Ideally, every day on the course would be balmy and calm, with no winds to sabotage your perfect shot. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case, and sometimes you need to adjust your golfing strategy to combat Mother Nature. Playing on a windy day is a major challenge, and it can be tricky to figure out the right strategy to make it work.
Stay Low or Go High?
A powerful wind can send a high-flying ball wildly off-target, causing you a headache when it comes to getting back on course. Don’t give the weather an opportunity to blow you off track – when you’re playing into the wind, you want to keep your shot low. “Play the ball midway between your front and back foot, and hit it low and hard,” says Steve Silverman, award-winning sports writer. A good rule of thumb for this type of shot is always to use a longer club than you think you’ll need. If you have the wind at your back, on the other hand, feel free to go for that high shot – especially if your shot needs to be relatively straight. “Since the wind in this case is a helping one, tee the ball up a ball length closer to your front foot and hit a high shot,” says Silverman.
Keep it Steady
When facing a strong gale, your first instinct may be to swing as hard and as fast as you can. On the surface, that reaction may make sense, but it won’t get you the result that you’re looking for. While it may seem counter-intuitive, the trick to conquering the wind is actually to lay off a little bit. “Fight the urge to swing harder; an easier swing will keep the ball down,” says Butch Harmon, Golf Digest Professional Instructor. “A solid shot will fly true in a pretty stiff breeze, but a weak shot is hopeless.” He recommends swinging at about 75% power, as faster swings can create more backspin – sending the ball higher. When it comes to your stance, “Play the ball an inch further back than normal, and squat a little for stability” Harmon advises. “Your right hip and shoulder stay high through the strike. You’re hitting down on it, trapping it against the turf.” Make sure to keep a tight grip – it’ll give you the extra control you need to counter the weather.
Hopefully, these tips will give you a little more confidence when it comes to scheduling your tee time on a windy day. If you’re interested in building on these skills, call the Pro Shop at 760.771.0707 to book your tee time!