We play golf to get out of the "greenhouse," the perfectly controlled, no-sweat-no-chill, comfy-but-sterile environment of the great indoors. No doubt, we prefer to play when it's 79 and sunny, but to be in weather of all sorts is one's of golf's best draws. We are drawn to the force and beauty of the elements; they remind us of a power greater than ourselves.
That said, we also play golf to shoot low, and to shoot low in the elements, you have to learn to play in the wind. Before watching the play-the-wind videos below, consider these facts (they'll blow you away):
Headwind. Wind affects lift and drag, which influence ball flight. A headwind increases lift and hang time, giving wind more time to work against the normal flight. This decreases distance by up to 40 yards (with a 40-mph wind).
Tailwind. A 40-mph tailwind reduces lift and hang time, but the force pushing the ball makes it travel up to 20 yards farther. That headwind/tailwind distance difference of up 60 yard affects club choice, obviously. And strong crosswinds can be punishing with both distance and aim.
When you go up against that kind of force, you need a strategy. Your how-to-play-the-wind homework assignment is to try the tips found in these videos:
- Swing easy when it's breezy.
- Stand closer to the ball and keep your follow-through low.
- Raise the shoulder that's farther away from the target (right shoulder for right-handers) so your shoulders are level at address.
- With your 3-wood, make a small divot on the tee box and drive the ball from that divot, not a tee.
- Move the ball back in your stance.