Playing in Windy Conditions

I tried to play golf the other day. The weatherman said that the wind was 20-22mph, but I'm convinced it was at least a constant 35. It was rough. Wind can be exhausting and challenging. Trying to control a little 1 ounce ball in those conditions can seem like a impossible task.

Now, some people might've just called it quits yesterday. I would've done that too if not for the colder weather we're expecting the rest of the week, but I was desperate to get out and play.

Even if you're one of those people who wouldn't have played yesterday, I'm sure you've still experienced a little stiff breeze on the golf course. That can be one of the most helpless feelings. Sometimes you just stand over the ball and know that the wind is going to get the best of you. It doesn't have to be that way though. When playing golf in the wind, there are a couple tips you can use to give you some hope.

First, it might sound cliché, but it's true...when it's breezy, swing easy. That means, don't try to hit the ball harder just because you're hitting it into the wind. That'll just throw off your timing and balance. Most people can't beat a strong wind just by swinging harder. In fact, most of the time, swinging harder makes it worse. When you swing harder, the spin rate of the ball increases on miss-hits and that magnifies a bad shot when it's windy.

Next, because you're swinging easier, you may have to club up one or two clubs. I'd much rather see people hit more club and swing easy than try to hit a shorter club really hard.

Third, you need to make sure you maintain your balance. Again, swinging really hard will make it more difficult to do this. Not to mention, sometimes it's just difficult to maintain your balance while standing in a strong wind. So, to improve your stability, widen your stance a little bit. This will give you a better center of gravity and provide you better balance as your swinging.

Also, don't forget to play the wind. That means, if your typical miss-hit goes right and the wind is left to right, start off by aiming plenty left. Remember, you're not going to beat the wind, so you have to learn to play with it. If your miss-hit is right and the wind is straight into your face, then any amount you hit it off-center on the club face will doubled or tripled the damage with a wind straight into your face.

Finally, a general rule of thumb is that for every 10mph of wind, you'll need to hit 1 more club. So, if you have 150 yards to the green and you would normally hit a 7 iron, but there is 10mph win, you'll need to hit a 6 iron. If it's 15mph then you'll need to hit a 6.5 iron, but there isn't 6.5 iron, so since we're swinging easy into the wind...hit an easy 5.

If you use these five small tips when playing in the wind, I'm sure you'll see a significant improvement in your game.