, and unlike some other glow in the dark options it does not float so they are easy to lose.
Glow in the dark tees
Most glow tees light up for about 3 minutes after being activated which is plenty of time to stick them in the ground and hit your shot. These work well because most night golf tee boxes are slightly illuminated but still pretty dark, not to mention the fact that a good glow in the dark tee will make a great addition to your Instagram account.
Glow sticks are a night golf tournament organizer’s best friend. They are fairly inexpensive and you can use them for almost anything. They are great for lining a fairway, marking off a green, bringing attention to a hazard, or simply to pass out to people who signed up for the tournament for a little extra light on the course.
Glow in the dark tape
Glow in the dark tape stay illuminated for up to 10 hours, it is waterproof, and it will stick to just about anything. With those features, it is easy to imagine how important glow in the dark tape could be for a night golf outing.
Every other item has focused on your golf game and making sure you can see and strike the ball with confidence. Glow necklaces focus on the importance of being able to see and recognize other golfers out on the course. They are also just a lot of fun.
Night Golf FAQs
How can I practice golf at night?
There are a few ways to practice golf at night including a golf simulator in your own home or a local course with floodlights. The most fun way to practice golf at night, however, is to do it with glow in the dark toys and equipment. Night golf is growing in popularity and if you have not already tried it out, you should. It will not replicate conditions and distances that occur during a normal round, but it will give you the chance to get out there and compete in golf at night while having a lot of fun.
What is the best glow in the dark golf ball?
The Glow V1 is our favorite glow in the dark golf ball. Besides the name, which is great in and of itself, it also has some of the best features of any glow in the dark option out there. Other than the lack of backspin and feel, it is quite similar to many clubs in your bag.
How do you activate a glowing golf ball?
If you use a glow stick golf ball, you do not have to do anything to activate it. Most LED light golf balls are activated on impact. UV light powered golf balls usually come with a UV flashlight inside each dozen and all you have to do to activate them is to shine that flashlight on them for the amount of time called for on the directions and you usually get a decent amount of time before the illumination goes away.
If you find the right place and the right conditions, night golf can be a lot of fun. Whether you are attending a fundraiser, a social event, or simply out on the course at night to work on your game a little night golf can be a great and memorable experience. There are some things that you have to think about and some safety precautions that must be adhered to, but the addition of low visibility and a lot of glow in the dark equipment make night golf an up and coming new thing. There is probably a night golf event somewhere close to you, all you have to do is find it and have some fun with other golf enthusiasts.