Tips for playing in the wind
Here in NM, we get wind.
Boy do we get wind.
You can listen to the guys on TV and in most places what we get for breezy, is a hurricane in other parts of the country and the world.
So if you don’t like playing in the wind, don’t come here to NM.
You must learn to have a wind game. Some player’s allow their games to get blown away in the wind.
If you would like to play better in the wind, practice the techniques listed here, and do what the very best golfers do.
Learn to use these bad conditions to your advantage. Learn to make the wind your friend!
1. The Knockdown shot.In the wind, this is where the knockdown shot is really important. If you don’t know how to play the knockdown shot, learn.
The “knockdown” shot can be used in other (many) situations, but is especially good to use in the wind. One of the key points is not to swing at full speed, and always try to keep your hands pressed (in front) of the ball.
You should try to keep your hands in front of the ball at the address position as well as through the impact position.
If you watch the Pro’s on TV you will notice that their finish is low and only half completed.
The wrist are not fully released and definitely not cupped as in a normal shot. The goal is to keep the ball low and under control.
Now lets talk a little about the different ways the wind can blow and how to handle each one of them.
We will talk about the tail, cross and headwind.
2. The crosswind shot and how to handle it
This is the most difficult situation to play in. If you have any spin on the ball these types of winds will magnify any spin on the ball.
It will also reduce your distance.
If you hook or slice the ball, the crosswind will definitely magnify the effect.
You must learn to use these winds to your advantage.
Landing the ball on the green in a crosswind can be a challenge. If you want the ball to land softly on the green in a crosswind, try to curve the ball into the wind instead of with the wind.
If you are looking for more distance in the crosswind, try to curve the ball so it “rides” the wind.
Curve the ball so it is going the same direction as the wind, so when it lands it will roll.
But, in general, you still want to keep the ball low.
3. Playing with the wind at your back
You can have a lot of fun with this wind position.
It sure can make you feel good (ego) when you blast the shot farther than you ever did before.
One of the secrets is to use less club.
Count on the ball flying farther and rolling more.
If you want to hit it longer, try to play the ball a little forward in your stance and hit the ball higher.
Once you get it up in the tail wind, it is going to go.
In the tailwind, the ball will fly straighter, even if you mishit it.
If you play the ball back in your stance, you are going to have better control (like you do with other wind shot), just make sure you plan on the roll.
In all of these different wind shots, you must try to “hit the ball solid”.
If you strike the ball solidly, the wind is less likely to have an effect.
As you know a mishit shot in the wind will be effected more. The spin on the ball will be exaggerated, so be careful with this.
4. The wind in your face.
No one likes to have the wind blowing straight into them. For one, you are not going to hit it as far as you normally do.
It can deflate the ego a little. Everybody like to pound the ball. When you are playing in a headwind, the “knockdown” shot can come in pretty handy.
Remember the saying “When its breezy, swing easy”.
You will need to play the ball back in your stance. For right handed golfers, back toward the right foot.
Now that you are swinging easy, you will need to select more club to make up for the reduce swing speed.
Also, selecting more club will lower the trajectory of the ball, which is what you want. Don’t forget you want to swing at about 80% of full speed.
This technique with help you in a couple of ways. You are not going to get the ball up in the air (lower trajectory) and you going to keep the spin off the ball.
Keeping the ball down in the headwind will allow you to control the ball better.
I hope these techniques allow you to take advantage of the wind, rather than letting the wind beat you up.
If you do the above I know you are going to play better in the wind.