Some Prompts for Playing in Downwind Conditions

Playing golf in windy conditions is almost always more difficult than playing when the weather is calm. You will have to guess when making adjustments for distance and aim, and sometimes those guesses will be incorrect. No matter which direction the wind is going, or which direction you want to hit your shot, there will have to be some adjustments made if you hope to wind up with a successful swing.

One of the most tricky situations is when you are playing downwind. Most people think that downwind is the easiest condition because the wind will help you gain distance, but it can be even more difficult to control your ball downwind than it is into the wind or even going through a crosswind. Only when you understand how to manage the downwind conditions and make the right tweaks to your game plan and swing will you be able to get good results from your shots.

  • You will lose stopping power. One of the first things to understand is that downwind shots take longer to stop than shots hit under calm conditions. Your ball will likely be coming in flatter, and with less spin, so therefore will release more in the fairway or on the green. To account for this change, consider hitting one less club on approach shots and letting the ball run up to the hole whenever possible.
  • Swing easier, not harder. The temptation when hitting a downwind tee shot is to swing as hard as you can and get the most possible distance on your drive. This can be fun, but will more likely lead to a missed fairway than a great tee shot. Instead, make a nice, easy swing on your driver and let the wind carry you down the fairway. You should still get plenty of distance, and may have an easier time controlling the ball than if you come out of your shoes trying to smash it.
  • Be careful of doglegs. If you are playing downwind on a dogleg hole, you will want to make sure you don’t hit too much club and run right through the fairway into the rough. Instead of hitting driver, for example, choose three wood and let the wind add a little bit of distance to your shot off the tee. Remember, staying on the short grass is always the most important goal off the tee.