Jump to content
Cantankerish

Playing in Windy Conditions

17 posts / 2096 viewsLast Reply

Recommended Posts

Here in South Florida, October and November get rather breezy.  30 mph gusts are common in an open field such as a golf course.  It arrived kinda early this year, and for the past several weeks I have been getting my but kicked by wind.  Last Sunday, I probably gave up 10-12 strokes from my tee shots getting blown asunder and my approach shots being wildly too long or short.  Simply clubbing up a club or two has not been doing me much good.   Headwinds in particular have just been STOPPING my approach shots even when I club up three clubs.  The wind is like a wall. And the rotation on my natural fade has been amplified in a variety of wind directions, sending my shots well off course.  When I am making my club selections, I can hear David Carradine being told "You are not ready, Grasshopper." I really feel outmatched by mama nature on this one. 

(As it happens, my new skill to work on has been hitting short irons at less than 100%.  I have been practicing Mvmac's techniques and I am making some progress.  It seems quite useful in these conditions, but I still have a long way to go.)

What advice would you give a noob like myself?  Would you keep the tee extra low?  Try to use lots of partial strength long irons? Also, what interesting experiences have you had in high winds?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

Register for free today and you won't see this ad spot again!

I play in the wind quite often. I learned along time ago to not fight it. Ma Nature always wins, especially on the golf course.

Alot of times, the course provides natural wind breaks. Sometimes not. I use those wind breaks to my advantage. 

I try to use the wind to my advantage. Left to right wind, I aim more left, and let the wind move the ball right. Vice versa on a right to left wind.

I never try to fade, or draw balls into the wind. I am not that good. 

A tail wind is my friend. I use my same swing, with more club, and enjoy the extra distance.

A head wind is a lower trejectory shot for me. A 3/4 swing,  punch shot works well for me.   I will play the ball further back in my stance, use more club, and use my normal swing tempo. I have even used a choked down driver for this shot off the turf. Swinging harder into the wind never works. 

I will widen my stance for more balance in the wind, and will choke down a little on the club grip. A wider stance means my shoulders are a little lower.

Where I run into grief during windy play is on greens that are open to ground winds. Winds strong enough to move the ball off it's line while it's rolling.  Not only do I need to read the green, I also have allow for the wind.

Side to side winds are the worst. Extra speed helps the ball hold it's line on shorter putts. Longer putts, I just hit, and hope. 

A putt into a head wind requires more ball speed, and vice versa for a putt with the wind. Sometimes I have to factor in up, and down hill putts. 

I will play practice rounds in the wind. Stronger winds keep most golfers home, so I usually have most of the course to myself. 

In the end,  golfers just do the best they can in the weather conditions provided.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

2 hours ago, Cantankerish said:

What advice would you give a noob like myself?

Learn to hit punchy 3/4 shots.

2 hours ago, Cantankerish said:

Would you keep the tee extra low?

Absolutely not. You're either going to swing steeper on it or hit it off the bottom of the clubface. Both of these will increase spin rate.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

38 minutes ago, billchao said:

Learn to hit punchy 3/4 shots.

Absolutely not. You're either going to swing steeper on it or hit it off the bottom of the clubface. Both of these will increase spin rate.

Agree with the first, strongly disagree with the second. In a headwind with a driver, my go to move is to tee it down and play it a touch back in my stance compared to normal. I don't make any conscious swing changes. I get low penetrating drives with just this, no spinny ballooners that start low then balloon and hit the wind wall. Of course everyone's swing is different and mileage may vary for others. But it's definitely worth experimenting with cause it works really well for some people.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

When it’s breezy, swing easy...

Dont be afraid to take enough club.  There aren’t any style points on the scorecard.  I’ve been laughed at for hitting driver on a par-3, or a hybrid from 160, into the wind, but guess who doesn’t come up way short...   ;-)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

On 10/4/2019 at 4:20 PM, mdl said:

Agree with the first, strongly disagree with the second. In a headwind with a driver, my go to move is to tee it down and play it a touch back in my stance compared to normal. I don't make any conscious swing changes. I get low penetrating drives with just this, no spinny ballooners that start low then balloon and hit the wind wall. Of course everyone's swing is different and mileage may vary for others. But it's definitely worth experimenting with cause it works really well for some people.

My drive feels like it is on a knife's edge, and has been since I started trying to improve.  What you are suggesting is really what I want to be doing.  But Billchao's concerns are only the tip of the iceberg.  I am afraid to screw with my driving technique, lest the ball peel off in strange directions.  Maybe I should devote some range time to this.  I have been reading Erik's book and I wonder what the Separation Value of hitting shots specifically to deal with wind would score.  Is it worth the effort to practice this a lot when I am still working on some of the basics?

Edited by Cantankerish
spelling

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

On 10/5/2019 at 7:32 PM, Cantankerish said:

My drive feels like it is on a knife's edge, and has been since I started trying to improve.  What you are suggesting is really what I want to be doing.  But Billchao's concerns are only the tip of the iceberg.  I am afraid to screw with my driving technique, lest the ball peel off in strange directions.  Maybe I should devote some range time to this.  I have been reading Erik's book and I wonder what the Separation Value of hitting shots specifically to deal with wind would score.  Is it worth the effort to practice this a lot when I am still working on some of the basics?

That's a fair point. I wouldn't devote a ton of time to it. But it might turn out that you don't spray it any more or less just making those setup adjustments, which makes for an easy win on the course.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

Keep the ball low against the wind and club up.
Curve the ball agaisnt the wind on side winds and club up.
Hit it high on tail wind and club down not as much as you do against the wind.

Most important, be extremely patience. In windy conditions everybody will do more strokes than averge. The one who can keep it cool have a huge advantage.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

On windy days the old adage stated above 'when breezy swing easy' applies. For me, on windy days, I leave the driver in the bag and go with a 3W because it keeps the ball flight lower, out of the wind for the most part, but that is me. I hit my 3W well so I don't lose that much yardage and I'm on the short grass. I am not afraid to club up, a lot in some cases, for my next shot.

What bothers me the most is the sound of the wind in my ears, makes me not concentrate enough, very distracting, especially when putting . Maybe I should get ear plugs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What is the loft on your driver? Perhaps going down a degree or so may help to hit it lower?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On 10/9/2019 at 12:33 PM, Seenya said:

What is the loft on your driver? Perhaps going down a degree or so may help to hit it lower?

Low!  7.5.  The whipping wind is just so crazy this time of year though.  For the second time this month I had a faded drive peel off strong to the right and make a U-turn in flight. It was pretty ridiculous.

But!

On the long 9th hole at TPC Eagle Trace yesterday, with a hefty headwind, I stuck my drive into it for about 277 or 278.  That left me a bit over 160 to the center of the green, still directly into the wind.  In still air, that is a straight-up 8-iron for me.

A few weeks ago I would have had no idea how to manage this approach.  The guys who were with me, who do not have the advantage of TST also apparently did not know how to manage the shot.  I watched all of them come up short, owned by the wind.  Since my drive was longest I went last.  I had been practicing these sorts of scenarios since you guys put the ideas in my head how to do it. I pulled out the 4-hybrid, with I believe a 22* loft.  I choked up and gave it a "3/4 backswing", placing the ball about seven feet from the pin.

Thanks, guys.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

On 10/4/2019 at 4:20 PM, mdl said:

In a headwind with a driver, my go to move is to tee it down and play it a touch back in my stance compared to normal.

That's a bad idea.

Ideal launch conditions don't change for a pretty broad range of conditions. Hit it normally.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

22 hours ago, iacas said:

That's a bad idea.

Ideal launch conditions don't change for a pretty broad range of conditions. Hit it normally.

At what point do you want to mess around with your launch conditions with your driver?

Also, if I'm hitting downwind with a roughly 10+ mph wind, I try to hit it higher with my driver. My thought is that the wind is going to knock the ball down, so I want to get it higher to keep it in the air longer and get as much benefit from the wind as possible. Should I be doing that, or is it not really going to make much difference?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

On 10/20/2019 at 8:30 AM, iacas said:

That's a bad idea.

Ideal launch conditions don't change for a pretty broad range of conditions. Hit it normally.

Huh. I guess I've never actually tested it. Sort of an assumption backed up by a few times drives have ballooned on me into a headwind when I didn't try to hit it low. How hard would the wind have to be for you to try to hit it low?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

3 minutes ago, mdl said:

Huh. I guess I've never actually tested it. Sort of an assumption backed up by a few times drives have ballooned on me into a headwind when I didn't try to hit it low. How hard would the wind have to be for you to try to hit it low?

I think the windy conditions idea is overplayed with driver.  Driver is going to have the most ball speed and least amount of spin.  Therefore, driver is going to cut through the wind the best, so long as you don't hit down on it to cause a bunch of back spin.  You're better off just hitting your standard drive.  If you've got a descent angle of no more than 40* with driver, you'll get plenty of rollout as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

On 10/21/2019 at 10:05 AM, DeadMan said:

At what point do you want to mess around with your launch conditions with your driver?

Uh, this:

On 10/25/2019 at 1:36 PM, ncates00 said:

I think the windy conditions idea is overplayed with driver.  Driver is going to have the most ball speed and least amount of spin.  Therefore, driver is going to cut through the wind the best, so long as you don't hit down on it to cause a bunch of back spin.  You're better off just hitting your standard drive.  If you've got a descent angle of no more than 40* with driver, you'll get plenty of rollout as well.

The only times I might try to hit it lower (but I'd still try to keep spin down) is if there are some trees which could help shield some wind AND the ground is very, very, very firm so the ball will roll out pretty far.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.




×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Welcome to TST! Signing up is free, and you'll see fewer ads and can talk with fellow golf enthusiasts! By using TST, you agree to our Terms of Use, our Privacy Policy, and our Guidelines.

The popup will be closed in 10 seconds...