As the proper winter weather hits hard many golfers will be choosing to stay indoors and keep the clubs in the garage. But for those hardy souls who want to venture out on the fairway probably the biggest challenge will be dealing with high wind.
Here’s a few tips to help you blow away the opposition…
Don’t try and hit the ball too hard
Most amateurs have a simple solution to playing in windy conditions: swing harder and faster. Unfortunately this is one of the worst things you can do. Trying to hit the ball as hard as you can will almost inevitably lead to mistakes which will be compounded by the wind itself. Hitting the ball harder in windy conditions will actually make the ball go higher which can be a disaster in high winds.
Think about your club
If you’re playing into the wind take ‘more club’ (one with less loft) and swing slower. This combination should mean your ball stays lower in the air and reduces the wind’s effect. If you’re playing into the wind however, hit with less club (more loft).
Grip and stance
Be sure to grip down on the grip so your swing is shorter. The shorter your swing, the lower the ball will go. Another way to keep the ball low is to play the ball further back in your stance which should be widened. This will create a better balance and lower your centre of gravity.
Watch the trees
You’ll often see professional players throwing up blades of grass to see which way the wind is blowing. But more important is to have a look at the trees around where your ball is going to be going to see what way the wind is blowing there. If there are no trees in that area, look at the flag. Checking the tree tops will give you a good idea of what will happen to your ball at the top of its trajectory.
Look out for side winds
Fighting a crosswind is the most common condition a golfer will face and given that the majority of golfers slice the ball and the effect such a wind can have on the spin on the ball, your hitting distances can be greatly reduced. In truth you have two choices here: either play your natural ball flight and either ride or fight the wind or purposely curve the ball to either go with the wind. If you want the ball to land softly, try to curve or fade the ball into a right to left crosswind. If you want more distance, ride the wind by curving it in the same direction as the crosswind.
Don’t be too hard on yourself
Every standard of golfer struggles in the wind so don’t beat yourself up if you’re heading for a high score. Accept the fact you’re probably not going to be a world beater when wind speeds are high and go out and play your round with a positive attitude. You’ll enjoy your round so much more.
Whenever you’re playing golf, there’s a risk of injury and sadly that risk increases during poor weather conditions. Just like in any other walk of life, accidents can and DO happen. With golfers being sued for shots that cause injury, all golfers need to protect themselves as well as their golf equipment.
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Check out our ‘Examples of why you need golf insurance’ video from a couple of weeks back, at a very windy London Club!