What are your cold weather yardages?

How to work out your cold weather yardages

Cold weather yardages
(Image credit: Tom Miles)

In this video, Top Golf Coach Clive Tucker offers some invaluable advice on how to play better this winter, including how to work out your cold weather yardages

Cold weather yardages

Golf coaches will often explain to their pupils how important it is to know their distances. In the winter however, your usual yardages can be a hinderance - being wedded to certain numbers will cause problems.

As the temperature dips, the ball will not travel as far - most golfers understand that, but how often do they still come up short?

If you can ask yourself (and answer) the following questions, you'll be in a much better position to pull the right club.

Hybrid or long iron

(Image credit: Future)

1 Where is the trouble? On most courses, the majority of the trouble lies short of the green. If you know that your best strike with a certain club will only just cover the front, you're bringing danger unnecessarily into play.

2. How far do I need to carry it? With every club in your bag you should think of carry yardages not total yardages. The latter will rely on changeable ground conditions. Don't get caught up in thinking about the total distance - in the winter the ball is likely to pitch and stop quickly anyway. Identify how far you need to carry your ball and pick your club accordingly.

3. Where is the wind? This is an obvious one but tricky to get right on tree-lined courses. Look at the tops of the trees and not the flag to see where it is coming from.

4. What shot am I comfortable with? We all have certain shots we are confident in and others that instil fear. If you are happier with a fade, allow for it - not only in your swing but your club choice as well. Likewise if you feel more comfortable hitting a hybrid than a 5-iron, then use it and perhaps grip down if you think it might go a little too far. Knowing that 50% of the field are likely to come up short and making choices to avoid this mistake is smart!

Crucially, once you have made your decision on which club to hit, commit to it. Being half-hearted here will result in disaster so once you have picked your club make your normal, athletic swing.  When it comes to how to hit an iron, try to make a smooth swing but commit to the shot and you should be able to find the green.

One other factor to consider is your equipment. Have you thought about the best golf ball for cold weather - making a change could help you find a ball flight to cope with the conditions. Likewise the best golf shoes for winter will provide you with a stable base from which to make a solid swing.