If you know how to play in the wind, you know to hit it low into a breeze, hit high with the wind. But a gale of 30 to 40 mph, the kinds of wind common not only in Scotland but in the coastal and plains areas of the U.S., is a different matter entirely. It takes not only the right technique, but mental toughness to ensure that your ball (and your score) don't get blown sky-high.
In a very strong wind, you'll feel as if you're being blown over at address. Resist the temptation to widen your stance abnormally and stiffen up. To fight the wind, your body still must retain an athletic position, ready and able to move freely. Your stance should be just a few inches wider for stability. Keep your weight on the balls of your feet, a slight bend in your knees and at the hips, the muscles in your upper body relaxed. Only then will you have to the best chance of making a smooth swing.
The Honey-Dipped Swing
Trying to keep the shot low in a gale will lead you to make a short, choppy swing and pound down into the back of the ball. However, steep downward contact produces more backspin, resulting in a ballooning shot that could fly in any direction.
To achieve less backspin and more distance and accuracy, hit the ball with a smooth, level swing; not tension, no jerkiness at any point. Imagine you are making a full swing in a jar of honey. The honey is so thick that you can't swing fast back and through. You're forced to stay slow from start to finish. Be sure to complete both the backswing and followthrough. You'll produce a lower, more boring shot that will hold its line better in a big wind.
Private Lessons 1999 Times Mirror Magazines, Inc., used under license by GolfServ Online, Inc. Instructional information provided by Golf Magazine.