Just as wind affects a golf ball’s flight in the air, it can influence a ball’s roll on the green. In fact, heavy winds, especially in dry weather, can alter a green’s characteristics dramatically.
Wind has a natural drying effect which saps moisture from the grass. Wind-blown greens sometimes exhibit a brownish look and “crusty” texture, and can get very quick and bumpy. Pay close attention to the greens’ appearance and how putts and chips react on the surface. Greens that are exposed (unguarded by trees, homes etc.) will dry out more quickly.
Otherwise, remember these simple rules for putting in a stiff breeze:
- Putts will roll more slowly into the wind, and faster downwind. The effects are enhanced if the green slopes in the same direction the wind is blowing (i.e. putting downhill with the wind), and minimized if slope and wind are opposite (putting downhill into the wind).
- A rolling ball may move in the direction of a crosswind. If the wind is blowing in the same direction as the slope, play extra break. For a crosswind against the slope, play less break.
The faster the greens, the more the wind will factor in.
It’s important to stay patient and alter your expectations when the wind is affecting your putts. Chances are, you’ll make fewer than usual – but you’ll sink more than other golfers by following the guidelines above.