Barney Puttick, PGA Professional and Coach to the Hertfordshire ladies’ team, shares his advice about how to overcome the elements and win at winter golf.
By Barney Puttick
Slow winter greens
Try standing a little wider in the feet, and a fraction taller than normal. This will have the effect of being able to swing the arms freely, which will add some speed to your putts - essential to making inroads to the slower surfaces we face in the winter.
Playing into the wind
The key here is to take more club and put the ball further back in the stance than usual. This will help reduce the height of your shot, which in turn negates the strength of the wind as the higher the flight, the more powerful the resistance is that the ball faces.
The challenge here is maintaining your balance. My feeling is that if the player reduces the width of their stance they also reduce the chance of them swaying into the shot. The problem is though that our margin for error is much smaller, and if we contact the ball a little behind on a wet fairway we lose a lot of distance. Have a practice swing with the feet almost touching to ingrain the balanced feeling, then take that feeling with your reduced stance into the actual shot.
Hitting off winter mats
Hitting your driver is generally okay as you can just play as normal, but where you might run into difficulty is playing an iron or a hybrid from a mat. It is often tricky to get a smaller tee lower in the mat teeing area, so my advice here is to just play it from the mat. Remember, these are clubs that are designed to hit off the deck. Mats are actually more forgiving than if you mishit the ball from the turf, so this could actually be a bonus of winter golf. After all, every little helps!
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