We all encounter windy conditions at some time during the year. When playing in the wind you have two choices, you can either “fight” the wind or let the wind assist you.
Playing into the wind. When the wind is coming straight into your face.
A point to remember is that when you hit a golf shot the trajectory of the ball is produced by hitting down into the back of the ball,thus producing spin which lifts the ball. When you are hitting into the wind the last thing you want is extra spin.This will give you too much lift and balloon you’re shot up in the air and coming down short of your intended target.
Judging the wind speed is another major factor in choosing the correct club to hit. A 10mph wind is = to 1.extra club. A 10mph wind adds 10 yards to your yardage. This is commonly known as a 1 club wind. 20mph wind a 2 club wind etc.
You have no doubt heard the phrase “In the breeze, swing with ease”. Swinging the club easy adds more calculations to the shot in hand. With a 10 mph wind blowing into your face you are going to take 2 more clubs. For example, you have 150yards to the pin, normally you would hit maybe a 7 iron, but with the 1 club wind that makes it a 6 iron and then you aren’t going to be striking the ball at full strength as you are swinging with ease so you have to add another club, so now your 7 iron becomes a 5 iron.
Ball positioning is also a factor that comes into play. To keep the loft of the club to a minimum place the ball slightly back to where you would normally place it for the club in hand.
Playing Downwind, When the wind is at your back.
Playing downwind has the complete opposite of playing into the wind in terms of applying the wind and club selection. Applying the same formula a 10mph downwind is 1 club less than you would normally take. As with the wind into your face – factor wind the same way (except this will add distance to your shots). For every 10 mph of the wind at your back is 10 yards less yardage.
Playing with the wind also has an effect on the spin of the ball. With the wind behind you, this will impart less spin and so will not hold the green so well and therefore will run through the green more than your traditional golf shot. Take this into consideration when playing the shot.
Your ball position should be the same as a normal shot with the club in hand.
In severe windy circumstances for example 30 to 40 mph downwind, this will tend to push the ball down to the ground. This is because that amount of wind takes a great deal of the spin off the shot and pushes the ball down. To compensate for this, with a 40 mph downwind, only take 20 to 30 yards off the shot instead of 40 yards, as that much wind will reduce the flight of the ball.
Crosswind (The wind is coming from Left to Right or Right to Left).
In these situations, you should always use the wind to your advantage. For example and assuming you are right handed if the wind is blowing from your right,your aim should be to play the shot right of the hole and let the wind bring it back to the target. This will allow you to play the “normal” yardage for the shot. If you are a natural drawer of the ball and you decide to play into the wind ie: left to right on a right to left crosswind then the strategy of playing into the wind as mentioned above should be taken.
When playing a cross wind shot line up to your intended flight of the ball. In other words with a right to left wind – line up slightly to the right and hit the ball on that line and let the wind do the “work” for you. Do not try to push the shot into the wind, you will only impart more spin on the ball and end up way right of the target.
More Considerations When Playing In Windy Conditions.
The Wind isn’t only up in the air, it is at ground level as well, so it will affect putts. Crosswind putts will be blown off line, downwind putts will run faster and with the wind into your face you need to strike the putt harder.
A little tip you may consider when playing windy conditions is the compression of your ball. A harder compression will impart less spin, therefore it is less likely to be affected by the wind.
Using clubs that produce less spin ie. Hybrids or Fairway Woods can also be beneficial when playing into the wind.
It is a natural instinct to want to hit the ball harder into the wind, but the easier you swing the club the less spin you will impart on the ball.
In The Breeze Swing With Ease
Enjoy your next round of Golf