Playing in the wind

by JEFFREY S. O’MALLEY
Director of Golf
Pilgrim’s Run Golf Club

Jeff O'Malley

What a beautiful but windy spring we have had in West Michigan this year!

Playing golf on windy days can be very difficult and lead to frustration if you don’t know what you are doing. Following are a few ideas that you might want to think about when playing in the wind.

When the wind is strong, you may need to widen your putting stance just a little. It helps to stabilize your body in the wind. In addition, in a strong wind we have the tendency to swing faster or harder, so focus on keeping your swing tempo within yourself for better results.

Anyone who has been playing golf for a while knows that shots into the wind often require one or two more clubs. The opposite is true with the wind at your back—you’ll need less club. When considering your shot into the green, remember it is better to be long instead of short where most of those nasty bunkers are located!

A fun shot to play on windy days is a punch shot. This shot keeps the ball low, so it is not as affected by the wind. I like to set up with the ball position back in my open stance, hands forward of the ball so to de-loft the club, and when I swing I keep my hands low with a short follow through. I don’t want my hands to release. Practice this shot and then try it on a windy day. You will see a nice low trajectory shot with great results.

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