Friday, June 14, 2013

Effects of Golf Wedge Shots in the Wind

The Effects of Wedge shots hitting in the wind.

Tour players know that the toughest scoring in golf is during windy conditions.  As the wind picks up, the elite golfers assess, evaluate, and play the effect the wind has on every shot, including short-game and putts.

Most Amateurs wait until the wind is blowing hard toward danger before they start to adjust.  Even then they fail to consider how it affects wedge shots.  You hit the shot tracking toward the pin, only to end up short in the sand.  This not only happens in real windy conditions, but also in mild 5-7 mph winds.

Even though wind is a challenge, most golfers try to hit through it instead of using the wind to their advantage.  To have the wind assist you instead of hinder you, you must have some knowledge of the wind.  The most important is to keep your shots lower and with less spin on the ball. 

Here are a few tips on how to strategize on windy days hitting short-game shots into the green.

1.  Playing Downwind. Play the ball in the back of your stance, close your club face, and hit it crisply.  This will allow you to penetrate the wind with ample backspin.  Will give you a lower trajectory, allowing you to minimize the wind affect, while stopping the ball prior to any trouble behind the green.

2.  Playing into the wind.  Try hitting this shot with pitching wedge, or a 8, 9 iron with an easy swing.  This should produce a lower ball flight with minimal backspin, both of which should minimize the wind effect.  The result should be landing short of the green, releasing and then rolling on the putting surface toward the hole.  This is a much more predictable shot than hitting a high shot with a lot of spin.

3.  Playing in Cross Wind.  The important thing to remember is the ball will turn with the wind the whole way, including after it hits the ground.  It's the last bounce and roll that surprises the golfer.  Sending what are well played shots further from the hole.

I have played a lot of golf in the wind.  Actually practice on the range during windy days to work and watch how the wind affects my ball flight.  I pride myself with the ability to adjust to the wind.

You will, too, if you take the advise above to heart, and accept that the wind affects all shots, not just the long ones.

Until next time, keep your head down and your swing smooth....

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