Any game of golf requires planning and concentration. For you to win a game, it’s critical that you understand how the environment impacts play. Now that Autumn is upon us, wind can present you with some unique challenges. After all, golf is usually played in wide-open spaces where there is little protection from the elements. But wind isn’t solely a barrier to play. When you play golf in the wind, you can make wind your friend.
Here are our tips for playing golf on a windy day:
Judge the wind strength
When playing golf in the wind, you won’t be able to properly sense how strong the wind is by simply standing in it. There might be barriers in any direction preventing you from feeling its full force. Therefore, it is better to check the tops of the trees to see how they’re moving (and in which direction). You can also toss some blades of grass into the air or check out the movement of surrounding flags. Knowing how strong the wind is and which direction it’s moving in will help you determine the best ways to play the game.
Use the wind
The wind is your friend! Using it as a buffer can help you to create your desired shot. For example, if the wind is blowing left-to-right, you can aim towards the left side of the fairway and know that the wind will help direct the ball towards the centre or right side of the fairway. As long as you remain confident about the direction and strength of the wind, you can use it to your advantage.
Ballooning happens when you hit the ball hard into the wind, causing it to ‘balloon’ upwards and travel a shorter distance. To combat this, take one or two more clubs and use a shorter swing. This will facilitate a shallower approach to the ball and an overall smoother swing.
Pick your landing area
When the wind is behind you, blowing towards the hole, you need to go easy with how forcefully you hit the ball. Your ball won’t spin and stop on the green as quickly as you may be used to, so select a landing area towards the front of the green and let your ball roll the rest of the distance.
Keep a low shot in cross winds
One way to tackle tricky cross winds when playing golf in the wind is to keep the ball lower in order to retain control. To do this, line the golf ball up so it is slightly further back in your stance and lend more weight on your front side. Before impact, ensure your hands remain well ahead of the ball.
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