I love playing with the wind when on my tee shot, but hate it when the wind is blowing anywhere else. Regardless, it poses a unique challenge.
The wind determines the height and the landing angles. You have to take several corrective steps to up your game, including using specialized balls. What is the best golf ball for windy conditions?
The best golf ball for windy games should have shallower dimples to improve aerodynamics. It should also have a low spin ratio to enable it to fly in a straight path. Examples include Titleist Velocity, Bridgestone e12 Soft, and Top Flite XL Distance.
Stick along as I take you through top-notch golf balls rated for the wind, the characteristics of a wind-suited golf ball, and how the wind affects the golf balls.
Golf Ball Characteristics for the best shot
Characteristics of wind-rated golf balls include
I only realized recently that dimples serve an actual purpose and are not just there for decoration. Dimples give the ball perfect aerodynamic controls by increasing or reducing lift and drag.
A ball designed for windy conditions features dimples that are much shallower than usual.
This decreases the surface area that the wind uses to drag the ball down, effectively decreasing the drag.
Less drag means that lower spinning balls will attain the intended height and sustain themselves longer in the air. Look at dimple length whenever shopping for golf balls.
2. Low Spin
Enquire about the spin ratio from experienced players before purchasing any ball for windy conditions. Balls with higher spins often change flight paths quickly, making them difficult to control the ball at impact.
On the contrary, low spinning balls often stick to the intended flight path most of the time, allowing for more control.
I often have several balls with low spin ratios inside my golf bags just in case mother nature decides to spice up things a bit.
Less mid-air rotation equals more control and fun games.
How a golf ball has been engineered also boosts or decreases its ability to withstand strong air currents. For instance, this means the layers of core and the compressibility of the golf ball.
Compression Golf balls with low compressibility don’t spin much, making them a suitable companion in windy conditions.
I have mentioned the number of layers, but that doesn’t matter as much as compressibility.
What Golf Balls Are Best in the Wind?
Here are some golf balls you should try during your next practice session;
1. Titleist Velocity
The Titleist Velocity golf ball for windy conditions tops this list. It’s a low spinning ball that maintains its course even in the windiest conditions.
Titleist Velocity is a low spinning golf ball with a top-speed core that boosts speed and maximizes distance on every shot.
The outer covers are engineered with the latest aerodynamic technology to give the ball optimal flight. And the bright colors, including orange, neon pink, and green, also increase visibility in every condition.
However, there are several complaints that the Titleist Velocity is harder than other softer balls.
2. Top Flite XL Distance
I’ve put Top Flite in second place because they make some nice golf balls for windy conditions.
Their products are more beginner-oriented, although their soft ball is very stable in strong winds, as I found out. The incorporated Distance Dimple Technology delivers excellent distance for an enjoyable performance.
The technology enables a high and quick launch, allowing the ball to soar quicker against the wind after the first impact.
Other worthy mentions include the Bridgestone e12 Soft, which uses Delta Wing aerodynamics for smoother airflow, and Titleist DT TruSoft, with a soft feel and low compression rate.
Are Golf Balls Affected by Wind?
Yes, of course.
The wind can affect the golf ball in several ways, but mainly it may carry the ball off course or for an extra distance. Headwinds are more problematic, which can be equated to swimming upstream. I always wondered why my shots came short on windy days while they were somehow perfect on calmer days.
It is worth noting that a tailwind doesn’t help as much as a headwind hurts. A headwind produces shots that land steeper and fly higher. Tailwinds are responsible for lower flying shots that land flatter. But both winds determine how high the ball goes and also the landing angle of your shot.
When shooting into a headwind, spin heightens lift and drag.
However, the wind doesn’t increase or decrease the spin rate of your golf shot. Crosswinds tend to deviate straight shots some distance to either side. You must understand this to make the much-needed adjustments in the future.
How Much Distance Does Wind Add?
It is a bit challenging to pinpoint the exact distance the wind adds because you have to factor in other variants, including the type of wind and speed. But there is no doubt that the downwind does add some extra distance.
When playing during a downwind, the rule of the thumb is factoring in a 0.5% variation.
For example, if you take a 100-yard shot in a 5mph tailwind, expect to get an extra 2 yards. A 200-yard shot at the same tailwind might yield an extra 5 yards.
How to Hit A Ball With A Lot of Wind
There are different types of shots you will want to brush up on when you are playing with or against the wind.
Regardless, getting a solid shot gives you the best chance at success, but to get a straight shot, you best try something called a stinger (especially when driving into the wind).
A stinger shot is one that is hit very straight with a little arch. The backspin of the ball helps it stay fairly straight, whether it’s hot or cold weather.
You may also what to a three-quarter swing.
A three-quarter swing is just as it sounds. It’s not a full swing, but one that gets about 75% of the power that you would normally generate.
This help particularly in a crosswind as the ball will experience less resistance mid-flight.
How Much Wind Is Too Much for Golf?
The wind has always been part and parcel of golf, which originates from the windy shores of Scotland. However, some days are windier than others, which raises the question of how much wind is too much?
I have played in winds up to 40mph, and while it’s not easy, I embrace it as a personal challenge. It will make your approach shot and flop shot a little more difficult, but it’s worth learning.
Typically, strong winds are not enough to call off a tournament.
Sometimes, officials may call off a game when the wind becomes a potential safety threat to spectators and players. Here, I mean the kind of wind that causes a sandstorm, destroys the scoreboard, and blows away hospitality tents.
Winds between 15-20mph are pretty normal for any game.
At 20-25mph, you are already beginning to feel the effects. Anything ranging between 30-35 is too windy to make the game enjoyable, but anything over 40mph is extremely dangerous. Don’t try it unless you have tremendous experience under your sleeve.
Playing in the wind is almost worse than any rainy conditions you may find yourself playing.
The wind is unpredictable, and it’s most annoying when the wind blow hard just for it to stop blowing the second I stop up to the tee. I swing and overcompensate, and my ball flies into the woods.
Regardless, there is something strangely satisfying about feeling the wind, throwing up some grass to determine the direction, making the adjustment in your head with the ball flight, and nailing it.
But the other end of the spectrum is the ball flying and about facing into a lake.
To each their own, I suppose.
But these tips should be helpful in choosing the right ball when playing in the wind.