Knockdown Shots: How to golf in windy weather
The British Open, probably the most sought after major championship for players around the world, is set to take place at the Royal Lytham & St. Annes. Without a doubt, players will be tested and forced to rise above adversity over the 72 hole major championship.
The windy and rainy weather at the Open Championship often leaves the best players in the world looking average. You will see them place an emphasis on they control the distance, direction and trajectory of every shot. The single most important thing you do in windy conditions is stay committed to the shot. If you learn to control your ball flight, playing in the wind will be a little easier. The following tips will help improve your ball control skills.
“When it’s breezy, swing easy” is a popular expression for playing in the wind. Unfortunately, the harder you swing you put additional spin on the golf ball. More spin will allow the wind to have a greater influence on the shot. This is probably the first mistake many players make when hitting shots into a headwind. Instead, you need to make an easier swing and learn to control ball flight.
In order to produce less spin, you want to hit a knock down shot. Position the ball back in your stance, position your hands lower on the grip and take an extra club. For example, if a 7 iron is your 150 yard club, try a 6 or 5 iron, move the ball back in your stance, grip down and swing at about 85 percent. This will produce less spin and a lower trajectory. The lower trajectory will keep the ball from ballooning into the wind. When going downwind hit less club. For example, instead of the 7 iron from 150 yards you might need to hit an 8 or 9 iron, depending on the severity of the wind conditions.
Also, to play successfully in the wind, let the golf ball ride the wind. Another common mistake is trying to draw or cut a ball into the wind. Pick a target, and let the ball move in the direction the wind is blowing. Always remember your goal during your round, which should be to hit greens in regulation. Conditions will make it harder to hit shots close to the hole. But I would rather have a longer putt than a chip or pitch on any hole.
Matt Keller, PGA
FEATURED AUTHOR: Matt Keller is a PGA Golf Professional with over 15 years of experience. Throughout his career he has worked at courses in Pennsylvania, Maryland,Florida and Delaware. Matt has conducted thousands of golf lessons to players of all ages and ability levels. Currently, he is a PGA Professional at Cripple Creek Golf and Country Club located near Bethany Beach, DE