It’s the fall golf season up in Canada, and with it usually comes some windy days out on the course. Wind can wreak havoc throughout your game if you’re not ready to play in it. Wedges in particular are extremely tough to keep on line in the blowing wind. These shots hit the ball high, without much speed behind them, meaning the wind can easily kick them around as it pleases. The good news though is, sidespin should be at a minimum, due to the loft of the club. In this post, we’re going to talk about three ways to take the wind out of the equation the best you can, or at a minimum, reduce its effects on your short shots.
The harder you swing, the higher you’ll hit the ball, the more the wind has a chance to mess with it. The best option in the wind is to swing smoothly, and work on solid, square contact. Sidespin is still your enemy, so a swing that is most likely to hit the ball cleanly is your best bet. If you need a hard swing to get your wedge there, don’t be afraid to up-club. It’ll keep your trajectory down, and more likely to get the ball on line, and keep it in play.
The obvious solution to the wind is to keep the ball as low to the ground as possible. This can be accomplished a couple of ways…
The usual knock down shot, with the ball back in your stance, and dead wrists through impact, with a short abrupt follow-through. Or, you can play the same shot with a half-swing and an up-club to a 8-7 iron and strategically play the shot to run and roll up on to the green (assuming there’s no trouble short of the green). This shot is very difficult to judge well, but with practice it can be done. British Open golf wouldn’t exist without it.
Hit it Pure
Few people know that a pure shot, hit with a ton of backspin won’t be as impacted by the wind than one without it. So ironically, many golfers make it harder on themselves in the wind by playing a lower spinning golf ball, with the assumption that it’ll have less sidespin in the air. In truth, these balls tend to fly straighter because of the added spin. If you have enough swing speed to take advantage of these balls, and have a steep angle of attack to generate the kind of spin you need, you’d be surprised at how straight the ball will fly in the breeze. To further improve this, you may also wanted to make sure your clubs and grooves are clean. Dirty clubs don’t create as much spin because your reducing ball to groove contact.
It’s as simple as that (easier said then done, I know). These three tips should give you some options out there in the wind.. but like anything, Practice makes perfect. Especially with those knockdowns and hit and run type shots. Next time you’re at the range, see what kind of swing it takes to hit the ball 100 yards with your PW, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5 iron and take note of the trajectory and how big of a swing it takes. Try it again for 120 yards… and again for 80 yards. Getting confident in these types of shots is a great way to improve your game and lower your scores.
Give it a try!