Specialty Shots » Wind & Rain

Playing the Wind » When it’s breezy, swing easy!

One year, I was invited to play golf in Ireland with the boys. Ten glorious days of golf, 36 holes on some days. It was early in my golfing career, so I was excited about the opportunity to explore foreign fairways and greens. I was warned to pack accordingly, as the weather would not be ideal; 20-mile-an-hour winds with light mist was in the forecast. I went to the golf store and bought the best rain gear money could buy, as well as rain gloves and an invert-proof umbrella.

The first day, we played at Lahinch Golf Club, Lahinch, County Clare, Ireland. The weather was fierce: 50-mile-an-hour winds with heavy rain. I couldn’t believe we were actually going to tee it up in these dreadful hurricane-like conditions.

The boys explained that this is why they come to Ireland. Anything else wouldn’t be as fun. So I went along with it and made some adjustments to my set up and swing tempo, to name a few.

Keep these key points in mind to ensure you play your best the next time you get caught in hurricane-like conditions. Retreating to the cozy, dry clubhouse is not an option!

  • When fairways are soggy due to heavy rainfall, the ball has a tendency to settle down into the grass. As a result, you’ll tend to hit behind the ball or fat. To make matters worse, you’ll feel like you’re hitting out of the rough. The ball will not have as much roll. SOLUTION: Select one club more than you normally would and stand a bit taller at address to promote ball-first contact.
  • Play the ball more back than you normally would to ensure that you catch the ball first. For example, rather than left of center for a wood, play the ball more toward the center of your stance.
  • With a modified ball position, more club, and a taller stance, you should pick the ball off the turf to avoid the mud-divot factor.