Playing Golf in the wind

by / Friday, 01 January 2010 / Published in News

Cross Winds

Unless you’re very confident shaping the golf ball, don’t try and fight a cross wind by drawing or fading shots into it. Simply adjust your aim left or right and allow the wind to move your ball.

Take one or two clubs more than you normally would for the shot distance (i.e. a 5 or 6 iron instead of a 7 iron) and make a 3/4 swing. This will keep the ball lower with less backspin so the wind will have less influence over it – which means you’re not having to adjust your aim as dramatically.

Throw some blades of grass in the air to judge wind strength but don’t rely solely on how the wind feels around you and your ball – you may be in a sheltered spot making the wind feel deceptively tame. Take a look at the tops of the trees around you and your target and don’t forget to look at the movement of the flag.

Allow for cross winds even on short pitch and chip shots. A wedge will place a lot of spin on the golf ball and throw it up high amplifying the effects of any cross wind. Learn to play the chip and run shot, which will come in very handy in the wind.

Head Winds

Most amateur golfers under-estimate how much a head wind reduces the distance of their shots. A gentle head breeze requires one extra club (i.e. a 6 iron instead or a 7 iron). A strong headwind, where the flag is sticking out horizontally, usually requires as much as 3 extra clubs.

As with cross winds, the lower you keep the golf ball, the less it will be affected by a head wind. You can change the flight of the ball by changing your set up.

To keep the ball lower, position the golf ball slightly further back in your stance (but don’t over do this). Lean a bit more weight on to your front side and feel as though your hands stay well ahead of the ball through impact.

Remember – you’re unlikely to be dangerously long when playing into head winds so take more club than you think.

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