So you’ve fought through a steady wind and arrived safely in a spot near the green. Now you can focus on the shot without worrying how the breeze may affect it, right? Wrong.
If the wind is blowing harder than about 5 MPH, it can influence pitches and bunker shots. Sometimes, the wind can be your friend, while other times it makes a tough shot even tougher. Consider these factors before hitting:
- Playing into the wind: Not only does the wind push the ball and cause it to fly a shorter distance, it increases the ball’s spin rate and makes it stop more abruptly. In other words, you must be more aggressive when pitching into the wind. This is generally good because there’s less chance of going past the hole or over the green. In fact, consider hitting a lofted pitch instead of a chip in these situations.
- Playing downwind: Naturally, the ball will carry farther and roll more with the wind at your back. If possible, it’s best to get the ball on the ground quickly to lessen the wind’s impact.
- Playing in a crosswind: The higher the shot, the more likely the breeze will blow it sideways. Adjust your aim just as you would for the green’s break.