3/21/2011 5:38:59 PM
It's a rare day on a golf course that you won't face some type of weather condition; it could be a little wet, a bit cold or the wind might kick up. The condition you'll encounter the most is wind, so what do you do when it really starts to blow?
Like other days when the weather plays a factor, you have to throttle back on expectations and play smart. The number one course management thought is putting the ball in play.
Hit low punch shots into the wind and with crosswind shots, work with the wind to blow your ball to the fat part of the fairway. For example, if the wind is blowing from the right and the fairway is open on the left side, aim your ball to the right side of the fairway and work it back.
You may want to leave the driver in your bag to allow for more control on tee shots, but think of taking advantage on downwind shots. This is a situation where you can gain some extra yards and set up a shorter second shot. Just be aware of trouble beyond your normal distance. You don't want to drive through a fairway and into a hazard, for example, or worse, out of bounds.
The wind will also affect your short game. Opt for low runners over high pitch shots and take that thinking onto the green. Downwind putts will run more and those into the wind will require more speed. The wind can also accentuate or minimize how the green breaks.
A windy day will pose its challenges, but the right course management will keep your scores in line.