How to drive well with the wind off the left

GM Top 25 coach Andrew Reynolds says don’t overcomplicate things with the wind off the left – one simple adjustment is all you need to make...

(Image credit: Kevin Murray)

GM Top 25 coach Andrew Reynolds says don’t overcomplicate things with the wind off the left – one simple adjustment is all you need to make...

1) Club selection The left-to-right wind is the one most right-handed golfers dread. Few golfers fancy it much if the wind is severely off their backs, especially if there’s trouble down the right. Some of it is confidence; some of it is because far more club golfers slice the ball than hook it; but some of it is down to strategy and in particular, club selection.

Instead of automatically reaching for your driver in the belief that it will help you keep the ball down, I would recommend switching to the higher-lofted 3-wood and turning the clubface to the left a little bit at address.

2) You still need loft Why not the driver? Well, if you turn or toe the clubface in with your driver that has perhaps only 10˚ of loft, you’ll end up with virtually no loft on the club or even negative loft! With a 15˚ 3-wood, turning the face in a bit will still leave enough loft on the club to get the ball up and away.

3) Keep things square Turning the clubface in is the only real change at address I would advocate with the wind off the left. Beyond that you need to keep everything else square to the target in terms of alignment.

The problem many people have is that they set up with the clubhead pointing down the fairway, but then because the wind is off the left, they set their alignment a long way left. This only exaggerates things, with the result an even bigger left-to-right flight than normal and the ball veering away right towards the very trouble you’re so desperate to avoid.

How to avoid creating too much spin off the tee

Tee height is important too. What you should do is tee the ball down a bit because it’s a 3-wood, then instead of aiming the clubface straight down the hole, point it down the left-hand side a little. Crucially, then set your feet, shoulders and hips up square to your intended line. From here, just make a normal swing, making sure you move through the ball and get your upper body weight on to your left leg through impact. The slightly closed clubface is all you need to counter the effects of the wind.

4) Practice breeds confidence It does need a little practice though, so if the wind is off the left big-time on your practice ground on a given day, rather than electing not to go out, head on down and experiment with this so you have a better idea, and more confidence, next time you face just such a tee-shot for real.

Check out Thomas Pieters' driving tips

Once you’ve seen that it really does work, you won’t be scared of really committing to such a tee-shot next time out on the course.