Managing Your Golf Game in Windy Conditions
Wind is a reality of playing golf. While most golfers would rather hit the links under calm conditions, that isn’t always possible. Learning to play good golf in the wind is an acquired skill that comes from both experience, and good technique and planning. If you are able to understand what kind of shots work in the wind, and which don’t, you will have a good chance of scoring well despite the conditions.
Let’s take a quick look at four kinds of shots – two that work nicely during windy conditions, and two that you should leave in the bag.
Don’t – Hit the Ball High
High shots on windy days are simply not a good idea. Even if you think you are downwind, try to avoid the temptation to throw the ball up into the air and watch it soar. Golf is all about controlling the ball, and you have no control once it is up in the wind and floating higher and higher.
Do – Control Your Ball Flights
Good wind players are able to hit a variety of low shots all around the course. No matter if you are downwind or into the wind, a low, controlled ball flight is almost always best. These kinds of shots take practice to master, so work on hitting low iron shots on the driving range before taking it out onto the course.
Don’t – Swing Too Hard
Again, this is all about control. When you swing harder, you put more spin on the ball, and spin makes the ball either climb higher, or turn to the side. Neither of those things are good in the wind. It is easy to get into the mode of swinging harder and harder to try and ‘beat’ the wind, but that is a game you aren’t going to win very often.
Do – Take Extra Club and Swing Easy
Obviously, the counter to swinging too hard is making nice and easy swings. On windy days, expect to play with one extra club than you usually would and make softer swings to keep the spin rate down on your golf ball. While you might not be able to hit the high, beautiful iron shots that you are capable of on a calm day, you will maintain better control over the ball as you navigate around the course. And if you want a good score, control is what it is all about.