September 21st, 2012 by Tyler Pringle
Playing your best in windy conditions can be very challenging. Even good players can struggle in the wind. We have all watched players in many British Opens fight to make pars against the wind, and in many cases that wind left professional golfers satisfied with a bogey. Of course, these are extreme conditions that we seldom see in the United States, but wind consistently effects a golfer’s game. The following are just a few tips for playing in the wind.
First and foremost, try to control your expectations. Like rain, wind often has an effect on a golfer before he/she even tees off. Wind can set up a negative mindset for an entire round. Accept the challenge to play your best despite the conditions, and you’re already ahead of most people on the course.
Playing Golf Downwind
Remember, if the wind is with you, let it be your friend. Tee it high and let it fly. If your swing speed is 90 mph or less, try using a 3 wood instead of a driver for the extra loft, which will allow the ball to fly farther than a driver. From the fairway, remember the ball will travel farther and not stop as fast. You need to account for this when selecting your club.
Playing Golf Into the Wind
When you’re playing into the wind, any spin on the ball will be exaggerated. If you’re a slicer off the tee, set up right. Tee the ball a little lower and back in your stance. Also, in spite of the impulse to swing harder, you want to swing a little easier. Again, spin will be exaggerated which will cost you distance, so choke down a little and focus on hitting the fairway instead of distance.
Playing Golf with Sidewinds
Playing golf with sidewinds can be difficult. If you can work the ball, try to hold the shot against the wind. Focus on minimizing the effect of the wind. If you don’t have this option, play the ball back in your stance a ½ inch. This will help keep the ball down out of the wind where you can hit a straighter shot.
Putting in the wind.
Few amateurs take wind into account on the greens, but it can have a great effect on your game. As distance increases, the wind will effect the putt more, but wind also dries out the greens making them faster as the day gets longer. Don’t forget to widen your stance in windy conditions to keep from swaying. By understanding these keys, you will land more putts on windy days.
Overall, remember to accept the challenge to play your best despite the circumstances and you will have a much better chance of playing well and enjoying your round. What are your main keys for playing in the wind? Let us know in the comments section below!