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How to Play Golf in the Wind

By Ryan Adams, PGA
Published on

We've all been there. Winds are picking up. You're about to step into your shot. It's getting more gusty. Do you have the right club? Do you change your swing?
Wind is one of the conditions (like rain, heat or cold) that has a huge impact on your shot. Sometimes you'd almost prefer to play in the other three conditions because wind can really wreak havoc on a score.
However, wind is a problem when you're not prepared for it. This weekend at the Cognizant Classic at The Palm Beaches in South Florida, you likely saw players ready for the conditions with a plan of attack.
Here are two tips to form your own.
Create control
When the wind picks up, distance becomes skewed and finding the center of the clubface is extremely important. Try gripping the club an inch lower on the grip than normal. This will allow you to have more control over the clubface and make it easier to hit it flush. You can do this on every club from driver to wedge and it works, as we saw with Rory McIlroy in the Scottish Open last year.
PGA Coach Jimmy Wisinski also has a really helpful tip to follow Rory's lead when it gets windy:
Try the knockdown shot
You can see in the photos above that Rory is really trying to keep this shot from ballooning into the wind. One of the ways he (and you) can do that is by hitting a "knockdown" or knocking the flight of the ball down.
Choking down on your club like you learned in the first tip, play the ball in the center or just back of center, and lean most of your weight on your front side to promote a good strike. Make a normal backswing as you would, then halt your finish at about shoulder height. That'll knock the ball down a touch, keeping it below the wind and allowing it to fly straighter!