by Frank Peter
The following Golf Lesson is reprinted with permission from the "Golf Beginner Guide", a full 272 page resource for Golf Beginners. For only $29.50 you get an incredible amount of invaluable tips, lessons and advice - great value for money. Click the above link to find out more!
When the wind blows, some players' games get blown away with it. Don't let this happen to you. Instead, practice the techniques here, and do what the very best golfers do: Use these adverse conditions to your advantage.
In other words, learn to love the wind!
1. Playing in a Crosswind
Crosswinds are the most difficult situation to play in. These winds will magnify any spin on the ball, and greatly reduce distance. If you slice or hook the ball, a crosswind will magnify the effect. Therefore, it's important to use these winds to your advantage. If you want the ball to land softly, such as on a green, try to curve the shot into the crosswind. If you want more distance, or to have the ball roll when it lands, "ride" the wind by curving it in the same direction as the crosswind. I n general, play the ball low.
2. The Knockdown Shot
The "knockdown" shot can be used in many situations, but is especially useful in the wind. The key points are to not swing at full speed, and to keep the hands in front of the ball. This hand position should be there at address and through impact. Many knockdown shots finish with the forward swing low and only half completed, with the wrists not fully released and definitely not cupped as in a normal shot. The main goal here is to keep the ball low and under control.
3. Playing in a Headwind
This is where the knockdown shot really comes in handy. Play the ball back in the stance (toward the right foot). Select more club to decrease trajectory. It's important not to swing as hard as on a regular swing (about 80% of normal). Remember what Greg Norman said on his way to winning the 1996 British Open: "Swing with ease into the breeze." This helps in two ways: It keeps the ball from having as much spin, and it won't fly as high, where it's especially susceptible to wind.
4. Playing in a Tailwind
Playing with a tailwind is great for your ego. Use less club and count on the ball flying and rolling longer. The wind also makes your shots travel straighter, even when mis-hit. If distance and carry are the goal, play the ball forward in the stance and hit it higher. Playing the ball back in the stance (as in the other wind situations) will make it a little easier to controlóbut remember to plan for the longer roll.
The most important thing in any windy situation is to hit the ball solidly. A well-struck ball will be much less affected than a mis-hit shot with sidespin. Spins in the wind get exaggerated, so watch out!!