Short Game Techniques Playing in the Wind

    If you think the wind is only going to play a role when you are hitting full shots, you are sadly mistaken. The wind is influential in the short game as well, even if the ball is only going to come up off the ground by a few feet – or not at all, in the case of a putt. Mostly, the influence of the wind in the short game has to do with its effects on your body as you hit each shot. However, a particularly strong wind may even be able to blow a putt off line, or alter its speed as it rolls toward the hole.

    The first short game adjustment you’ll want to make is a repeat from earlier in the article – widen your stance. This is important here for the same reasons it was important when hitting full shots. You want to stay as balanced as possible in the wind, so moving your feet farther apart is a logical step. Since you aren’t making a big swing when putting or chipping, it is actually easier to use this adjustment in this part of the game, and you can use it more dramatically, if you would like. When the wind is strong, move your feet several extra inches apart in your putting stance to establish a strong base.

    Another adjustment to make will take place when you are chipping into the wind. Most of the time, on into the wind chip and pitch shots, the ball is going to stop quicker than it would otherwise. This usually will not be a dramatic change, but enough that you should account for it when planning your shot. Instead of taking a couple of bounces forward before coming to rest, the ball may just take one main bounce and then settle down. This is especially true when you are hitting a chip shot from a clean lie, because the ball should have some back spin. The wind will have less influence on your chip shots when playing from the rough. Of course, if you don’t want to play the guessing game with regard to the wind, you could opt for a bump-and-run shot (when possible) to minimize the effect of the wind on your chip. By keeping the ball down on the ground, the wind won’t have as much chance to change the path of the shot, and you should have an easier time predicting your target.

    All in all, playing golf in the wind is not as bad as some golfers would lead you to believe. Sure, it is harder than playing on a calm day, but the challenge can be an enjoyable one with the right attitude. Remember, the three keys from early in this article are particularly important – keep the ball down, swing softly, and use big targets. Also, remember to keep yourself safe out there on the course. If the wind picks up to a dangerous level, get off the course and wait for better weather. We hope the information provided in this article will help you make the most of your breezy rounds – good luck!