This week the PGA Tour has hopped over to Honolulu, Hawaii for the Sony Open. Waialae Country Club plays host to the tournament and the wind at the Sony Open can be one of the most challenging conditions golfers face all season long. Playing in the wind can be difficult because mishits can be severely penalized and since even PGA Tour professionals can’t always produce solid ball striking, we need to make adjustments to have a fighting chance!
Most of us know that you choose more club when playing a golf shot into the wind, and use less club when you’re downwind. But, what about those pesky crosswinds? A good general rule is to use more club, so any mishit will still have a chance to reach its intended target. If you’re a slicer of the golf ball and you have a “slice” wind, then going with less club is a good option to avoid the potential miss. Same thought is true for someone who draws the golf ball.
Your setup will change based on the wind direction you are facing.
Into – Grip down on the golf club and position the golf ball slightly back of center.
Down – Grip the golf club normally and position the golf ball normal to slightly forward.
Cross – Grip down on the golf club and position the golf ball normal to slightly back.
The key in situations with wind is that we’re not trying to hit the ball as hard as we can. If you do this it will cause more spin on the golf ball which increases the chances the wind will affect your golf shot. You’ll want to maintain a loose grip to prevent excess tension and take a ¾ swing going back and ¾ going through. Swinging at a slower tempo than normal will help reduce spin on the golf ball to keep it flying straight. Downwind is the only time you’ll take a full swing at full power.
1. Club Selection – Be mindful of the wind direction, crosswinds can make you look silly.
2. Setup – Check your grip and ball position according to the wind direction.
3. Swing Thoughts – 3/4 backswing and 3/4 follow through.
Follow these tips and you’ll master playing in the wind in just a few minutes. For more great instructional tips from our staff of PGA Professionals visit more instructional articles.