Archives for the ‘Playing the wind’ Category

Underplaying a crosswind

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There are many mistakes I see beginners make, but something I see more advanced players (including myself) screw up is not compensating enough for a crosswind. Let’s say you have a 6-iron into the green, where the target has you just right of the flag, and you have a 6 mph wind blowing to the left. I’d say that 8 or 9 times out of 10, the ball of the average player will come to rest left of the cup. Meaning, they didn’t play enough wind. And, I’m sure most of them never notice how consistently this happens. At first it’s hard to get a handle on how a 6 mph wind can blow a 6-iron all the way across the pin, but it does, and the sooner you understand this, the better!

Of course, if you leave the ball right of the pin in this scenario, you didn’t ever give it a chance to roll in the cup. This is true, but you can also be wasting valuable Great Shot Points!

Similarly, you’ll see beginners playing a 3-iron and a 9-iron as if wind affected them the same. One other concept you’d better learn pretty quickly is how drastically different wind affects the higher lofted clubs.

So, start taking note of whether you’re missing right or left of the cup, with all different clubs. When in doubt, err on the side of playing the wind too much, ESPECIALLY with high-lofted clubs! Rotate once or twice to offset the wind. I guarantee you’ll be surprised at the results!

File away in your brain the fact that an 11 mph wind blows a shot from a PW one full rotation, and for a LW, it’s 7 mph! You may just hole out a shot every couple rounds if you remember this tip!

Playing the wind

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Wind can really wreak havoc on your shots! Winds in Golden Tee range from 0 MPH all the way to a gusty 20 MPH. You always have to take wind direction and speed into consideration on every shot (tip — even short chips)! Practice will help you learn how much wind affects your ball and how to compensate for it, but these are some good general guidelines to consider.

Shots with a side wind

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Golden Tee tips tricks Shots with a side windThese shots in Golden Tee are the trickiest, because your ball will be coming in at an angle to the hole on approach shots. For most side winds up to about 12 MPH where I don’t have anything in my way, I don’t pull back the trackball; instead, I just crank the ball towards 1 or 3, depending on which way I’m fighting the wind. You have the best control of your ball this way. Hit all the way out to 1 or 3 on winds up to 15 MPH, and hit somewhere in between for lesser winds.

Here are some helpful tips when the winds are really gusting sideways. I’ll use one of 2 other types of shots. First, I might shoot an A2 or a C2, which will create hook on the ball and fly into the face of the wind. If you play the right angle, you can cancel out the wind so that your ball comes in at a pretty straight angle. These shots are dangerous at times for approaches into a small green, because it takes a lot of practice to know just how much hook you need to combat the wind. I pull the trackball all the way back towards A or C if I’m fighting a 15+ MPH wind; for lesser winds, pull back somewhere between A and B or A and C to create a smaller hook into the less-intense wind.

Another shot I might use involves letting the wind do all the work. Let’s say there’s a 17 MPH wind blowing to the left and I’m hitting an approach shot into the green. If the angle coming in from right to left is favorable, then I’ll let the wind take over. So, I’ll rotate my golfer to the right and hit the ball straight forward. With any luck, the wind will pick up the ball and blow it left into the green. I find this shot a little easier when facing a big, gusting wind. You may even start the ball off in the direction of the wind if you think it needs a little help moving all the way left to your targeted landing area.

You also must consider whether or not to use backspin when hitting into side winds. If you’re hooking the ball into the wind to combat its effect, you may want to add a club and land the ball above the hole, letting the backspin bring the ball pretty much straight back down towards the cup. If you’re playing with the wind, where you come in at a bigger angle, backspin doesn’t work as well – it will bring your ball backwards, but it will also continue to travel in the direction of the wind, so your results might not be as good as you’d expect.

You should always consider adding an extra club or two even with side winds.  A strong side wind cuts down on your distance much more than you might think!

Finally, be extra careful with chip shots into a big side wind. I almost always rotate my golfer to the right if there’s a big wind to the left, because it really blows the ball more than you’d expect!

Always remember to err on the side of caution! I’m still surprised at times how much wind affects the flight of the ball, and even its roll after it lands!

Shots with a tailwind

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A tailwind is great for long drives to an open fairway in Golden Tee, but it makes approach shots more difficult.

Tailwinds certainly carry the ball much further, so you must club down on your approach shots for the best results. If the pin is in the middle or back of the green, that’s great – the tip is to pick a club that will land the ball on the front of the green, and let the ball roll up towards the flag.

If the pin is in the front of the green, you’re going to need some backspin. Hit enough club so that the ball lands on the front of the green, and let the backspin stop the ball and bring it back towards the hole.

You’ll almost always have to grab a shorter club when hitting with a wind above 5 MPH. Depending on the clubs in your bag, 1 less club should do the trick in this instance – it’s save to shoot as if the pin were 10 yards closer. For winds of 10-15 MPH, you may need 2 less clubs, and for gusts of 18 MPH or more, maybe even 3.

These shots get difficult when you have to carry water or a cliff to the green. You definitely don’t want to be short, but if you hit it too far, you’ll be off the back of the green in the rough. Better to be in the rough than in the water, so if you are unsure, make sure you clear the front hazard!

Shots into the wind

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Golden Tee tips tricks head into windA small wind in your face is usually pretty helpful in Golden Tee. You can hit approach shots into a green and let the wind slow the ball down, without having to use backspin. In other words, it can help you “stick” the ball by the flag, especially with short irons.

You’ll almost always have to grab a longer club when hitting into a wind above 5 MPH. Depending on the clubs in your bag, 1 extra club should do the trick in this instance – it’s save to shoot as if the pin were 10 yards further back. For winds of 10-15 MPH, you may need 2 extra clubs, and for gusts of 18 MPH or more, maybe even 3.

Be extra careful on chip shots, because a strong wind really blows the ball around, much more than you would think it should!

The most important thing is not to leave the shot short, especially if you are shooting over water or some other hazard! You’ll be amazed how much the wind can stop the ball in the air, and with big gusts, your ball will actually be rolling backwards once it lands on the green. Assess where the trouble lies on your approach shot, and err on the side of caution.