How To Play Golf In Windy Conditions
This 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.
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.
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.
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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Emmett Brantly has been a Class “A” member of the PGA of America since 2003. He graduated from Campbell University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Professional Golf Management. He has worked in Public, Semi-Private, Private, and Resort golf facilities in Raleigh and Pinehurst North Carolina. He has also worked in various retail settings, as well as holding positions of PGA Teaching Professional at various academies including the Pinehurst Golf Academy. Emmett has a strong passion for growing the game of golf by displaying his extensive knowledge in club-fitting, teaching, fitness, and product knowledge.