Shots with a side wind

By • Category: Playing the wind

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!

is a Golden Tee addict from Chicago, IL, thirsty for tips and tricks!
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2 Responses »

  1. Sobe posted a GREAT article on crosswinds here — you’ll learn a lot from it!

  2. The wind arrows…if it is pointing at you does that mean the wind is blowing at you? If the arrow points right does it mean the wind is coming from the left and the ball will move to the right?

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