How to Beat the Wind with Your Mind

    Playing golf in the wind is a physical challenge, but the even bigger challenge may come on the mental side of things. You are going to need to have your mind in a good place if you are going to play well on a particularly windy day. Why is it so important to think clearly in the wind? Let’s look at a few of the various mental challenges you will face.

  • Good shots not being rewarded. This is probably the most difficult part of playing in the wind. You strike the ball cleanly, the ball takes off on a great line… and it is thrown in the wrong direction before it comes back down. You feel like you have done your job in terms of making a good swing, but you haven’t been rewarded. In many ways, this feels unfair. To keep your round on track, you need to avoid feeling sorry for yourself – or getting mad – in these situations. Sure, this is a bad break, but you can also take it as a positive, since you made a good swing. If you keep making good swings, you should be rewarded more often than not. You can allow yourself just a moment to be frustrated after you hit such a shot, but you then need to get immediately back on the right mental track.
  • A tiring challenge. There is no doubt that it is more work to play golf in the wind than it is to play on a calm day. Each shot takes more planning, and you are likely to be worn out by the end of the round from all the thinking you’ve had to do. Additionally, there is the physical challenge of walking in the wind and staying on balance when you swing. Don’t be surprised if you feel much more tired – both physically and mentally – after golfer in the wind than you would feel on any other day. To keep your mind fresh during a windy round, try to take your mind off of golf from time to time. As you walk up the fairway or ride in the cart, think about something else or talk with a playing partner about a non-golf topic. These mental breaks can help to refresh you before your next difficult shot.
  • A single mistake can be expensive. We all make mistakes during our rounds of golf. Perhaps we pick the wrong club for an approach shot, or we use a target line that was probably too risky given the situation at hand. On a calm day, you may be able to get away with these mistakes without too much damage on the scorecard. That probably isn’t going to be the case when the wind is blowing. If it is a windy day on the links, your mistakes are far more likely to be punished severely. For instance, let’s say you are playing into the wind, and you don’t use the right club. Instead of the ball landing on the front edge of the green, from where you’ll have to deal with a long putt, the shot will probably miss the green entirely. That might mean chipping from the rough, or playing from the sand, or taking a drop because your ball landed in the water. Whatever the case, small mistakes tend to be magnified on windy days.
  • Pretty much everything about playing golf in the wind is harder than it would be otherwise. To have success, you’ll want to keep your mind focused on dealing with one shot at a time, from the first hole through to the last. If you think too much about the big picture, it is easy to become overwhelmed. Your job is simply to play each individual shot to the best of your ability, and then add up your score at the end of the day.