If you have a habit of struggling on windy days, your iron shots getting tossed hither and yon on the breeze, you could be making a common mistake – hitting the ball too hard.
Playing into or across a strong wind, the natural tendency is to swing harder. Many players fail to adjust their club selection as well, hitting their normal club for the distance (say, an 8-iron for a 150-yard shot) and giving it a little extra juice.
Here’s the problem: Hitting the ball harder causes it to spin more; the more spin, the greater the wind’s effect; the more loft on your club, the higher the ball flies and the more it spins. Hence, the ball flutters like a butterfly and drops well short of the green.
The solution is simple. Take more club and swing easier.
Let say you’ve got 8-iron yardage into a strong headwind. Grab your 6-iron and make a smooth, slightly abbreviated swing. There’s no need to add extra hit at the bottom. The club’s reduced loft will cause the ball to fly lower, while your easy swing will limit backspin. The ball will penetrate rather than balloon, fly straighter, and carry all the way to the target.
Just remember this phrase: When it’s breezy, swing easy. How hard is that?