At the time of writing, the first round at The Players Championship 2019 has been completed. As the day progressed, the wind picked up and that started to make things tricky for the players who had a later tee time.
It is important to try and adjust your game when the wind is strong, no more so than off the tee. If you have a strong wind during your round, there is no sense in trying to ignore it and carry on playing as normal.
A few little adjustments and you can even use a strong wind to your advantage on some shots. Continue reading below to see ways in which you can play tee shots in windy conditions.
Arguably the most troublesome wind when playing a tee shot is a headwind and this is when the wind is blowing directly at you. To combat this, you will need to hit the ball lower than you would in calm conditions and this can be done by teeing the ball closer to the ground. Roughly an inch above the grass is about right and play it slightly forward of centre in your stance.
You can also grip down a little on the driver and this will assist in keeping the trajectory of the ball lower off the tee. Depending on the course conditions, you can still achieve decent distance off the tee regardless of the headwind.
If you keep the ball low and the fairway is dry and firm, you should get some additional distance from the bounce and roll of the ball. Due to the ball position, it pays to aim slightly to the left of the target, as the ball can go right.
Finally, do not lean your weight forward when driving into a strong headwind. It is very tempting to do this because you feel it will help to the keep the ball low. In fact, many players naturally adopt this position without thinking about it and doing so can generate more spin on the ball, which is the last thing you want.
More spin on the ball means less distance. If you are already going to lose some distance because of the headwind, the last thing you want is to reduce the distance of the shot further by generating unwanted spin on the ball.
Try and keep your weight centred throughout the shot and take a short, smooth swing to keep the ball lower.