A windy day can be menacing foe to a golfer. Sure, we all know the wind will blow the ball off target. But the real damage to a round can come from the psychological toll wind plays, forcing uncertainty into the swing as the round goes along.
No matter where you play golf, wind will be an issue. At Black Butte Ranch, Central Oregon’s High Desert breezes can creep up from time to time, too. So most of us know that unsure feeling, and it’s on the tee box where it so often rears its ugly head.
We have all heard the remedy to hitting a driver on a windy day: Tee it low. But knowing how to hit a lower ball flight is a whole other issue.
Producing that low ball flight may be simpler than you think.
“Whether it’s up here at Glaze Meadow in the spring, or part of summer, or it’s out at Bandon Dunes or somewhere else, what we want to do is a couple of small things just to keep that ball flight underneath that wind,” said Dan McCleery, assistant pro at Black Butte Ranch
To hit a drive under the wind, McCleery suggest three relatively minor adjustments:
- Tee the ball lower: Typically, golfers tee the ball high enough that about half the ball is higher than the top of the driver face as the club rests on the turf. McCleery suggests teeing the ball down about a half inch, just so the very top of the ball is visible over the resting driver.
- Play the ball further back in your stance: This simple adjustment in where the ball sits relative to your stance will make it easier for you to hit “down on the ball,” rather than on the upswing. This should help flatten the ball flight.
- Lower your finish: Few feelings are sweeter than watching a perfectly struck ball soar off the tee while you to hold that nice, high finish over your shoulder, before the ball comes crashing back to earth. But on windy days, flattening your swing will produce better results, even if the high finish becomes less desirable.
“That should give you a more penetrating ball flight, and in the process save you some strokes,” McCleery said.
Of course, practice and some expert help makes perfect.
For more information on how to take a lesson from Dan or any of our Black Butte Ranch instructors, visit blackbutteranch.com/golf/lessons-and-instructions.