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Adapting mentally to windy conditions on the course

TOC Wind 304
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Watching the world’s top golfers attempt to play Kapalua at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions has been brutal.

The wind, which has plagued the beginning of the 2013 PGA Tour season since its scheduled start on Friday, has been making it impossible for the best players to get out and play.

When those players stepped onto the course in an attempt to begin the tournament, however, they knew what they were getting into.

The wind is usually a factor in Hawaii, but in this case, it was beyond difficult, and play had to be suspended and partial scores erased.

There are many tips you can follow to help your golf swing when playing in windy conditions, but what about preparing your mind when you know the wind will be tough?

Here’s a list of things you can do mentally to prepare for tough winds before and during your round:

• Remember, if it’s windy for you, it’s windy for everyone else on the course too. It’s easy to let bad weather get you down on the golf course, but reminding yourself that you’re not the only one facing tough conditions is necessary when preparing your mind for a competitive round in tough weather.

• Visualize playing the course with tough wind conditions. Before any competitive round, you should try to visualize the shots you want to hit on each hole. Adjust your pre-round visualization to include using different club selections to account for the wind. For example, if you know a certain par-3 will have wind in your face, visualize using the extra club(s) needed to get you on the green.

• Solid golf shots are the least affected by high winds. Remind yourself of this continuously throughout the round and stay focused on your game, not the wind. Keeping a positive attitude will go a long way in helping you trust your swing, allowing you to hit solid golf shots despite the wind.

• Be patient during your round. In tough weather conditions, par becomes a good score for even the best golfers in the world. If the wind is really tough, the likelihood of making a high number on a hole increases. If or when that happens, calm yourself down and resist the temptation to swing harder on the next tee. Remember, when it’s breezy, swing easy!

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