On windy days, you can never go wrong following the mantra, “When it’s breezy, swing easy.” When playing downwind, however, giving it a little extra oomph can sometimes pay dividends.
This is generally true when there’s no danger of hitting the ball too far, such as a tee shot on a straightaway par 4 or 5, or when using a high-lofted club like a wedge. In these instances, you want to take advantage of the wind direction by maximizing the height of your shots.
Ball position is the first key to hitting the ball higher. With the driver, play it in the standard spot, off the left heel (for right-handed golfers). For all other clubs, play it a smidge farther up (to the left) in your stance than usual.
The other loft-adding trick is to swing a little harder than normal. More clubhead speed equals more spin and greater height. Of course, you want to be careful not to overswing. Instead of swinging the arms faster, generate extra speed by making a good, full backswing turn with the shoulders and hips.
While the added spin will send the ball higher, the wind will decrease the spin once it’s up in the air. The shot will carry farther, but still bounce and roll quite a bit after landing. Always take this into account when preparing to play downwind. On approach shots, land the ball in front of the green if possible, and check for trouble behind the green before choosing a club.