Length Matters – Temperature Matters More

Greg Ellis
Great Golf Academy
Goodyear, AZ

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In the twenty years I have been in Arizona, I do not remember a more perfect fall season. Temperatures have been great. As the winter approaches and the member tournaments begin, a factor that most golfers do not consider when playing their round is how the temperature affects ball flight with relation to distance. Therefore, when it is time to play that important golf shot make sure that you work the temperature factor into your thought process for the proper club selection. Temperature works both ways depending on the time of year. With this in mind, here is a good formula to base your club selection on when the temperature varies throughout the year:

• First of all, a good average temperature to base your club selection on would be 78 degrees. This is not scientific. (This is only the observation of this writer.) For every 10-degree drop in temperature you will lose 2-3 yards in distance.

• If the normal golf club choice is an 8-iron from 145 to 150, it may not be enough club under the conditions described above. The golf ball will not go as far when it is cold outside and will go further when it is hotter. Thus, it may be necessary to go up one club to a 7-iron. This will compensate for the temperature change. Conversely, in the heat of the summer, it may be necessary to hit a 9-iron from that same distance.

• Once you have chosen the club, taking into consideration the temperature, distance, wind conditions and weather conditions make your normal golf swing. There is no need to compensate for the golf club chosen. Trust the decision and swing with confidence.

• Upon selecting the correct golf club, proceed to complete the pre-shot routine; that has been discussed in previous tips in this publication. This will assist you to remain focused on the golf shot at hand and not the club selection.

Once you have chosen the correct club, commit to it. Do not allow room for doubt. This will only be counter-productive. 

If you have any questions about this or any part of the golf swing, please feel free to contact me. It is my goal to have every golfer enjoy the game more so you will play more.

As a side note, I have hung my shingle at Tres Rios Golf Course in Goodyear and started Great Golf Academy. I will be giving golf lessons and helping golfers enjoy this great game. For more information and lesson rates, feel free to email me at gellisdog@cox.net.

Be sure to tune in to the Bunker to Bunker Golf Show every Saturday morning from 7:00 to 9:00 a.m. on ArizonaSports now on 98.7 fm or on the internet at www.arizonasports.com for more tips and updates on all of the week’s golfing news in the Valley and around the world. Join Greg, Jim Hill, and Marty Monaghan for a comprehensive look at the golf world for the week. 

Have a safe Holiday Season and a Prosperous New Year.