How does the Wind Effect Your Golf Shots?

Even though Poole is blessed with more than its fair share of sunny weather compared to many areas of the British Isles, because it is located by the coast, the courses in the area are sometimes exposed to what many golfers would describe as particularly windy conditions. For the uninitiated these can be particularly difficult to handle so here are a few facts and tips that can help you handle the wind.

Headwind and Tailwind
The following table shows you how much a headwind or tailwind can affect your carry distance. I have used an amateur golfer who swings a 6 iron at 80 mph in this example which normally leads him to carrying the ball 153 yards when there is no wind.
Wind Pro Tip 1

As you can see, a headwind hurts more than a tailwind helps. It is worth noting that headwinds and tail winds also affect the height and land angle of a golf shot. When hitting into a headwind shots will fly higher and land steeper and a tailwind produces shots that fly lower and land flatter. Contrary to popular belief, the wind does not have an effect on the spin rate of the golf shot but into a head wind, spin is the enemy as it increases lift and drag. Swinging harder creates more club head speed which creates more spin. To counter this you should use a club with less loft as this will reduce the spin loft and therefore the spin rate. If you want to take maximum advantage of a tail wind, make sure you use a club that enables you to launch the ball higher as otherwise the ball will fall to the ground too soon.

Headwind Driver Tip: You may have heard of high launch and low spin to maximise distance? Theoretically, when hitting a driver into a headwind you will still benefit from doing this unless the wind speed is above 30mph. However, the longer the ball is in the air the more the ball can be affected by the wind. This means that if you sometimes have difficulties hitting the ball down the middle you may benefit from launching the ball lower and relying on more roll to get the ball to travel the expected distance.

Crosswinds
The following table shows you how far offline the ball will travel when hitting into crosswinds. Again I have used an amateur golfer who is swinging a 6 iron at 80 miles per hour.

WInd Pro Tip

As you can see, a 20 mph crosswind will send a straight shot 81 feet to the side, that is a full 27 yards to the side! Make sure you are aware of this so you can sufficiently allow for it when you are next on the course.

Many people are often shocked when they find out quite how much the wind can affect a golf shot, make sure you don’t let it surprise you.