For the past few days I have been watching golfers play in extremely windy conditions. Now these players are not PGA Tour caliber but they do have something in common: they must learn how to control their golf ball in the wind.
Here are a few things you’ll need to know about playing in the wind.
1. Take more club – Your normal “150” club probably isn’t going to go that far when hitting into the wind. But down wind you could take a smaller club and get the same distance.
2. Swing easier – The harder you try and hit the golf ball the more spin you put on it. The more spin the more the wind affects the shot.
3. Take a wider stance – The wind can move you around and affect your balance. To counteract that, widen your stance. This lowers your center of gravity and helps to maintain a solid base into the ground.
4. Shorten your stroke – The longer your backstroke the more chance you have of over swinging and having balance problems. By keeping the backstroke shorter you’ll have more control.
5. Let the golf ball “ride the wind” – This one is a source of controversy. Some players like to try and “work” the ball into the wind, which straightens out the flight. But almost all great wind players let the ball ride the wind. If it’s blowing right to left then they will hit a shot that goes in the direction of the wind.
You’ll also notice that the European players use a much wider stance for putting than do their US counterparts. This wider stance does help make the players foundation much more solid and since the Europeans usually play in these conditions we should take a page out of their notebook.
The next time you’re playing in windy conditions use these tips and have a more solid ball striking round.
Chuck Evans – Executive Director of Instruction – Medicus Golf Institute