One thing you can count on playing golf in Las Vegas is the occasional round on a windy day. The aspect of playing in windy conditions that make it difficult is the golfer has a tendency to overplay the conditions. The following are some general guidelines that will help you cope with the wind and hit better shots. In downwind conditions, you want to play the ball back in your stance a little more than usual and use your normal (non-wind) swing. This will keep the ball on a lower trajectory. Use less club than you would normally use for this yardage and run the ball up to your target. Against the wind, you want to make an adjustment in your club selection to compensate for the headwind and again, play the ball a little farther back in your stance. A normal swing should lower the trajectory of the ball allowing it to penetrate through the wind more easily. In crosswind conditions off the tee, you want to tee the ball up closest to the tee marker that the wind is coming from. Crosswinds will make a ball struck with sidespin go even more off track than a ball hit squarely. A ball hit squarely with little sidespin bores thru the wind in a more efficient manner, so you don’t have to compensate as much for the wind than you think. Good luck in the wind, and may all your balls go straight.
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In order to excel at any athletic endeavor it is necessary to understand the basic fundamentals unique to that sport. In golf, mastering the basics is critical to playing your best on a more consistent basis. Grip, posture, alignment, and balance are the four fundamentals needed to perform consistently on the golf course. Three of these important factors, grip, posture, and alignment, take place before the swing begins. Your balance throughout the swing is largely influenced by your posture in pre-swing.
The Basics Grip – To become a good player, you must understand the function and importance of the grip. The grip is your physical connection with the golf club. Your grip controls the club face and therefore dictates the position of the club face at impact. The function of the grip is for the hands to work together as a one-piece unit that promotes proper club face rotation. Most golfers hold the club in a position that does not promote proper rotation of the club face. The result is usually a ball flight that curves to the right, or a “slice”.
Posture – The body angle that you create at the address position determine what you can and cannot do in your golf swing. Good athletic posture at address and through your golf swing will increase the likelihood of a more consistent and repetitive golf swing. Good posture is an athletic position used in many sports, such as receiving a serve in tennis, a quarterback ready to receive a ball from the center, a skier in balance over their skis. Good posture helps maintain a better club path and also helps you stay in good balance through the swing.
Alignment – Most golf shots are missed before the golf club even moves. Alignment is one of the most important fundamentals of any golf swing, yet it is one of the last things people consider when trying to isolate problems in their game. Important to proper alignment is a proper pre-shot routine that allows you to envision your target. Think of the railroad tracks running out to your target. Align your feet, knees, hips, shoulders, and eyes parallel to the inside track, and the club face parallel to the outside track. The ball should fly down the outside track line, not down the line of the body.
Balance – A proper set-up posture helps maintain good foot work and balance through the swing. Putting your weight more on the balls of the feet to the instep rather than on the hells or toes will help promote good balance. In some cases, loss of balance may indicate over swinging.
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