We’ve all probably heard the old saying, “Swing easy when it’s breezy” and I would have to say I’d agree with that most of the time. The tendency into the wind is to tense up and swing harder but that only adds backspin and makes the ball shoot upward into the wind and come down shorter. Down wind shots can be hit harder because you want to get the ball up in the air where the wind can help. So, swing easy into the wind, (maybe even hit a draw or hook into the wind to keep it lower) go ahead and swing harder with the wind…But what about cross winds? There is a little bit of guess work when estimating how much the wind moves the ball but the way I approach it is simple. If I have room, I let the wind move my ball towards the target by starting it into the wind. If there isn’t enough room to do that then I try to curve the ball back into the wind to hold it straighter. For a right handed golfer that would mean drawing or hooking into a left to right wind and fading into a right to left wind. Keep in mind that a draw will fight the wind better than a fade because of the trajectory. A draw will be a lower trajectory shot than a fade in most cases. (the open face to the path will add loft)
As in most things with golf shots, it helps to practice these shots so you’ll have a little experience when it is showtime. During practice rounds, hit the same shot with two or even 3 different shapes, trajectories and clubs. This is the best way to get some feel for these type shots. Some of my most memorable shots have been working a ball back into the wind and having it turn out as planned. Now that’s golfing your ball!