Driving In The Wind: Fundamental Advice From The Pros

When airplanes that weigh tons of pounds have trouble flying in the wind what chance does a small golf ball have negotiating gusty conditions in an open golf course? Golfers can’t bypass the situation either, some of the most popular golf courses in the world are known to be windy and the ability to play in the wind is one of the essential skills of a good golfer. Professional golfers who are great wind players have some interesting advice to share. Let’s see what they have to say about driving in the wind.

Tom Watson

With five British Open titles, all played in Scotland, in his kitty, it’s no wonder many consider Tom Watson one of the best players in windy condition. His advice to golfers: don’t swing full, consider and play the drive like a long distance chip shot. An expansive drive will only cause the ball to spin more, thereby giving it higher loft and also increasing the chance of wind affecting the ball. When a player thinks and execute the drive as a long chip stroke there’ll be less backspin on the ball, the ball will stay closer to the ground. He says that while playing golf in the wind, hitting the ball along the ground gives you better control than through the air.

Payne Stewart

Before his demise, the Ryder Cup and three time major star had some interesting ideas to share on playing in the wind. Payne Stewart advised using the wind to gain maximum distance and using the curve shot to negotiate sideways wind. He said if the wind is flowing in the same direction as your swing, then ride the wind. On the other hand, if the wind is moving from left to right, then aim left of the target, so that the wind would carry the ball towards the hole. The converse will work in the wind that blows from the other direction.

Paul Azinger

Paul Azinger was well known for his low shots, not just for drives, but even for short irons and wedges. He used to position the ball a little back of center in his stance and had a short follow through. He believes that if you finish low, the ball will fly low. He always advised players to hit the ball low, and never to take on the wind. You can’t take on the wind and win so stop hitting the ball into it. To get better control it’s best to hit the ball lower to the ground and keep it under the wind.