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Friday, March 11, 2016

Chris O'Connell on Playing in the Wind

I don't know about the rest of you, but we've had quite a bit of wind around here lately. So I dug up this Morning Drive segment on wind play featuring instructor Chris O'Connell, who teaches Matt Kuchar (among others).

The neat thing about this is that O'Connell lists a number of ways you can bring your ball flight down -- that is, lower your trajectory. For example, you can:
  • Flatten your swing plane.
  • Shorten your backswing and followthrough. (You can also use a longer club with this method, to make up for lost distance.)
  • Use less wrist cock (less hand action, aka swing more like Steve Stricker).
When he demonstrates a low shot at the end of the video, note that he combines those last two -- making a shorter swing with less wrist action. That appears to be his preferred method.

One interesting tip he mentions came from Lee Trevino, who told Matt to go to the top of his backswing, take his trailing hand off while keeping his lead wrist cocked, and see if he could touch the clubhead with his trailing hand. If he could, he had too much wrist cock for playing in the wind.

O'Connell also notes that you can move the ball back a bit in your stance and keep your hands a bit forward at impact, BUT he cautions not to depend on those setup things. Rather, you want to use the swing methods because they give you more control over trajectory.

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