The best defense when playing the wind is course management, and the No. 1 thought should be "Keep the ball in play."
Learning to play the wind is a challenge in itself. Wind in your face, wind from behind and side can all frustrate you and leave you at their mercy.
The first rule about the wind is never swing hard. Solid contact is the key to keeping the ball in play.
Powering the ball in wind is never going to be in your favor. It is important to know your distance with each club so when playing in the wind you can club up or down.
If the wind is less than 5 mph, ignore it, but if the wind is greater, it will affect your shot.
Take a look at the flag, check the direction and speed of the clouds and most of all look at the treetops. This is where the wind will have the most effect on your ball flight.
Wind from behind will cause the ball to carry farther than you think. The only exception is if you are hitting over water, sometimes a wind behind your back can cause the ball to just drop out of the sky, falling well short of your intended target, because it never reached its normal height.
A side wind can be troublesome, because it slows the ball and magnifies the spin, and when the ball reaches it's maximum height, the wind may blow it sideways, moving it way off target. Aim for your intended target more left or right, keeping in mind the unintentional help you get from the wind.
A wind in your face will slow the ball, causing it to lose considerable distance. It can balloon and go way up high, leaving the ball well short of your target. Keeping the ball low with a long iron is a safer shot and gives up some distance. Remembering to keep the ball in play is always a safe shot.
Most golfers overswing and mis-hit the ball, leaving it at the wind's mercy. Instead, swing smoothly, and take more club, avoid swing changes that can lead to poor contact, such as moving the ball back in your stance, or trying to punch the ball with an unpracticed swing. When conditions are difficult, the best way is to play it safe and keep the ball in play.
When it is breezy, swing easy.
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