How To Play Golf In Windy Conditions

tips-from-our-pros-brantlyThis week’s Hero World Challenge will be played in Albany, New Providence, at the Bahamas where last year’s winner of was Jordan Spieth. The field at the Hero World Challenge will consist of 18 of the world’s best PGA Tour players competing for the $3.5 million purse. Past champions of the event include five-time champion Tiger Woods, defending champion Jordan Spieth, Zach Johnson, and Jim Furyk. While watching the tournament, you’ll notice the wind will be rather gusty and playing golf in windy conditions can be very difficult and intimidating if you haven’t practiced in it on a regular basis. There are a few things that need to be adjusted when playing in windy conditions that include your set-up, club selection, and overall swing. One thing to make note of is that the golf ball will react very differently depending on if the wind is behind you, coming toward you, or from either side of you. Here are a few tips to help you battle windy conditions.

Set Up

If the wind is blowing toward you, you’ll want to focus on placing the golf ball a little farther back in your stance (compared to a normal shot). The main reason for doing this is to help the ball fly a little lower and cut through the wind to minimize losing distance due to the wind coming toward you. Keep in mind, since the ball will be flying lower, the ball will tend to roll more when it hits the ground.

If the wind is behind you and blowing toward your target, you’ll want to place the golf ball a little farther forward in your stance to help ease the golf ball into the air. A good example of this is if you’re hitting a driver and trying to hit the ball as far as possible.

When dealing with a crosswind (either left to right or right to left), make sure to aim accordingly to account for the wind.

Club Selection

If you normally hit a 6-iron 170 yards, and the wind is blowing toward you, the 6-iron might only fly 160 yards.  Visa-Versa if the wind is blowing behind you and toward your target, the ball will tend to fly a little farther. For example, if you normally hit your 7-iron 160 yards, it may fly 170 yards if the wind is behind you.

Generally speaking, club selection will not change if the wind is blowing from left to right or right to left.

Overall Swing

Your overall swing may be adjusted depending on how windy the conditions are. Another way to either hit the ball a little lower or a little higher is to change the swing plane slightly.

If the wind is blowing toward you and you’d like to hit the ball a little lower, make a flatter swing (swing more around your body).

If the wind is behind you and you’d like to take advantage it when hitting your driver, swinging the club more upright will help hit you the ball higher.

Quick Recap For Windy Conditions

1. Set Up – Depending on the direction of the wind, you’ll want to adjust the position of the golf ball.

2. Club Selection – Depending on the direction of the wind, you’ll want to take a little more, or less, club.

If the wind is blowing toward you, you’ll take more club.  If the wind is blowing with you, you’ll take less club.

3. Overall Swing – Depending on the direction of the wind, you’ll want to swing a little flatter or more upright.

You’ll want to swing flatter if the wind is toward you, or an upright swing if the wind is blowing with you.

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TaylorMade Golf Balls for 2016

Recently, Taylormade announced three new golf balls for their lineup for 2016 which include enhancements to the already widely popular Project (a) golf ball and slight tweaks to their tour-line, Tour Preferred and Tour Preferred X.  With the competition within the golf ball segment as fierce as ever, any upgrades made must provide the player with improved performance, either from the tee or around the green.

TaylorMade Project A Golf Ball

Project (a)

The new incarnation of the Project (a) will feature a signature change in compression level from the previous generation. The new ball will now be a 70 compression REACT core compared to high 80’s of its predecessor. So, not only will the ball feel softer overall, but it will make it more playable for the average golfer, especially in terms of lowering spin off the driver and longer clubs in the bag.

The cover is constructed with Taylormade’s new  SoftTech urethane technology which will give players more control on touchy wedge shots around the greens and with their mid-to-short irons. Despite the changes, the overall target market of the ball has remained unchanged. Project (a) will be aimed at the recreational, competitive golfer who is looking for the performance benefits of a tour-level golf ball at an attractive price that won’t break the bank.

TaylorMade Tour Preferred Golf Ball

Tour Preferred

The 2016 version of the Tour Preferred golf ball will feature an 80 compression core, which is softer than before, and an overall 4-piece construction with a mantle layer that is 65% more flexible than the previous model. What this allows the ball to do is maintain its speed consistency through the core and mantle, providing more reliable distance on tee shots and longer clubs. The SoftTech urethane cover gives players optimal greenside control and superior feel that the game’s best players expect in a high-performance golf ball. Compared to the Tour Preferred X, the Tour Preferred will feel softer and see a slightly higher launch profile and more spin with the mid-to-long irons for softer landings around the green.

TaylorMade Tour Preferred X Golf Ball

Tour Preferred X

With a tour player lineup like that of Taylormade, it pays to have the feedback of the best players in the world, and that is exactly what they did with the 2016 Tour Preferred X golf ball. Taylormade developed over 40 prototypes of this golf ball for testing on Tour and what came out of it was the new and improved 5-piece, TP X. This ball will give the better players a lower, more penetrating ball flight with the driver and longer irons and a more controlled trajectory, especially in windy conditions, with the short irons and wedges. Compared to the non-TP model, the X will feel firmer (87 compression on the TP X compared to 80 on the TP) and provide lower spin with the long clubs without sacrificing the exceptional spin around the green.

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TaylorMade Iron Comparison: AeroBurner vs RSi 1

AeroBurner Iron Set


Taylormade’s new AeroBurner irons were designed with the same principles in mind from the metalwoods line: more speed with maximum distance and forgiveness.  Taylormade’s patented Speed Pocket technology can be found in the mid-to-long irons, which helps produce easy launch and more ball speed on off-center hits, especially those low in the club face so you don’t have to sacrifice distance or lift on slightly less than optimal shots.

The club also features a thicker top line and sole width as well as a longer blade length that is consistent with clubs classified as Super Game Improvement for the mid-to-high handicap bracket.  These features are paired with more offset to give the golfer the largest amount of confidence when setting the club down behind the ball at address.  The offset numbers are between .8 to 1.2mm, depending on the club, more than the offset than that of the RSi-1 irons, the next closest comparison from Taylormade’s catalog.  Finally, the irons have a stronger loft configuration for maximum distance, averaging one degree stronger compared to the RSi-1.

The deep cavity back design and wider sole allow for a lower center of gravity that increases the club’s forgiveness and stability over preceding models.   The REAX steel and graphite shaft options add to the iron’s playability and easy launch characteristics.  With all these features, AeroBurner is an iron that feels great and is incredibly easy to launch despite the stronger loft pattern.

RSi 1 Iron Set

RSi 1

With next generation advancements in technology compared to the AeroBurner, the RSi 1’s are the ultimate trendsetter in exceptional performance in a traditional game-improvement setup.  The RSi 1’s are an extension of the SpeedBlade irons that dominated the marketplace just a year ago.  With an improved Speed Pocket that is deeper and extends to the outer limits of the heel and toe area in the 3 through 7 irons, the RSi 1 irons have been able to further protect ball speed and increase launch on off-center strikes, especially low in the face (the most common miss for amateurs).

New to this incarnation of irons is Face Slot Technology, the first of its time.  The 3 through 8 irons feature a cut through face slot in the heel and toe side of the iron head, which provides a more consistent flexion across the face on mishits.  What does this mean to you?  You will have an iron that not only produces exceptional distance on centered strikes but one that reduces the distance loss and side-to-side directional dispersion associated with mishits that are as small as a ¼” off center.

Pair these two revolutionary technologies together with their thinnest clubface along with dampening materials to improve sound and feel and a lightweight, low-to-mid kick REAX steel shaft designed by True Temper, and you’ve got Taylormade’s longest, fastest, and most forgiving game-improvement iron to date. Did we mention it looks exceedingly good as well?

Which Iron Is Right For You

The AeroBurner irons are right for you if…..

You are looking for an affordable, super game improvement packed with customary Taylormade technology with high launch and maximum forgiveness and distance in a larger iron head profile.

The RSi-1’s are right for you if…..

You are looking for top of the line technology that delivers ultimate distance and accuracy performance across all swing types and handicap levels in a sleeker, less offset iron head.


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