Golf, Part 34, Playing Golf in Windy Conditions

how to play better golf in windy conditions. how wind affects ball flight.

The wind does blow whether coastal or inland and affects the play of golfers, perhaps more mentally than physically. Winds are an element that all must face and learn to deal with. Here are a few considerations that might help the golfer “turn the wind around.”

Downwind: When the wind blows from behind the golfer, the golfer might find advantage in playing a three or four wood off the tee. With more loft, the shot will carry further with more control. Starting from an original Athletic Readiness condition, widen the stance slightly by moving the trailing (right for right-handers). The ball should be in front of your forward cheek. Take less club in approach shot iron play, and within reason increase the pace of the swing. The ball should stop better on greens.

Wind Against: When the wind blows from in front (into the golfer’s face), the golfer should swing a little easier concentrating of making solid contact instead of overpowering the wind which cannot be done. Tee the ball high on tee shots, rather than low: making a shallower sweeping attack is the key. Set up with more weight on forward side by widening the forward foot slightly from an original Athletic Readiness condition. On iron shots adjust the shoulders so that the rear shoulder is higher than normal and the forward shoulder is lower (let’s say, strive for level shoulders). Take at least one more club on regular iron shots. Do not be ashamed to take three or four more, depending upon the force of the wind. The ball should always be played from in front of the lead cheek, even on punch shots from an open stance.

Crosswinds: These are winds that blow against the back or against the chest. Let’s call a wind that pushes you backward a draw wind and one that pushes you forward a fade wind. Consider both winds as a wall. Establish weight carefully for stability, leaning ever so slightly into the wall. Hit the ball into the wall for control. The golfer should plan to let the wind move the ball, aiming more left or right and let the winds play with it. Slices or hooks hit into a wall of wind will double the effect. The big concern on approach shots is to guard against missing the green on the side the pin is on.

Key thoughts: (1) The wind cannot be overpowered. (2) Solidness of contact is more important than trying to generate clubhead speed.

With a little thought and practice the golfer might find playing in the wind to be fun.

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