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How do you compensate for wind?

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 

I went out for my third time since my home course opened for the season.  The past two times have been rather enjoyable with barely a breeze.  Today however, wind was in excess of 20 mph for most of the round.  I shot 7 over for the first 4 holes.  By hole 5 the wind had died down and I ended up shooting 1 over for the remaining 5 holes. 


In my few years of playing golf I have never been able to figure out a "strategy" for playing when it is windy.  I usually just shrug off the round and live to fight anther day.


Does anyone else have these same struggles? and does anyone have tips to beating the wind, and possibly taking advantage of it?

post #2 of 23

Play more lower lofted shots using more club than normal. Even on downwind shots try to depend more on trajectory to control distances on approach shots than help from wind. 


Not beat myself up over mistakes and keep in mind that more than likely nobody else is going to shoot their normal score in high winds either. Bogey may turn out to be a good score on a hole.


Refigure the odds of success on shots that would be no question without the wind, even if it means getting to a par four in three.


The course I play has a small island green par four that usually requires a fairly simple 100 yard approach shot. I have played that hole in very high wind where the approach shot after a good tee shot was 160 to 170 yards and playing more like 190 yards. The smart play is to lay up and have a chance at par, almost guarantee no worse than a bogey, and keep a double or triple out of play.

post #3 of 23
Take PLENTY of club, and above all swing smoothly, NOT hard.

Wind is fun.....
post #4 of 23

A big key for me is to not OVER compensate. I have many times flew a green because the wind was in my face so I took 2 more clubs or vice versa being short. Same with lateral wind. I expect the wind to move the ball to much and end up missing the green.


I have started doing this: Get a real distance to the pin. Laser or GPS. +/- where I want to be. +/- wind (best guess while considering safe misses). I choose my club based on this distance and from there distance is set. Hit that club normally. Finally pick an aim point taking wind into account such that I have plenty of room for miscalculation and still hit the green. If I am off with the distance I will note it for future reference and move on.


Some days I'm a genius, some (ok most) I'm clueless. That's when my short game comes into play. Up and Down, Up and Down.

post #5 of 23

Guess, grab, & go.


Take a guess at how the wind will affect your shot, stick with your gut instinct, grab the club you decide on, and go.


And don't 'over'.  Don't over-think it. Don't over-compensate. Don't over-swing.


Lot's of wind out here in Oklahoma...

post #6 of 23
Originally Posted by Roblar View Post

Lot's of wind out here in Oklahoma...

no doubt Roblar.  I was thinking while reading the OP... 20 mph's? that's the norm here


I still suck in the wind though.

post #7 of 23

We had 15 to 20 mph yesterday.  Made some holes easy and others treacherous.  On one downhill par 3, my nine iron shot moved 20 yards to the right.  I did not start 20 to the left though, because a pond was there.   

post #8 of 23

I hit a fairly high ball and have never mastered the "Tiger stinger" shot.  As a result I am at a disadvantage on windy days.  But I try to take more club than normal, swing smooth but slow and it helps.  e4_tumbleweed.gif

post #9 of 23

I don't have the skill to alter my game based on weather, it varies day to day without trying and my ball flight changes with every shot. If I hit 10 shots the ball flight and dispersion isn't real tight for full swing stuff. If it's windy enough that I feel it's going to be trouble I don't go. Just not worth the aggravation.

post #10 of 23

I am usually better off by not compensating, but that is because of my lack of consistency and skill. Sometimes I take one more club if I am hitting against wind.

post #11 of 23

Into the wind, with the wind...the first couple holes are "guinea pigs" for seeing how the distance is being affected.  On my home course, this is easy, because the prevailing wind is usually ALWAYS in your face on the first tee. 


When playing into a headwind, any curve on the shot will be exaggerated by the wind...and too much spin will kill distance(so don't try to swing harder)


Down wind, the only thing you have to worry about is the ability to stop the ball and you can do this by playing more loft, being able to hit a higher shot with the same club...things like that. 


Crosswinds....I'm not good enough to predictably play "into the wind" so I always ride it.  Play for more curve than usual and adjust your aim accordingly.

post #12 of 23

Same way I compensate for everything else,




Just kidding, I drive a VW Golf, no compensation requireda2_wink.gif

post #13 of 23
Originally Posted by David in FL View Post

Take PLENTY of club, and above all swing smoothly, NOT hard. ...

Extra club and smooth means you'll put less spin on the ball. Spin and high trajectory is what makes your shot "climb the wind wall" and blow left, right, or come up short.


In my last two rounds, I faced short par 3s with either a gusting cross wind, or a 30 MPH headwind. For both holes I hit a 7i punch and run, ended up on the front fringe, and chipped up for tap-in pars.

post #14 of 23
Originally Posted by Ernest Jones View Post


Just kidding, I drive a VW Golf, no compensation requireda2_wink.gif


nice!  what wheels are those?  what suspension drop is that?

i used to have a 2002 GTi 1.8T, loved that little car...

post #15 of 23
Originally Posted by colin007 View Post


nice!  what wheels are those?  what suspension drop is that?

i used to have a 2002 GTi 1.8T, loved that little car...

Well it's not actually MY car, just a pic of the same year and model I pulled off the interweb. I don't take pictures of my car. I might if I had Buckeyenut's car though!

post #16 of 23

It depends on the type of wind at hand. If we're talking head winds that make it feel as though you are having a hard time just taking a practice swing into it... I'm probably going to light up a smoke and crack a quick beer and hope it calms down in 10-15 seconds. If not, I'll take one extra gulp and give it hell.

If we're talking about moderate 10-15mph gusts, I need to be more strategic because my typical ball flight from 7i-58° is very high. On our signature, island Par 3 at my home course, we typically get a wind coming right at you. The hole is about 150 yards but can play 170 on really windy days...

I made a diagram of this hole below, the red line is the trajectory from tee to green. The right arrow is the green, the left arrow is the tee:

his is usually a 150 yard 9i for me, but the last two times I have been out, it took a very, very low-spin 7i because the winds were just insane. I'm talking about the type of winds that make your clothes skin tight on the side facing the wind. Hell, my wife asked how I got sun burned when I got home, yet it was just over-cast and mostly wind burn!

In strong winds, I always try to club down and take a more relaxed shot to promote a lower trajectory with some run. I used to try to muscle the wind and keep my high, soft landings. I quit doing this late last season though when I found myself coming up short more than 75% of the time.

post #17 of 23

Head wins will decrease the  yardage a bit more than a tail wind will carry the ball. But usually i find its about 1 yard of distance per 1 mph of wind. This is usually anything above a calm wind, like 5 mph+. So 10-15 mph is about 1 club length extra distance needed for an iron into a head wind.


Side winds are a bit tough, because going with the wind will increase the distance a bit, i usually think about half a club length. If you hold it against the wind it will decrease distance. Also, the curve is increased as well.


Head winds will increase the amount of curve in the ball as well, ever hit that slice into a strong headwind, and it just skies up and turns right a ton. Tail wind will decrease the curve in a ball. Draws hold a bit more into a headwind, just because i think its easier to put alot more slice spin on a ball than it is a draw spin. I guess unless your Rory, hitting 15-20 yard draws, draws wont be effected as much as a slice.


So for me, i try to keep track of the weather before i play a round of golf. Then i can get a good estimate as to how much extra club to take. As for side winds, depends on the shot you play. If you hit a cut, hit a bit easier, its going to curve more and probably go a few yards farther, if you have a left to right wind. If your cutting it into the wind, it will probably go a few yards shorter and cut less. So its all accounting in your preshot routine.


Also, pulls, and pushes tend to not be effected by cross winds. Ever hit that pull into a left to right wind (for righties), and it just keeps going left, and your wondering why its not being pushed right. Unless you have a very very strong wind, the wind really doesn't push the all. It just effects the spin on the ball. That's why Johnny Miller said that a tail wind in some cases can cause you to come up short, because it counters backspin, and backspin helps keeps a ball in the air longer.


really, just try to take account in your preshot routine. Adjust your club selection, and alignment. Then when your ready to hit the ball, put the wind out of your head because you took care of it. If it gusts in your backswing, your shit out of luck :p

post #18 of 23
Played in some pretty good winds today, gusting to about 25-30mph. Swinging easier really makes a difference with the driver. I tend to get a ton of backspin with the driver so slowing down helped bring the spin down and it penetrated the wind much better.
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