Tee to Green Golf Tips

Sports By Mike Stern, Head Golf Professional, Miami Lakes Golf Club Friday, February 16, 2024

      It’s one of the great quirks of golf: A player could place a ball exactly 150 yards from the hole one day, then place a ball in the exact same spot and hit to the exact same pin a day later, only to have the shots seem wildly different.

     The reason: Wind.

     There’s no escaping the elements, particularly in South Florida, where we can get breezes at any time from just about any direction. 

     You must be able to play in different types of weather to score well and consistently here in Miami Lakes or anyplace else – and this tip is about how to handle shots when the wind has kicked up.

     Players need to know how to hit a shot low – and keep it out of the wind. Hit a high shot into the wind and it’s anyone’s guess where it will end up. 

     Here’s how to hit the low ball and manage where it’s going on those breezy days.

     Let’s start with the setup.

-- First, choke down on the grip about 2 inches.

-- Play the ball back in your stance. How far back depends on the club; do what’s comfortable for you.

-- Narrow your stance a bit, with your feet about 10% closer than usual. This is really only a couple of inches.

-- Try to keep about 60% of your weight on your lead leg. That sounds complicated, so here’s how to check. If your weight distribution is right, the buttons of your shirt would be a bit in front of the ball.

     And now, the swing.

-- You should take about a three-quarters swing when hitting this shot. For right-handed players, that means not going farther back than left arm parallel to the ground.

-- Make sure you’re hitting down on the back of the ball with a de-lofted club face.

-- Remember the golden rule of wind play: “When it’s breezy, swing easy.” Slow your swing down to about 80% speed, at the most.

-- Make a full turn, but shorten your follow- through.

     The bad news? Doing this will make shots go 10-15 yards shorter than your normal, full swing with minimal or no wind.

     The good news? You’ll control the ball flight on those windy days, and you’ll record more pars than bogeys on the card.

  If you would like to train with me, please send an email to MikeS@MiamiLakesGolf.com.