Golf tip: How to handle windy conditions

We finally saw warm temperatures this past weekend - perhaps a bit too warm for some - and on Memorial Day we experienced some windy conditions as well. The wind was a constant 20-25 mph with gusts over 30 mph.

Windy conditions provide challenges for golfers at all skill levels and can cause scores to soar. Taking time to assess each hole situation and thinking about club selection and aim can really help you out, however.

Here's my advice on playing in windy conditions:

• Depending on how hard the wind is blowing, take at least one more club when hitting into the wind and choke down on it. This promotes a shorter and more compact swing, which is needed. Choking down on the club will lower the ball flight and will not let the wind affect it as much. In addition - and especially when hitting an iron shot - play the ball back in your stance and that will also help in lowering the flight of your ball.

• When crosswinds come into play, adjust your aim either more to the right or the left to allow for the wind but still choke down to keep your ball flight lower.

• On shots downwind, take at least one club less as the ball will carry farther. Also on downwind shots the wind actually keeps the ball flight slightly lower than normal so that needs to be factored into your pre-swing calculations.

• Putting in extremely windy conditions can cause the ball to roll offline when it's blowing from either the right or left. It can also cause putts to come up short into the wind and roll out past the cup downwind. Making adjustments in your putting strategy when it's windy is vital to help eliminate possible three putts.

Finally, I know everybody has heard the phrase "when breezy swing easy." And you know what? It works.

• Jim Sobb is the Director of Golf and a PGA Professional at Ivanhoe Club in Mundelein. He is the 2017 Illinois PGA Senior Player of the Year and a 2015 Illinois Golf Hall of Fame inductee. You can reach him at

For more information, visit

• Editor's note: With assistance from the Illinois PGA, the Daily Herald provides golf tips each Wednesday from a PGA Professional.

Article Comments
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the "flag" link in the lower-right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.