Playing in the Wind / Flighting your Golf Ball Down
We want all of our viewers/readers to become more complete players by acquiring more skills. Today we will talk about flighting your ball down. Rancho San Lucas Golf Club is routed in sand dunes and desert foothills that stretch away from the ocean. The prevailing westerly winds, which are strongest in spring, need to be taken into account when playing our course.
By learning to flight your golf ball down, you will be able to hit shots that are less likely to land in trouble—and be able to play when the winds kicks up.
Here are a few fundamentals for playing in the wind:
- To understand what makes the ball go high and low we need to look at three things
- SPIN RATE
- High Spin Rate or more swing speed makes the ball go high. Less spin or less swing speed makes the ball go lower.
- ANGLE OF ATTACK/ PLANE STEEPNESS
- Shallow Plane of Attack (or Flatter swing) will normally make the ball go higher. Steeper Plane of Attack (or Steep Swing) will normally makes the ball go lower.
- BALL POSITION IN RELATION TO YOUR STANCE
- Ball position will also play a big roll in the ball’s launch angle. If you are a right handed golfer, the ball’s launch angle will be lower if you proceed to place the ball further back, which means to slide the ball position closer to your right foot. The opposite will be correct for a left handed golfer.
- Understanding the three factors mentioned above will now lead you to set up and execute lower shots. PROCEDURE
1.- PROPER SET UP
- Ball placed further back in your stance than normal. Please be mindful that the more you place it back, the lower the launch angle. Be careful that you will sacrifice tempo, rhythm and solidness of contact when you play too much with the ball position
2.- SWING STEEPNESS
- When looking for a lower ball flight you must try to steep-n-out your golf swing. This means that you will swing more on a vertical path to the golf ball
- One simple way to help you achieve steeping your swing is by placing your weight more on your lead leg (left leg for right handed golfer, right leg for left handed golfer). If you would normally set up for a normal shot at 50% weight on each leg, start by moving your weight at 55% on your lead leg and proceed to increase the weight on your lead leg. Again, placing to much weight on your left leg will throw off your swing, so make sure to play around with it. Too much weight on your lead leg will might hinder from hitting a decent shot
- Placing your hands a little further in front of the ball or delofting the club will also help keep the ball lower
3.- SWING SPEED
- Probably many of you have heard the saying “When it´s breezy, swing easy,” so this basically tells you that if you swing fast you place more spin on the ball and shots normally go higher, and off line shots will spin off left or right. This statement is true under normal conditions so it´s amplified more in the wind.
- Also, something that is normally overlooked is making and abbreviated follow thru. This will help in not putting too much speed on the golf ball and will normally help you to keep your hands in from of the ball (deloft the club) when you strike the golf ball.
- The first swing recommendation, once you have the proper set up, is to grab at least one more club and swing slower. Some golfers can make full swing at lower speed and other golfers swing will make an abbreviated back swing. Please remember that this will throw off your rhythm and might hinder you from hitting a decent shot. Please note that you can grab a longer club in order to swing easier, you will normally hear pro golfers playing in The Open (British Open) say that it was a 3 club or 4 club wind, this means that golfers would grab 3 or more clubs when they were executing golf shots.
4.- WIND GAGING
- The only way to learn how much to club up to hit it low is up to you, you must develop a feel of how much the wind will affect your golf ball, not only distance wise but side wise as well. How much left do I need to aim for a left to right wind? If you happen to go out to play on a windy day, use your cell phone to see how much the wind is blowing, you will start to make a relationship of how much to club up and aim sideways on a 5 MPH wind, 10, 15, 20 etc… then you have to be careful because the wind might gust up or might decrease during the golf round.