How to Score in High Winds
With the spring golf season (finally) upon us and a few very windy but playable days behind us, I thought it would be apt to touch on a few concepts that can help you maintain your score even in high-wind situations.
There are a couple must-haves when playing on a windy day. We'll focus on both independently, even if briefly.
To ensure solid contact, especially when hitting into a headwind or side-wind, making adjustments to ball position, club selection and length of swing are important. First off, taking more club than you feel would be necessary in a calm situation is a good place to start. Sometimes this means taking two or even three clubs more than typical (i.e. a 5-iron in place of a 7-iron). This will allow you to take an easier swing (which affects your spin rate quite a bit – more on that in a moment), as well as a shorter backswing and through-swing, controlling contact and direction more easily. Taking a half to a three-quarter backswing is a good way to ensure a lower launch angle, helping to keep the ball out of the wind a bit more.
To promote lower spin rates, which help your ball bore through the wind, a slower, smoother swing tempo (hence the stronger-lofted club choice) is key. The lower you can launch the ball and the less you accelerate through impact, the less the wind affects your ball. A good way to ensure the launch/spin combo stay where they should is to adopt a 10-to-2 concept where the left arm in the backswing doesn't go an farther than 10 o'clock (just above parallel with the ground) and right arm in the through-swing doesn't go beyond 2 o'clock.
If you can find time to adopt these simple adjustments in windy situations, you should see an immediate improvement in your ability to weather the conditions and still maintain a good score. Just remember, when it's breezy, SWING EASY!