For many golfers the thought of playing an important game in the wind is the thing of nightmares.
The added difficulty of controlling the golf ball in the wind is tough, but there are certain things you can do to try and make playing in the wind both more manageable and enjoyable.
The first of the technical issues many amateur golfers have when playing in the wind is hitting the ball too hard. This causes the ball to have more spin exerted on it and that ultimately alters the way the ball flies and the control or lack of it that you have over your shots.
But there are ways that you can learn to play in the wind and increase your chances of controlling the golf ball to the best of your ability.
As I have already mentioned, hitting the ball too hard is the first and biggest mistake, so when you are playing in the wind, and even more when you are playing into a head wind. I strongly recommend that you try and play at 75% of your normal swing speed.
In swinging the club smoother, you will need to hit 1, 2 or maybe even 3 clubs more that you normally would, to compensate for both your slower swing speed and the strength of the wind.
Playing downwind is often believed to be a positive thing, far better than struggling playing into it.
From the tee this is very true, but you also need to be aware that you want to make the most of the helping wind.
Tee the ball up a touch higher than you normally would to try and get some additional height and make the most of the helping wind.
But you also need to be aware that playing downwind also presents a challenge, especially when approaching the green.
The almost complete lack of backspin will mean that you have to land the ball short of the green and allow for the ball to run out towards the hole.
A good idea here is to try and leave full shots into the green, so instead of leaving a half sand wedge to the green a full wedge approach would give you added control.
Lateral winds are perhaps the hardest to judge and adapt your game to, especially if you have a tendency to move the ball.
If you are playing in a lateral wind, and it is blowing the same way as your shot shape, do not try and fight the wind, instead try to judge what effect the wind may have on your shot, aim further to left or right and trust that the wind will bring the ball bac towards the green or the fairway.
Never, ever try to fight the wind, use it and where possible use it to your advantage.
Playing in the wind is just another of golf’s great challenges, but learn to embrace it and you will have a head start on your fellow competitors.