Well apparently the calendar says that we are approaching the middle of yet another great British summer so we should all be experiencing long hot summer days, hard and fast running fairways allowing us all to regale our golfing colleagues with stories of 300 yard drives and par 5 holes reduced to a drive and a medium iron, oh if all that were true! especially with the greatest golf tournament in the world, The British Open Championship taking place at Royal Lytham & St Annes located just down the road from Blackpool in just over a weeks time.
Playing conditions in the Open Championship are notoriously difficult due to the nature of Open venues, links courses with narrow fast running fairways, thick rough, deep pot-hole bunkers and not to mention the usual windy conditions which all go to make the control of the ball flight vitally important for accuracy and distance control. No doubt we have all seen Tiger Woods hitting his famous low stinger shots off the tee so I thought I would give you a few helpful tips on playing in the wind to help you lower your scores in this typically wet and windy British summer we are having.
SET UP & BALL POSITION
Play the ball just behind centre in your stance and position your hands slightly further forward at address (and at impact), this will help you to de-loft the clubface at impact and create a lower ball flight to minimize the effect of the wind, placing 60% of your weight on your front foot will also help promote the desired low flight.
GRIP FURTHER DOWN, SWING SHORTER & SMOOTHER
Besides giving you more control, this will shorten the arc of your swing and create a slightly shallower angle of attack to lower the ball flight. Take slightly more club than normal (so maybe a 5 iron instead of a 6 iron) and swing smoother, this will reduce clubhead speed and the spin rate, keeping the ball flight down and also helping reduce any side spin on your shots which is always magnified in windy conditions.
A Final little tip, when putting in windy conditions, widen your stance to create resistance in your body movement to maintain your head position over the ball and overall consistency of stroke.
Next time your in windy conditions try these tips and let me know how you get on and keep your eye out when watching The Open on television for this shot which will be used fairly frequently throughout the four days.