Judging Distance and Wind Speed

Frank,

What is the easiest way to judge wind speed, and how much does it affect distance?

–Scott,  IL

Scott,

Judging wind speed on a course is an art. Nick Price once suggested that at 10 miles per hour the treetops will move, at 20 mph your pant legs will rustle, and at 30 mph you won’t be able to keep your hat on. Throwing grass into the air only gives you an indication of local (very local) conditions. Wind gauges are not permitted under the Rules of Golf, so your senses are all you have to rely on. One thing to remember: A tailwind won’t help as much as a headwind will hurt. A 10 mph tailwind will add about 10 yards to a 250-yard drive, but a 10 mph headwind will reduce the distance by about 14 yards.

Hope this helps,

Frank

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