Playing golf in the wind
Tue Nov 6, 2012 by Dave Phillips
Playing golf in the wind:
How many times have you thrown some grass in the air to determine which way the wind is blowing? This may seem like a good idea and certainly gives you the general direction of the wind, but unless you’re going to hit the ball at your height it really means very little.
There has been very little published on wind and how it affects the golf ball, you have to look at the sailing industry to really understand wind. If you think of competitive sailing the most important guy on the boat is the one that understands how to read the wind and when to take advantage of it. Dr. Lex Bertrand from Australia is one of those guys and he has done some research on wind and how it relates to golf. Here are a few things to think about according to Dr. Bertrand, when playing in the wind.
- The higher you hit the golf ball the more wind will affect the flight.
- Wind gusts making it difficult to really predict the wind.
- Wind has a much greater affect on the golf ball when hitting into it than with it.
- Spin rate at impact and launch of the golf ball have a major affect on distance into the wind more so than downwind.
- In the Northern hemisphere wind at ground level coming at you in the face will actually be coming more from your right the higher you go, due to drag and shear from the land. The opposite is true in the Southern hemisphere. For instance in America at 60 to 80 feet off the ground the wind can be 30-40 degrees more from the right and double the strength you feel on your face.
- There will be more wind in front of the direction a cloud is traveling and less wind once the cloud has passed.
- Rain clouds will have maximum effect on wind strength and direction.
Now hear are a few simple things to think about in the Northern Hemisphere when playing golf.
- Wind you can feel in your face. The ball will travel shorter and more to the left.
- Wind you can feel at your back. The ball will travel longer and to the left.
- Wind you can feel from the left. The ball will travel shorter and more to the right.
- Wind you can feel from the right. The ball will travel longer and to the left.
Always observe your environment Trees, Flags, Clouds and cloud movement, Air temperature and ground temperature, the colder the wind the less affect it will have the hotter the wind the more affect it will have.
If you really want to learn more about the wind and want to see what the wind speed is on your driving range or golf course you can purchase a wind speed indicator from companies like minox at www.minox.com. Or if you have an iphone the Wind Meter App uses the iphones microphone to listen to the wind and give you a wind reading.