Getting the Right Putting Read On Windy DaysPutting in windy conditions can be challenging, as the wind can affect the roll and direction of the ball. Here are some tips to help you get the right putting read on windy days:

  1. Observe the Wind: Take a moment to observe the wind direction and intensity before you start putting. Look for visual cues such as the movement of trees, flags, or grass. Understanding the wind patterns will give you an idea of how it might affect your putts.
  2. Adjust Your Aim: Consider how the wind might influence the break of your putt. If the wind is blowing against the break, it may reduce the amount of break and cause the ball to stay straighter. Conversely, if the wind is blowing with the break, it can exaggerate the break and make the ball curve more. Adjust your aim accordingly to account for these factors.
  3. Feel the Wind: Stand behind the ball and feel the wind on your face or by holding a piece of grass in your hand. This can give you a sense of the wind's intensity and direction at ground level, which may differ from what you see in the higher parts of the course. Use this information to make more accurate judgments about the wind's effect on your putt.
  4. Assess Green Conditions: Windy conditions can dry out greens, making them faster. Take note of the green's firmness and speed, as this will affect the roll of the ball. Adjust your stroke and touch accordingly to accommodate for the faster conditions.
  5. Choose the Right Putting Technique: In windy conditions, it's generally advisable to use a more compact and controlled putting stroke. A shorter backswing and smoother tempo can help you maintain stability and control over the ball. Focus on a solid contact and keeping the ball on a lower trajectory to minimize the wind's impact.
  6. Practice and Adapt: Practice putting in windy conditions during your practice rounds or when the wind is strong. This will help you develop a better feel for the adjustments needed to read putts accurately. Adapt to the changing wind conditions throughout your round by observing how the wind affects your putts and making the necessary adjustments based on your observations.

Remember that windy conditions can be unpredictable, and even the best-read putts can be affected by sudden gusts. Stay patient, trust your judgment, and be prepared to make on-the-spot adjustments as needed. With practice and experience, you'll become more adept at reading putts in windy conditions and improving your putting performance overall.

On particularly windy days, you might find that the actual roll of the ball is impacted by the wind. When that happens, you are really in for a challenge. Reading greens is hard enough when you are only worried about the slope of the ground and the speed of the surfaces – things get complicated in a hurry when you add in the matter of wind to the equation.

There are certain circumstances which are more likely to see the ball affected by the power of the wind than others. Some examples of such circumstances are listed below.

  • Speed of the greens. On fast greens, the ball is far more likely to be influenced by the wind than on slow greens. This is true for the same reason that you don’t need to hit your putts as hard on fast greens in order to reach the target.
  • The grass isn’t providing as much resistance to the ball, meaning it takes less effort to cause it to move positions. So, as the wind blows across the green, it will have an easier time pushing the ball in one direction or another.
  • Positioning of the green. Within a round, you may find that the effect the wind has on the ball varies wildly depending on the positioning of the green you are playing at the time. A green which sits up, exposed to the elements is going to be impacted by the wind far more than a green which sits down in a valley, protected from much of the breeze.
  • As you are trying to guess how much the wind is going to do to the golf ball, be sure to take this factor into consideration. Of course, there is a simple way to get a rough gauge on this point while getting your read – just think about how much wind you are feeling at the moment. Does this green feel more or less windy than the rest of the course? Your instincts will generally lead you in the right direction here.
  • Slope of the green. This last one may go without saying, but we are going to include it anyway. When the wind is blowing across the green in the same direction as the downhill slope, your ball is much more likely to be pushed. In fact, in strong enough wind, the ball may start moving without you even touching it, if the combination of the slope and the wind is sufficiently powerful.
  • The wind may still impact the ball even if it is not blowing in the downhill direction – mostly by reducing the amount of break in the putt – but it is when the wind matches up with the downhill slope that you really need to pay attention.

It is important to remember that it is not only side-to-side break that you need to think about when adding wind into the process of reading a putt. The wind can also affect the speed of your putts, either slowing the ball down when putting into the wind, or speeding it up when putting downwind. In this way, putting in the wind is similar to hitting full shots in the wind.

Do your best to combine both the read you get based on the slope of the ground and the read you get based on the wind to settle on a final plan of attack.