Many golfers struggle when faced with windy conditions that make golf harder.
There are many reasons why golfers do not like plying in the wind, but the main is that they struggle to hit the distance that they believe they need to play in the wind.
There is little that I can do to help you hit the ball further playing against the wind, but there is a lot of advice I can give you to play better when playing in windy conditions.
Hit the ball smoother, yes smoother. The reason that you should try to hit the ball with more rhythm is simple. The harder you hit the ball the more spin you put on it. Playing in the wind results in an exaggeration of the spin that is on the ball. Whether that spin be side-spin, top-spin or backswing.
If you hit the ball with a smoother swing you will reduce the amount of spin on the ball, which will result in a lower ball flight, which against the wind is paramount to achieving a reasonable distance with each club.
As you already know, a smoother swing nearly always produces a more consistent and better result than a faster, less controlled golf swing. When playing in the wind it is more important to keep the ball under control.
Try to play the ball with the wind. By this I mean that if you normally hit the ball to the right and the wind is blowing from the left, make sure that you aim further left to allow for the wind to take the ball further to the right than normal. This may sound obvious, but many golfers will try and hit the ball into the wind to try and keep it straighter, but this is not good practice.
Play with the wind instead of trying to fight it all the time makes it easier.
Instead of trying to punch the golf ball into a head wind, which requires a change in your technique, take a couple of clubs more. For example if you would take a 9 iron in normal conditions, against the wind you would probably want to use a 7 iron or maybe a 6 iron dependant on the strength of the wind.
The same applies if the wind is in your favor; take a club or two less. But avoid trying to hit the ball harder, even down wind. Down wind it is harder to control the golf ball, so it is a good idea to keep the spin to a minimum.
You must take into account, that downwind the ball will roll a lot further than usual. You will need to try to “run” the ball into greens rather than trying to pitch the ball on the green.
Wear tight fitting clothes. There is nothing worse than having to constantly adjust your clothes because the wind is blowing them all over the place. Changing from a cap to a bobble hat is also a good idea, as the chance of a cap flying off down the fairway and into a lake is high.
As we all know when the wind blows it can be very cold, so wrap up warm. If the wind blows cold it will cool you down very quickly which is not good for your muscles. So wearing suitable clothing is a must.
Tee the ball a little lower with the driver when playing against the wind. Better still, take a 3 wood from the tee, the slightly lower ball flight will produce better results. A 3 wood is more controllable which will help keep the ball in play.
Down wind, tee it high and watch it fly. If you can launch the ball high into the wind you will gain meters and meters. Just remember not to peg it too high if you have a tendency to hit the ball out of the top of your club.
Altering the height of your tee will immediately change the ball flight and trajectory of the shot.
Maintain your balance. It is a good idea to widen your stance slightly when playing in the wind. This gives you a good solid base to begin with and helps you maintain your balance throughout the swing.
It is a good idea to try and get some practice playing in the wind before you tee it up for the first time in a tournament situation.
When the wind is blowing of an evening get yourself down to the local range and learn what it is like to play against the wind. IF possible keep an eye on wind direction so that you can visit the range when the wind direction changes.
There is no reason why playing in the wind should be a hardship, yes you will have a challenge on your hands, but that is, after all one of the reasons why we play this wonderful game.
Until next time,
The Golf Swing Doctor