Putting in the Wind, Part I: Widen Stance, Shorten Stroke

Brisk wind introduces a whole host of challenges on the tee and fairway. Often overlooked, however, is the wind’s influence on putting.

As a general rule, any time the wind is blowing at least 10 MPH – strong enough to move your pants legs – you should account for it on the greens. Also, wind has an effect similar to the grain of the grass: Putts into the wind are slower, downwind putts faster, and a crosswind will move the ball in the direction it’s blowing.

Wind exerts force on your body as well, so stability is key – especially when it’s gusty. Integrate these methods into your putting routine on breezy days:

  • Widen your stance: The outsides of your feet should be even with, if not wider than, the outsides of your shoulders.

  • Hunker down, choke up: Bend over slightly more to expose less of your upper body to the wind. You’ll need to choke up on the grip a little to compensate, which will also improve your control of the putter.

  • Shorten your stroke: The longer the stroke, the more likely it is to get thrown off-kilter by a sudden gust. Make a slightly shorter back-stroke than normal and “pop” the ball with a firm, accelerating motion.

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