Using a crosswind to aid your ball flight

Published 24/09/2009 08:35:37

When the wind is coming from left to right across the tee, you want to hit the ball into the wind and let the jetstream take it. But, at all costs, avoid doing the opposite - sliding the ball with the wind and letting it go.


In that case, if you go with the wind and you naturally hit the ball straight, or slightly to the right, the ball will move violently to the right and you could get into serious trouble


The first thing you want to do in a left-to-right wind is to tee the ball up on the right side of the tee box, because the best policy is to hit across to the left, or into the wind.


Carry farther


It's almost like flying an aircraft: you want to go straight into the flow of the wind. Even if you hit into the wind with a little bit of fade, you can use the wind to carry the ball further. With a soft fade, the ball will get picked up by the wind pattern and carry 20 yards or so.


In his heyday, Seve Ballesteros was a great exponent of how to use the wind to your advantage, little wonder he won the British Open - links courses are windy and good shot-shaping is a must to reign on them.


The draw in a crosswind


On the other hand, if you draw the ball, it will pretty much go straight in a left-to-right wind. In that case, the wind will hold the ball up, because you are hitting directly against it. So even with a draw, you will get less distance in this scenario and should always allow for that when planning your shot.


Of course, the opposite applies in a right-to-left wind. Then you want to hit it right to left. You always want to hit at the wind. So tee it up on the left side of the tee and hit it at the wind again, letting it come around. That's the ideals circumstance in which to play a draw.


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