Push and Pull into Cross Winds

Scott Sackett
Director of Instruction
McCormick Ranch Golf Club
Scottsdale, AZ

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In handling strong cross winds, it is commonly believed working the ball back into the crosswind is the most effective way to straighten a golf shot out. This is often achieved by changing ones golf swing to hit draws and fades. It is one method to play in cross winds, however not the focus of this article.

**In order for this method to be effective, one needs to consistently be returning the Club Path down the target line. 

With the help of Trackman, I will illustrate how this method can help you.   

In this shot, direct your attention to the two yellow arrows on the screen. The data underneath the first yellow arrow indicates a Club Path of 0.2 degrees, indicating a golf club which is traveling almost directly down the target line. For this method to be effective, it is ideal for the player to ZERO the Club Path. The 3D Graphic Overlay of Club Path is represented by the blue line. The second yellow arrow indicates a Face Angle of -4.3 degrees closed to the target line and presented by the red arrow on the 3D Graphic Overlay. 

This shot would commonly be diagnosed as a pull and the player will also perceive this shot to be a pull. However, the axis of this golf ball is titled left and it is hooking. If there had been a stiff left to right cross breeze this ball would have worked back right towards the target. 

When faced with a left to right crosswind, simply line up at the flag, set the face slightly closed at address and try to zero the Club Path down the target line. This shut face (if returned the same at impact) will push the starting direction of the shot left and tilt the axis of the golf ball left, reverse of the wind direction. This gives you the opportunity to hit the shot without changing your swing, making things simpler and much more manageable. THINK PULL. 

When faced with the opposite crosswind (right to left), aim at the flag, open the face slightly and try to zero the Club Path down the target line. This pushes the straight direction right and tilts the axis of the ball right, allowing the wind to then work the ball back left towards the hole. THINK PUSH. 

**It is recommended to take note of how far the golf ball is traveling when using this method.  Oftentimes, the distance the golf ball is traveling is not consistent with a players stock yardages. 

Scott Sackett, GOLF Magazine Top 100 Teacher since 1999, just voted as one of  Golf Digest’s Best Teacher in the State for the fifth year in a row. Also, Director of Instruction at Park Meadows CC in Park City, Utah and while in Scottsdale, Scott teaches at McCormick Ranch Golf Club. You can contact Scott through his website at www.scottsackett.com.