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Golf Wind -- How does the wind affect the golf ball?


The speed of the wind varies with height above the ground. A golfer is able to measure the speed of the wind at ground level. The golf ball moves at a higher point, and therefore the wind speed is greater. The higher the ball moves, the greater the wind speed. The physics of fluid motion models how the speed changes with height. It is well understood. Unfortunately, the wind changes (gusts) and thus adds uncertainty to the golfer's measurement of wind speed.

Above is a graph showing the path of 3 different drives. The shortest represents hitting into a 5 mph wind (about 240 yds). The longest represents hitting with a 5 mph wind (about 260 yds). The middle length drive is with no wind (about 255 yds). A 5 mph wind is very minimal, thus the effect is low, yet significant. Note as well the different trajectories created by the wind.

Below is a graph showing the path of 3 different drives, similar to the one above, except the wind speed is 20 mph.

Note that into the wind the drive flies 200 yds, with no wind it flies
250 yds and with the wind, it flies 275 yds.  The effect of the wind is much more significant when hitting into it than when hitting with it.  Hitting into the wind actually causes the ball to balloon higher into the air.
     Of course the effect of the wind depends on your ball trajectory. Players that hit the ball higher have their shots more greatly effected. That's why better players tend to hit knock-down shots when playing in the wind. As well, how far a player hits his/her various clubs will have an effect of how many more or less yards the wind will provide.

     I provide two services to golfers who are interested in determining how the wind will affect their shots. If you'd like to purchase these services, click the Order Services option.

Read testimonials from my past customers.

1. You can immediately download a copy "Reading & Playing the Wind." I'll explain how you can easily measure the wind's speed and how much each 1 yard per second of wind will affect your various club ranges. The only guessing for you will be determining if the wind's speed is in fact constant.

2. You can provide me with yardages for each club in your bag. I'll input your values into a program I have written, and send you a template which will outline how different speed winds will change the real yardages for each club. The service is only $9.99. You can order it here.

See and order all or my products at my golf product order page.


The Science of Meteorology online Learn some basic meteorology from

Wind & the Golf Ball
   Every golfer knows that if you are playing a shot into the wind, you must hit more club. If you're playing a shot with the wind, you must hit less club. Even professionals have a difficult time playing in the wind. The average score in a tournament is always higher when it is windy.

     The amount of club to hit depends on the speed and direction of the wind as well as the spin and trajectory of the ball. The higher your ball flight, the more your shot will be affected. The more spin you put on the ball, the higher will be its trajectory.

     A golfer needs to measure the speed of the wind and determine how much that speed will affect his/her shot. Since the trajectory of a golf ball is well understood, one can model it and determine the effects of the wind. I have determined how much the wind affects the distance a shot travels and I have developed a very simple procedure for determining the speed of the wind.

Order the document in which I'll teach you the procedure here for only $5.99.

   See and order all or my products at my golf product order page. 

ŠProbable Golf Instruction, Ken Tannar 2001-2015. All Rights Reserved.

Langley, B.C. V2Y 2G4 Canada
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Site maintained by Ken Tannar.

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Golf Trip Pairing Calculator

Planning a golf trip with some friends/family? Trying to sort out the foursomes so people don't play too often with others?

Order your ready made Spreadsheet. Type in the names, print out the groupings. Minimize repeat pairings.

Learn More

Wind Caddy App

Wind Caddy will advise you on aim, distance and club so that you can play the wind successfully. It takes the guess work out of club selection.

What's new in Version 1.2?

New option to enter custom distances for each club. The algorithm will make a club suggestion accordingly. Use the right club in every condition!

Click Here to Learn More ....



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