Playing in the Wind

Mastering the Elements at Eagle Ridge Golf Club

As I step onto the first tee at Eagle Ridge Golf Club, a gentle breeze tickles my face, a subtle reminder that Mother Nature will be my playing partner today. I take a deep breath, knowing that my usual high-launching, spin-heavy shots are about to be put to the test. But hey, I’ve been down this road before – the wind and I have a history, one that’s been marked by many frustrating rounds and a few hard-earned lessons.

Spin: The Silent Killer

For the longest time, my game’s Achilles’ heel was playing golf in the wind. As a naturally high-ball hitter with a lot of spin, I was the perfect recipe for disaster when the gusts started to pick up. [2] Whenever I’d step onto the course, knowing I’d be facing those blustery conditions, I’d tense up, my tempo would get all out of whack, and I’d end up in a full-on battle with Mother Nature. The results, as you can imagine, were less than stellar.

The key, I’ve learned, is to stop fighting the wind and instead work with it. [2] The harder you swing, the more spin you put on the ball, and that’s the exact opposite of what you want. Spin is the enemy when it comes to playing in the wind – any little mistake gets exaggerated, and your ball ends up drifting off into never-never land. No, the secret is to take a smoother, more controlled swing, focusing on making solid contact rather than trying to muscle the ball through the gusts.

Controlling the Trajectory

Of course, it’s not just about reducing spin; you also need to be mindful of how the wind affects your ball flight. [2] When you’re playing into the wind, the curve of your shot will be much more pronounced, so if you hit a draw or a fade, expect it to move even more. Conversely, if you’ve got the wind at your back, higher shots will be affected more than lower ones, and your ball won’t curve as much.

That’s why it’s so important to adjust your club selection accordingly. [2] If I’m facing a headwind, I’ll typically reach for an extra club or two, taking a smooth, controlled swing to keep the ball down and piercing through the gusts. And if I’ve got the wind at my back, I’ll be mindful of the increased distance, perhaps opting for a lower-lofted club to avoid sending the ball sailing way past the intended target.

Finding Your Rhythm

One of the hardest parts about playing in the wind is maintaining your rhythm and tempo. [2] It’s so easy to get caught up in the battle, to start swinging harder and faster in a desperate attempt to overpower the elements. But that’s a surefire way to lose control of your swing and start spraying the ball all over the place.

Instead, I’ve found that the key is to stay relaxed and focused on a smooth, consistent tempo. [2] I might even take a club or two less than normal, just to ensure I’m not trying to crush the ball. It’s all about finding that sweet spot where you’re generating enough power to overcome the wind, but not so much that you start losing control of your swing.

Embracing the Challenge

At the end of the day, playing golf in the wind is all about accepting the challenge and adapting your game accordingly. [2] It’s not easy, and there will be days when the gusts seem to have a mind of their own, but that’s part of the thrill of the game. When you can stand on the tee, feel the breeze on your face, and still manage to hit a solid, controlled shot that cuts through the wind and finds the fairway, there’s a sense of accomplishment that’s hard to match.

So the next time you find yourself facing a blustery day at Eagle Ridge, don’t despair. Embrace the challenge, trust your swing, and let the wind be your dance partner. With a little practice and the right mindset, you just might find that playing in the wind becomes one of the most rewarding aspects of your game.


[1] “How to Play Golf in the Wind | Practical Golf.” Practical Golf,

[2] Ibid.

[3] “Playing in the Wind” by French Montana. Genius,

[4] “The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker.” YouTube, uploaded by The Game Theorists, 16 Aug. 2015,

[5] “Do Wind Musicians Look Different?” r/Clarinet, 19 July 2020,

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