“When it’s Breezy, Swing Easy”
On days like today, when it is gusting 30 knots, it’s only the hardiest venture out on the fairways to play in these high winds.
Here are a few tips from Alan to help you blow away the opposition:
ALWAYS wear a warm hat, gloves, and a windbreaker on a windy day. It is very easy to lose all your body heat on a windy day, so dress for the conditions. If you get too warm, you can always take a layer or two off.
The harder you hit the golf ball, the more spin you put on the golf ball. And the more spin that is on the ball, the more the wind will affect it. A fast swing in this wind won’t help at all. The faster you hit the higher the ball and then the wind takes control. Keep the ball lower and slower.
On windy days take ‘more club’ (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). Judge the wind in clubs. The stronger the wind the more the ball will be affected. So, if you have a 150-yard shot to the green and the wind is blowing a stink into your face like today, the 150-yard shot is really a 200-yard shot. I would call today a 3 or even a 4-club wind, so I use my 200-yard club. When you are downwind the same applies, choose 1,2,3, or even 4 clubs less when the wind is in your back.
Grip and Stance
The wider your base (feet), the more stability you have on a windy day like today. Be sure to grip down on the grip so your swing is shorter. The shorter your swing, the lower the ball will go. Playing the ball further back in a widened stance will create a better balance and lower your center of gravity.
Pick your target, if the wind is left to right, you have to judge how much the ball will move because of the wind. You may have to start your ball 30 yards left of the green and let the wind do its job and bring it home. 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.
Fighting a crosswind is the most common condition a golfer will face. Given that most golfers slice the ball in high wind, your hitting distances can be greatly reduced with the resulting spin on the ball. In truth you have two choices here: either reduce your natural ball flight or purposely curve the ball to 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. on a windy day, height is your enemy, so keep it low.
Get the ball on the ground as quickly as possible and away from the wind. In these situations, it is a case of ‘How low can you go?’!
Every 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. The more you play in the wind, the less you fear it, and most golfers come in after a windy day on the course with a grin on their face and an acknowledgment that "it wasn't so bad out there".
Posted on 31 Jan 2023.