Playing in extreme wind? Use these tips from a senior major winner


Jerry Kelly, a 2-time major winner on the PGA Tour Champions, shows how to find success when playing golf in extremely windy conditions

Jerry Kelly gives some pointers to still see success despite Mother Nature throwing lots of wind your way.


If we’re all being honest with one another, nobody enjoys playing golf in anything other than mid-70s and sunshine. Unfortunately, Mother Nature doesn’t always cooperate with that, so golfers often need to adapt to freezing cold, rain, and wind.

In some cases, lots and lots of wind!

Champions Tour golfer Jerry Kelly reveals his most important areas to focus on for older golfers who need to adapt their golf games

The keys to keeping your game sharp as you age, according to a senior major winner


Nick Dimengo

There’s a good chance that everyone reading this has played a round of golf where the wind is zipping and the course is even tougher to play. Instead of accepting the fact that it’s going to be a difficult round to score low, two-time Senior Players Champion Jerry Kelly is here to give some tips to perform your best.

In the video below, posted on the PGA Tour Champions Instagram account, Kelly attempts to give a lesson in 35-mph winds. Not only is it quite entertaining, but it’s really helpful, too — so take a look and see how you can overcome any extreme wind during a round.

Jerry Kelly’s attempts a lesson in extremely windy conditions

As the video above shows, Kelly’s on the range in absolute lethal conditions, with the wind moving as fast as 35 mph. In fact, at one point, he shows how much of an impact the conditions have while hitting a shot with a 52-degree wedge.

After using the high-lofted wedge, he’s impressed with the contact. The distance, though? Not so much, joking that he probably could’ve caught the ball had he just stepped forward.

“There’s a good one,” Kelly proclaims. “That was a full 115-yard shot right there. What is that, 15 steps?”

But Kelly reminds players that the best way to deal with extreme wind is to adapt as best you can.

“There are a lot of things you can do to combat wind, but I’d say the biggest key is to not combat the wind,” he adds. “You’re going to have to find some way in your mind to understand how far balls are going, and how you can vary your heights; because that will make a huge difference [when the wind is extreme].”

golfer stands on tee box with their club behind a ball on a tee

Do this to determine your ball position with every club, says Top 100 Teacher


Zephyr Melton

This is where Kelly suggests focusing on the position of your ball.

“Varying the ball positions, that’s number one,” he instructs. “Trying to keep the same [motion], and understanding that we’re going to try and keep it down and shorten our follow through just a little bit.”

In addition to ball position, Kelly says he varies his club choices when the wind is extreme.

“What I end up doing is I vary clubs,” he adds. “I’ll hit a 9-iron anywhere from 50 yards and in. The 7-iron is kind of like, if I had a one-club challenge, I’d decide between a 5-iron and a 7-iron; depending on the length. You can keep it out of the wind, or you can put it in the air.

“But you’ve got to manufacture right from the setup.”

After hitting a good, low shot with lots of topspin, Kelly compliments the result, but quickly jokes that he can’t get too comfortable when it comes to expectations.

“I like that one, but it’s like a box of chocolates; you just don’t know what you’re going to get,” he quips.

Playing in extreme wind brings lots of uncertainty. But by experimenting with both ball position and club choice to help track distances relative to the conditions, you can instill confidence and avoid letting Mother Nature ruin your round.

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Nick Dimengo Editor


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