On Thursday and Saturday past, I played at my home course of Mattawa Golf and Ski Resort. At the start of the round, the wind was playing very hard and all the players in my group knew we would be adjusting our distances to account for the howling breeze. The challenge many amateurs have is understanding how much adjustment is needed to combat any breeze. For this article, I am going to offer some suggestions on how to change your club select to still hit the distances you want.
This topic will cause some amateurs grief because will not accept that amount of affect the wind has on their golf ball. It is not surprising because most of us think we hit the ball farther than we do. Additionally, we fall under the misconception that it is important to try and hit the ball harder into or with the wind because it will help negate the stressor. Nothing could be farther from the truth. The following chart is a baseline provided by Golf Monthly. I agree with the distances, but have some other thoughts to share at later in this article. For now:
CALCULATING DISTANCE IN THE WIND – HEADWIND
A great rule to use is to add 1% for every 1mph of headwind. So the following distances would change like this:
- 100-yard shot into a 5mph wind = 105 yards
- 200-yard shot into a 5mph wind = 210 yards
- 100-yard shot into a 10mph wind = 110 yards
- 200-yard shot into a 10mph wind = 220 yards
- 100-yard shot into a 20mph wind = 120 yards
- 200-yard shot into a 20mph wind = 240 yards
- 100-yard shot into a 30mph wind = 130 yards
- 200-yard shot into a 30mph wind = 260 yards
CALCULATING DISTANCE IN THE WIND – DOWNWIND
When playing downwind use 0.5% instead, so judging your distance in the wind would look a bit like this:
- 100-yard shot with a 5mph tailwind = 98 yards
- 200-yard shot with a 5mph tailwind = 195 yards
- 100-yard shot with a 10mph tailwind = 95 yards
- 200-yard shot with a 10mph tailwind = 190 yards
- 100-yard shot with a 20mph tailwind = 90 yards
- 200-yard shot with a 20mph tailwind = 180 yards
- 100-yard shot with a 30mph tailwind = 85 yards
- 200-yard shot with a 30mph tailwind = 170 yards
As you peruse the chart, it makes complete sense. The challenges facing any golfer hitting into the wind, unfortunately, forget that other factors influence our club selection. For example, temperature, moisture, elevation, and/or ball position. Do you have to hit the ball higher to go over an obstacle or is a stinger the shot being made? The influences on any golf shot are numerable and on a breezy day, these influencer can be more challenging.
The one important tip I learned years ago is to swing easy when it is breezy. This applies to all clubs and the following video shows just how to do this:
Playing golf on a breezy day is fun and challenging. Knowing how to shots on a breezy day will lower your golf scores and increase your enjoyment on the links. Golf is meant to be played in all types of weather and a breezy day will happen more often than any other weather condition. By using the above chart as a baseline, you are well on your way to playing your best golf on a windy day.
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!