When you think of all of the common factors that you have to worry about when you play a game of golf, including water hazards and bunkers, you don’t want the weather to be something else that stacks against you as you play. Heavy winds can impact how your ball moves, but by making adjustments to your play style and swing in windy weather, you can finish the round with a great score.
Practice Maintaining Your Normal Swing
It can be difficult to practice golf in the wind, and you might find yourself wanting to swing the club much harder to make up for the shorter distance that the ball will fly. It’s a good idea to club up instead of modifying your swing. If you have to take full shots, you want to use the same force and power as you would when you play with no wind. This will ensure that you stay consistent with your practice swings.
If you swing and hit your ball much harder than normal, you’ll make small adjustments to how you place your body and the ball’s contact. This can make the ball curve in a way you don’t want it to go. On the backswing, you might not evenly distribute your power to the follow-through. Since this isn’t how you normally swing, you can get unpredictable results.
Instead, change up your clubs and all this switch to give you the extra distance you need. By having a consistent swing, you can keep the control you need to put the ball down where you intend it to go. The same also applies when you put the wind to your back when you practice. If the wind is behind you, you’ll club down to avoid taking power off the ball when you swing.
Practice Getting Lower Ball Trajectory Off Your Tee
As a general rule, when you practice in the wind, the ball should stay lower. This can stop your ball from moving into the wind, but it also allows your ball to cut through the wind more easily. If you’re practicing teeing off into the wind, you:
- Club Face Location – When you tee off using the driver, you want to line the ball up to your clubface’s center. When you play in the wind, you’ll want to adjust this slightly. Instead, you line half of the ball above your clubface’s center. This location is roughly half as high as you’d normally have it. This will keep the ball lower as it comes off your tee.
- Tee Height – Your tee high will impact your club face’s contact point. The tee height isn’t connected to the ball’s height. You want to ensure that you line your tee up with your club, and the ball should now sit at the upper half of your clubface. This reduces the spin on the ball that makes it fly higher.
- Wind Direction – If you have to hit your ball into the wind, the ball’s curve direction will get directly impacted and have a bigger ability to turn. If you’re playing with the wind at your back, you want to keep it lower.
It’s important to keep the normal swing off the tea like you would with other shots. The most important point to remember is to keep the ball positioned in the upper half of the face of your club. You want to limit how much spin the ball gets, and this gives you a lower ball trajectory.
Practice Adjusting Your Body Position
Your body position will determine your ball’s trajectory when you practice playing in the wind. Adjusting your body position slightly will give you much better control over your ball’s flight pattern, and this can help you get to the green faster. It also stops your ball from developing too much height, backspin, or power. To position your body correctly for windy conditions, you should:
- Lower Your Grip – Try to take a slightly lower grip on your club’s shaft. This brings your chest closer to the ground as you swing.
- Shift Your Weight – To ensure that your ball stays low, you’ll want to shift your body weight towards your front foot. Try to keep around 70% of your weight on the front foot.
- Stay Relaxed – You want to stay relaxed on every stroke, but this is especially important in windy conditions because it lets you swing without tensing up or adding more power.
As with anything else, practice will always help you improve. Of course, you can’t control weather conditions so trying to get more experience with golfing in the wind may not be in your direct control. You also may find that you’d just prefer to wait for more optimal weather, we won’t judge you for that.