March is on the way and that means big wind is coming. I have always loved playing in the wind because it requires you to really control the flight of your ball. It will also always separate the players that are striking the ball solidly from those that are scraping it around.

Most people have more difficulty playing in to the wind than down wind, but cross winds are no walk in the park either. Keeping your ball down and striking it solidly are the two foremost aspects of controlling your ball and keeping Mother Nature at bay. To strike your ball consistently more solid, always try to swing within yourself in balance.

This will give you the best possible chance of making solid contact. Trying to overpower the wind is more times than not futile; the harder you swing the less balance you will have and the greater the chance for a miss hit.

If you do happen to strike your ball well and you have over swung it will have more spin which will tend to make it climb and go even higher than normal. Obviously, the higher you hit your ball the more the wind will affect it, so let’s go over how to keep your ball down.

The following two ways to keep your ball down are fairly simple to follow. There are, as with any part of golf, more tips to accomplish our goal of flighting your ball lower, but these are, to me, all you need to know to get started. I tend to blend the two.

The easiest way is to grip a little firmer and down on your club, set up normally, and take one, two, or even three more clubs than normal depending on the severity of the wind. Now make your normal swing, but at maybe 70% of what you are capable of. Once again, you have a better chance of hitting the ball more solidly and less loft will keep the ball down as will the slower swing speed.

The other way is to grip a little firmer and down on one more club than normal, move your ball position back in your stance three or four inches {experiment with your swing}, and put a little weight to your forward foot. Make basically a normal backswing, but hold off your finish {punch shot}. Your follow through will reach little more than shoulder height if that far.

The first way is the simplest way to keep your ball down, but the more advanced you are the more you may want to migrate to the second style {there are reasons for this, ask me if you would like to know more}. As I said I tend to blend the two. Experiment with this before you take it to the course and let me know how it worked for you.