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Control wedge shots in Open-like wind conditions

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With the British Open this week at Royal Liverpool, the world’s best players are bracing themselves for course conditions unlike any other.

And you can pretty much count on the fact that the wind will play a major role in how the players will handle the golf course.

We’ve all seen what the wind can do to an errant tee shot, but what about shorter shots into the green from 100 yards and in?

One of the best ways to reduce the wind’s influence on these shots is to practice keeping your ball flight low and out of the wind.

Here are just a few ways to accomplish this the next time you face tough wind conditions:

• The easiest way to keep your ball flight low is to play the “bump-and-run” shot, where you use a less-lofted club, land the ball well short of the target and let it run up to the flag. This shot requires practice and a good understanding of how the ball will react once it hits the ground. Use this shot anytime you can land the ball on the fairway in front of a green where you can predict how the ball will bounce and roll out.

• The harder you try to hit your scoring clubs, especially your wedges, the higher the ball will launch into the air and be affected by the wind. So say goodbye to a full swing with a wedge. Take an extra club, or even two, instead and focus on a smaller, controlled swing that inevitably will launch the ball lower. The increased likelihood of better contact will also increase the ball’s spin and keep it from rolling too far after landing on the green.

• Many golfers don't realize that a higher-spinning wedge shot is less affected by the wind and will launch lower off the clubface. You want to create spin, and there are several factors that do that, one of which is simply the type of golf ball you play. But to create spin you must be able to create one thing at impact; friction. You will lose a significant amount of friction/spin if your wedges have dirty grooves. Anytime you have moisture on the clubface (grass, water, dirt, etc) you are effectively lubricating the clubface and reducing the friction created between the ball and the club. Keep your clubs clean, and with clean contact the ball will spin.

For more tips from Golf Channel to help you play in the wind, click here.