Adjusting Your Technique In The Wind

    You may already be aware that it is important to alter your swing technique slightly when playing on a windy day in order to maximize your chances for success. We mentioned earlier that you should be swinging softer on a breezy day – and that is certainly a good place to start. That alone will not be enough, however. You are going to want to make a couple of basic changes to your swing technique in order to produce the kinds of shots that tend to fare well when the wind is up.

    The three points alone should all be considered when getting ready to play a shot that is going to be affected by the wind.

  • Choke down on the grip. This is the best place to start. When you are going to hit a shot where wind is a factor, consider coming down on the grip at least an inch or two before making your swing. This is going to effectively shorten the length of the club, which will take speed out of your swing and bring the ball flight down closer to the ground. Many golfers are hesitant to make this adjustment because they don’t want to give up power, but you need to get out of that mindset. It isn’t power which is going to allow you to succeed on a windy day. Rather, it is control. Do everything you can to maximize the control you have over the golf ball in the wind and your results will improve. You will likely need to use one or two extra clubs when you choke down on the grip, so keep that in mind when planning your path to the target.
  • Move the ball back in your stance. The adjustment to move the ball back in your stance goes right along with choking down on the grip. If you were to choke down without moving the ball back, it may be hard to reach the ball at impact properly. Come down an inch or two from the top of the grip, move the ball back an inch or two in your stance, and then proceed with the shot. Pushing the ball farther back in your stance is going to allow you to create a lower trajectory right from the start – great for keeping the ball out of the wind as much as possible. You need to be careful here, however, as moving the ball back in your stance can cause you to miss to the right of the target. If you notice that happening in your game, adjust your aim as necessary to hit your shots in the proper direction.
  • Stay perfectly on top of the ball. You want to take as much lateral movement as possible out of your swing when you are playing in the wind. During the backswing and the downswing, you should feel like your upper body is remaining solidly over the ball. You are going to make a full shoulder turn like usual, of course, but be particularly careful not to slide off the ball in either direction. A slide will usually result in a higher-than-expected ball flight, and that is a big problem when playing in a heavy breeze. By paying attention to your body position during the swing, you may find that your ball striking actually improves over your usual standard on a calm day.
  • You don’t want to make dramatic changes to your golf swing just because the wind is up. You do, however, need to make sure that your technique matches up with the kinds of shots you should be hitting. During your next practice session at the driving range, use the three points listed above to work on your wind shots. Then, when the wind does come up on the course, you will be properly prepared to rise to the occasion.