Putting Techniques in the Wind

That’s right – we are now going to talk about how your putting is affected by the wind. Even though the ball isn’t going to be leaving the ground at all, we still need to cover this area of the game. As was the case when chipping and pitching, your putting stance can be impacted by a strong wind. And, in some cases, the roll of the ball can actually be altered by the wind. This is most likely to occur on a course with fast greens, or on a hole where the green sits up in an exposed position.

When you need to putt on a windy day, the physical adjustments you’ll want to make match up with those suggested for chipping. That is, you should widen your stance and choke down slightly on the club. If you know the wind is going to be blowing throughout your round, alter your putting stance as you warm up to get comfortable with this style of stroke. It will feel a bit different to putt with a wider stance and altered grip, but it shouldn’t take long to build up some confidence before you head to the first tee.

In addition to moving your feet farther apart and your hands down the grip, what else can you do to be successful while putting on a breezy day? Let’s look at a few more tips and techniques.

  • Pay attention to head position. It is always important to keep your head stable when putting, but it is even more important when the wind is blowing. The biggest challenge you are going to face in this situation is the task of striking the ball with the center of the putter face. If you miss toward the heel or toe, the putt may roll off line and it will probably come up short, as well. By keeping your head as steady as possible, you will significantly improve your chances of finding the sweet spot. Most golfers think about hitting the ball on the sweet spot with regard to the driver or their irons, but it is absolutely critical to putting success.
  • Use the wind as a tiebreaker. Unless you are playing in an incredibly strong wind, the force of the air isn’t likely to do much to the golf ball as it rolls. With that said, it can have a subtle impact, so you shouldn’t ignore it altogether. It is good to think about the wind is a tiebreaker when it comes to your reads. For example, if you think a putt is mostly straight but may break a bit to the left, and the wind is also blowing toward the left, favor the right side and let the combination of wind and slope turn the ball into the hole. Or, if you are in doubt as to how hard you need to hit a given putt, and the putt is into the wind, give it just a bit extra and count on the breeze to slow the ball down in time. With experience, you will get more and more comfortable with the task of judging your putts on windy days.
  • Use cautious speed. Short putts get more difficult in the wind. Since it is harder to hold yourself and the putter steady during the stroke, it will be harder to hit your line accurately – and short putts are all about hitting your line. Knowing that you’ll have a bit more trouble on short putts when the wind blows, avoid dealing with scary three footers as often as you can in this situation. Be more cautious with your first putts in an effort to leave nothing more than a tap in for your second. This will greatly reduce the stress that you feel during the day since you won’t have to sweat out nearly as many tricky short putts.

Putting is always a challenge, whether the wind is blowing or not. When the wind does come up, you’ll simply need to focus on the task at hand while thinking about the tips provided in this section. There’s no reason you can’t make plenty of putts in the wind, even if you have to work a little bit harder than normal.