Playing golf on a windy day can be extremely frustrating if you are not sure what tips to follow in order to keep your ball in play. A golf ball can literally dance all around a golf course in extremely windy conditions. What starts off as a straight shot can be blown 20 yards sideways while the ball is in mid flight. Even a ball sitting still on the putting green can be blown right off the green. Using the following tips can help you make those windy day golf games seem like a breeze. Yes, pun intended.
Before playing your shot and making a club selection, try to identify which direction the wind is blowing and where it may be blowing. Using a few blades of grass thrown into the air, or the smoke from a lit cigarette can help you gauge this. Also, try to determine where the wind is by looking at the flagstick and treetops. The wind could be near the green but not near you, it could be high amongst the treetops but everything below that looks calm. This at least gives you a starting point and some guidance as to what you can expect from your ball flight.
Hitting into the wind
1) Choose the next club up in length, or lower in number, than the distance requires. The wind is going to be pushing against your ball and creating resistance, and therefore limiting the distance. In extremely windy conditions, you may need to “club up” two clubs.
2) Even though you know the wind is blowing into your face, check to see if it also coming from the side as well. This will determine your alignment toward your target. If the wind is pushing left, aim more right of your target and let the wind push the ball in the direction you need.
3) Your ball position is going to be a little further back in your stance than normal for that club. This will help produce a lower ball flight by allowing a descending blow on the ball and de-lofting the club a little. If you are on the tee box, tee the ball low as well.
4) Fight the tendency to think that you have to hit the ball hard, or muscle it into the wind. Definitely swing easier than you normally do, faster and harder swings put more spin on the ball off the clubface. This will just result in the ball losing even more distance.
5) Your swing should start with a low takeaway and let your hips lead through the downswing. Finish low with your club pointing at your target.
Hitting with the wind at your back
1) Choose the next club down in length, or higher in number, than the distance requires. The wind is actually going to be carrying the ball further and it will roll longer. A 150-yard club may actually go 170. This can be ideal as far as your ego, but just remember this when laying out your hole strategy.
2) Again, check the crosswind for possible alignment adjustments.
3) Your ball position is going to be normal. However, if you are looking for more carry and distance, play the ball a little further up in your stance than normal.
4) Use your normal swing.
Even though playing golf on a windy day can create some challenges, once you know what to do you can minimize the damage that Mother Nature is going to create for you. Just like any other atypical golf shot, asses your situation, remember what you have learned, and have confidence in your ability.