Golf Tips And Lessons

How to Account for Wind in Golf

Playing golf on a windy day is one of the most challenging events you will face. Wind is unpredictable and that means you have to be on top of it from start to finish.

Professional golfers know how to handle windy days, but there is nothing they do that you cannot do as well.

Here are some tips on how to play the wind.

Tip 1: It is important to check the wind direction and velocity for every shot, not just every hole. It is surprising how the wind can change from one shot to the next, and you need to prepared for those changes.

A good way to check is to look up at the tree tops or at the flag (if it is close). Throwing a few blades of grass into the air will often help, too.

Tip 2: If the wind is blowing directly at you (from front or back), resist the temptation to adjust your target line.

For shots made into a crosswind, adjustments to the target have to be made. This will depend on the velocity of the wind as well as your own golfing skills. If you can play a fade or a draw to help get your golf ball through the wind, then try those first.

Tip 3: If you can see that the wind is higher up (by looking at the tree tops), tee your ball lower than usual. You may need to tee down as much as an extra one-half inch or so. This will help keep the ball lower in its trajectory.

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Tip 4: This tip is simple but often overlooked. If playing in strong wind or wind that suddenly gusts, widen your address stance a bit to help increase your stability. This can really help, but do not go overboard on this one.

Tip 5: When you are shooting into a strong wind, try to not "power" swing your way through the shot. This often means using more club than you would for a particular shot.

A rule of thumb: For every 10 mph of wind, adjust one full club. For example, it you are hitting into the wind, you would need a 5-iron instead of your normal 6-iron in a 10 mph wind. You would play a 4-iron instead of a 6-iron in a 20 mph wind.

Tip 6: When shooting with the wind at your back, your ball will travel farther if it catches the wind. To compensate for this, use your normal club for the shot but grip lower on the shaft. Start with one-half inch lower and adjust as you need.

Tip 7: Use your less lofted clubs to help keep the ball low. A low-flying ball is often the only real option you have on very windy days. This can be especially useful if you play on fairways that have trees on either side, as these trees may act as a buffer against the lowest winds.

Tip 8: Wind can affect your short game too. Windy days are prefect for using your low-trajectory, pitch and run shots. Try to keep the ball low, regardless of your shot selection, when playing near greens that are exposed to the wind or close to water hazards.

Taking a wider stance while putting may also be necessary. But, again, do not overcompensate with this as it may affect your putting swing.

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