7 May 2004
The recent Santa Ana winds created the opportunity to play smart golf shots.
One of the best shots you can own is the knockdown, which is ideal for windy conditions.
When you play golf on a gusty, windy day, the last thing you want to do is to try to hit a short shot hard.
A hard wedge will just spin a lot and will be drastically affected by the wind.
There is an old saying, "When it's breezy, swing it easy."
A slower swing produces less spin.
A high shot will get pushed around and either go well offline or come up short of the intended target.
Fade or draw spin on the ball will really be accentuated in crosswinds.
A shot that might be fine on a calm day can fly out of bounds on a windy day.
I suggest you play a three-quarter shot with one or even two more clubs than you would normally use.
I have even used a 4-wood rather than risk a higher-flying 7-wood.
Grip down on the shaft an inch or more.
Play the ball a bit more toward your back leg than usual, and place the handle of the club a little more forward than you usually do.
Make a half or three-quarter swing.
Practice swinging hip-high to hip-high, or think of 9-to-3 on a clock face.
You also want to finish low, because a low finish creates a low shot in most cases. This is what you want when playing in the wind.
The best shot is one that is low and under the wind, so it will not be affected by the wind as much as a high golf shot would be.
Learn from how the professionals play the game, and learn the knockdown shot.