There’s one condition that all golfers dread but sometimes have to deal with: wind. Because the wind direction changes from hole to hole, you never really know what to expect. Dealing with continuously changing windy conditions can be troublesome, but there are ways to tame it. Here are five simple golf tips to use in windy conditions to help you improve the way you play.
1. Play it low
You may consider this as something that everyone should know, but unless you have been faced with a 25 m.p.h wind in your face, you won’t understand how important this is. The higher the ball goes, the more the wind can affect it. Keep your shots low to minimize this.
2. Adjust your approach
To stay on top of your game, alter your approach by choking down on your club about half an inch. Grip further down the club and change your swing by using a shorter follow through. This is similar to playing a punch shot to get out from under trees. You will want to play more club, but how much more will depend on distance and the strength of the wind. The aim of this is to keep the ball low.
3. Choose the right club
When you are faced with a long par 4 or par 5, it’s hard not to pull out the driver when you are teeing off. Naturally, you want to get as much as you can out of your tee shot. When you are faced with a strong wind, however, you may want to rethink that approach. The driver may not be the best choice of club to use.
The first thing you have to be concerned with is keeping your ball in the fairway. If you fade or hook the ball, the wind will exaggerate it, and there is no telling where you might end up. Fore!
4. Ball back, weight forward
By moving the ball back in your stance, it helps to ensure that you will hit down on the ball. You should also shift more weight forward to help your hands stay ahead of the ball at impact. All of this will get you that nice punch shot you are looking for.
5. Use the wind to your advantage
During your round, the wind will be blowing in different directions. Take the time to get a feel for where the wind is blowing. Try throwing a few blades of grass into the air if you’re unsure.
When you are playing into the wind, play more club than usual. Try playing one more club than you believe you are going to need. As mentioned, choke down a bit on the club and shorten your follow through. Whatever you do, don’t swing harder than normal. This will lead to trouble, as the harder you the strike the ball, the more spin you produce and the higher the flight.
On the holes where the wind is to your back, tee it up high and give it a good whack off the tee. Why not use the wind to bomb some tee shots out further than you could in normal conditions?
In either case, most amateur golfers never seem to take into account just how much the wind can affect the ball.
Bonus Tip: Practice
The wind and other weather conditions are just one more factor that can affect your golf game. Although you could have the ideal stance, the proper setup position and the right club in your hands, if the wind is blowing excessively strong in one direction, your ball will not land where you think.
Possibly the most difficult wind condition is the crosswind. It takes lots of experience and practice to be able to know how much you have to compensate with your aim.
Try to think of windy conditions as just another aspect that makes golf such an interesting and challenging game. To be a good golfer, you must learn how to control your ball in the wind, so go practice more on windy days.
— Joseph Mills