Putting itself is a game within a game, and it accounts for more than 40% of your round; it’s tough at the best of times. However, putting in windy conditions is even tougher.
If you’ve watched any of the European Tour championships lately, particularly the Open at Turnberry this year, you would have seen the effects the wind had on the putting. You might have also seen the players adopting a different putting stance than they usually do on courses across the US.
The Putting Stance
When the conditions are perfect, you would use your normal putting position, however when you’re at war with the elements, as you are with the majority of links courses, players need to create some stability when putting.
- First of all, you should widen your putting stance. When you’re being blown around the wider your stance, the more stable you’re going to be.
- Your ball should be in the same position as it always is, right in the middle of your stance.
- Make sure your spikes are rooted firmly in the putting green. You should feel as steady as a rock; nothing could possibly knock you over, and believe me the wind is going to try!
- Keep your head and your hips still as usual.
To create more control of the putter in the wind, you should grip your putter lower down in the shaft. If you grip the putter lower on down the shaft, you’re minimizing the time it takes between the backswing and the follow through. This allows you to stroke the ball more aggressively. And when the wind is blowing you around and blowing your putter around, the more aggressive that you can be on your stroke (without hitting it too hard past the hole obviously) the better it’s going to be.
Understanding Wind Direction
Ok, now you’ve got the stance and the grip in check, next it’s time for a bit of common sense. You should know that the wind is without doubt going to affect the path of the golf ball. As you would with the judging the gradients of the green, you need to think about the direction of the wind also.
So if you’re putting into the wind, you need to stroke with more aggression. If you’re hitting with the wind, hit it softer than usual. If the wind is blowing from the right, hit it slightly to right. If the wind is blowing from the left, hit it slightly left.
Hitting the ball in the wind isn’t an exact science, by simply lowering your grip, widening your stance, and judging the wind direction, you will begin to hit lower scores and enjoy the challenge of playing in the elements. Remember, the key here is to hit the ball as solidly as you possibly can. Don’t be too down-hearted if your scores go up, you’re playing in the wind after all.
This lesson is just a small snippet from the extremely popular Purepoint Putting DVD Series. If you want to learn how you can improve your putts and dramtically lower your scores, then this in depth DVD course is right up your alley.