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Playing Golf in the Wind

For casual golfers, one of the most intimidating conditions is playing golf when it's windy. The key to playing successfully in the wind is to keep a confident mental attitude.

Here's the way I approach windy conditions:

  • On half the holes, I'll hit it shorter than usual, so I need to use a larger club.
  • But on half the holes, I'll be significantly longer off the tee and able to use shorter clubs into half the greens.

Hitting Downwind

When this scenario occurs, a golfer needs to mark his card prior to playing the course. He should mark all the holes that will be playing downwind. These are the birdie holes. Play aggressively on these holes, and conservatively on the holes that play against the wind.

Tee Shots into the Wind

When hitting a tee shot into the wind, most golfers feel that they must swing harder. This is usually catastrophic. It causes the swing to become awkward and unbalanced, resulting in even less swing speed than usual and missed hits off the face.

  • If a golfer can stay mentally calm, and tee the ball one inch further back in his swing, the ball will take off and have a lower launch angle into the wind. The front wind will make the ball go higher than usual, but because it began lower than usual, all things will equal out.

Perfecting Hitting into the Wind

Here are some general tips for perfecting your shots:

  • If a golfer can hit a low draw into the wind, that ball flight is the best.
  • Wedge shots into the wind, again, should be played one inch further back in a golfer's stance so that the ball doesn't balloon up into the sky.
  • Another option is to take one more club, and play a "knock down shot". A knock down shot is played way back in a golfer's stance, using one extra club and taking a 75% swing.
  • Chipping into the wind requires either a lower shot trajectory, or using one more club.

In all cases, playing in the wind can be invigorating due to the fact that it makes the golfer think more golf. Succeeding in difficult conditions brings an enormous amount of satisfaction and isn't any harder to do if you are prepared mentally for the task.

Keep golfing,

Robert R. LaPorte

"the Golf Nut"

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