Drive the Ball Low Into the Wind

Greg Ellis
Great Golf Academy
Goodyear, AZ

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Due to the number of windy days we have coming up here in Arizona, learning how to hit the ball under the wind is crucial. For the sake of this tip, we will discuss the fundamentals of the shot from the right-handed golfer’s perspective. The length of the golf shot will be 175 yards, which under normal conditions would call for a 5-iron from this distance. Under windy conditions, however, one club more may be the proper choice of golf club for the shot.  Follow these few steps to hitting a successful low shot:

•  Everything in the golf swing will fundamentally remain the same except the ball position. A 5-iron is normally played slightly ahead of the center in your stance or approximately even with the inside of your left hip pocket. For the low shot, the ball must be set up slightly in the back of your stance or approximately even with the inside of your right hip pocket.  Actually, the lower that you are trying to hit the golf shot the farther back you can place the ball in your stance. 

•  Your weight should be set up with about 55% on your right side and 45% on your left side. This will allow you to make a back swing without swaying back on the take away.

•  The back swing will stay low to the ground as long as possible. This will promote a longer and shallower arc, which will lead to a longer swinging motion. (Swinging motion is the optimal phrase here.) “Swing,” do not “hit” at the ball. The swing should be a full swing going back. 

•  Your alignment must be slightly left of your intended target to allow for the ball position being back in your stance. The club is returning to the ball earlier than normal and thus the clubhead will not have returned to the square position as it does in a normal golf shot.

•  The transition into the downswing should be smooth. Do not rush back to the ball. Allow your body to rotate out of the way first. (Remember all of the other fundamentals of the swing remain constant.) The forward swing will follow the same long path back to the ball to insure the club will go through the shot low to the ground. The ball will take off at a lower trajectory and stay under the wind.

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

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 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.