Teeing it up in windy conditions

    Is anyone else fed up with playing in the wind this year? It’s not easy and no doubt a real test to keep your score down around where you usually play. Although wind can ruin your day it doesn’t have to. There are ways to combat the wind and make adjustments so that your score isn’t that much affected.

    Often we have no choice but to tee it up in windy conditions either because the round has been prepaid, it’s a tournament day, the weather has suddenly changed or you can’t convince your friends that you should take the day off. So, if you find yourself at the course and it’s one of those windy days here’s some tips to help you make the most of it.

    Attitude

    If you are miserable and complaining about how windy it is you will most likely have a horrible day. Tom Watson is a great wind player which is probably one of the reasons he has won 5 British Opens. He likes the wind because he knows 80% of the field will be eliminated because they have a bad attitude and are not looking forward to playing that day. Tom relishes the wind and generally bad weather and sees it as a challenge that he can beat.

    Into the wind shots.

    Shots into the wind seem to give golfers the most trouble. Too often players don’t take enough club and hit it too high which will result in shots coming up way too short. Swinging hard with a lofted club is just going to add spin which will make the ball go high and get killed in the wind. Take one, two, even three clubs more, depending of course how hard the wind is blowing, put the ball back in the stance a bit and put a smooth swing on it. Remember the ball isn’t going to roll forward very much once it lands on those headwind shots.

    Down wind shots

    These are the easiest shots on windy days and will often present an opportunity for a birdie. Just set up as you would for a normal shot but factor in the roll out from the wind. Front pins are the worst for down wind shots and require exceptional skill to get the ball close. I prefer err on being long rather than short on front pins. Chipping or putting back into the wind is better than trying to do it downwind, as you can control the ball better. I also like to tee the ball a little higher on down wind tee shots and let it rip.

    Cross wind shots

    These are always tricky due to the fact that any side spin will be exaggerated by the wind. If you have a slice wind and normally slice the ball, you have to play for a huge slice. The same goes for hooks in hook winds. Remember that a solidly struck ball will not be affected by the wind that much. Therefore, you should always be concentrating on, and striving for, solid contact on windy days.

    These tips will help you conquer the wind. So will getting out on the course or the range to figure it all out on windy days and gain some confidence. Good golfers know how to adjust and create shots on windy days. Use your imagination and look forward to the challenge. Make sure you dress for the weather, have a good attitude and when the wind blows…you just might play YOUR best golf or pretty close to it!