The Silver Fox: “Don’t fight the wind - learn to play with it”

After a lifetime of working in golf, playing and coaching in America and the UK, the Silver Fox has retired to West Sussex. And now he wants to help you with your game.

So is there a part of your game you need help with? Get in touch – email the Silver Fox at the address at the bottom of the column and he’ll offer his advice.

And you may receive more than advice. We have teamed up with Callaway, and anyone who has a question answered in this column will receive a sleeve of three top-quality balls.

This week, the Silver Fox says: Living where we do, close to the sea, we have to suffer much more with howling wind and gales.

Lots of inland courses are sheltered from the elements by trees and hills – we’re not lucky like that.

This week, I want to offer you some advice in playing in the wind – and the first thing to remember is: Don’t fight it.

It you want to take on the wind, there will be only one winner – and it won’t be you, I promise.

If you are hitting an iron into the wind, the easiest top to follow is to bring the ball back a little in in your stance.

This will deloft the club. So if you are hitting a six iron, by putting it back a touch in your stance, the ball will stay as low as if you were hitting a five iron.

This way, you can punch the ball low and under the wind, and still get the distance you require.

When you’re playing into the wind, almost everyone attacks the ball with more gusto – they really throw themselves at the shot. They think brute force is the best way to gain more distance.

Of course, this isn’t right at all. All that happens is that the timing of the shot goes awry, and you get less distance than normal, not more.

Remember the old rhyme ‘when it’s breezy, sing nice and easy’? It’s true...

So work on keeping a good tempo and do not rush the shot.

It is also worth gripping further down the club. This helps you keep more control of the shot as your hands are closer to the clubhead and the ball.

Most handicap golfers hit a slice, sending the ball from left to right, so they really struggle when the wind howls from the left. When you’re faced with a shot like this, when you take your stance, put your feet in a closed position (aiming a little to the right).This will help move the ball from right to left, which will help negate the wind.

As ever, try it out on the range first, or go out one evening on your own, and hit a few practice balls, to get the feel for these shots. You don’t want to try them for the first time at a monthly medal when you’re in a position to challenge for the precious silverware!

n Email the Silver Fox at sport@worthingherald.co.uk