Playing Golf on Windy Days

Watching the British Open makes it very clear how much the wind can affect the flight of the golf ball! To become a better player, you need to learn to play in different weather conditions. There are two main things I believe you need to do in order to play better in windy conditions.

First, learn to play a knockdown shot, otherwise known as a punch or low shot. It is great for playing in the wind and for hitting low shots under the branches of trees. This was a first “specialty” shot I learned when I started playing and it made a huge difference in my scores.

Essentially, you are hitting a shot with a shorter backswing, abbreviated follow through, and keeping your chest low over the ball. This flights the ball on a lower trajectory with less spin. Additionally, because it is a reduced swing, will need to take more club. How much to take is based on how strong the wind is. A great deal of this is determined by experience and practice at the range. Here is a link to a video example on how to perform this shot.

Secondly, you need to estimate new targets for your shots based on how the wind will affect the flight of the ball. This is something you will want to experiment with. A good place to start is determining where the wind is coming from. Throw a little grass in the air and see where it blows, look at the trees, or the flag on the green to get an idea. If the wind is coming from behind you might need less club, if from the front then take more club. Side and cross winds will mean aiming more left or right of your targets. Over time, you will be able to get a feel for how much you need to be adjust based on the wind speed and direction.

The earlier you can start factoring this into your game the sooner you will start getting that necessary experience when wind conditions change. So when the wind blows hard, go out and play and challenge yourself and learn!


Mick Gyure is the author of “Everyday Golfer’s Guide to Shooting Lower Scores.” A book to help the everyday golfer improve their golf game. For more information, visit

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