RBC Canadian Open

Hamilton Golf & Country Club

Approach Shots

Master Tony Finau's Go-To Shot In The Wind

February 08, 2017

Take a look at Tony Finau’s Instagram video, and you’ll see there is some serious wind on the par-3 seventh at Pebble Beach. What do you do when you’re faced with high winds like this? You’ve got to find a way to keep the ball down. Finau achieved this by stopping his swing short with a lower lofted club. He used his 5-iron for this 106-yard shot. And put it to 15 feet.

“The basics of hitting this shot are taking more club, choking down and narrowing the stance,” says Joe Compitello, one of our Golf Digest Best Young Teachers out of Plainfield C.C. in New Jersey.

“Add a little more grip pressure in the back three fingers of your left hand. See how Tony Finau stopped his swing? This grip pressure will help you stop the swing short. The sooner the stop, the lower the ball is going to go.”

You want the ball to fly low because it won’t be affected by the wind as much as a high-flying shot would.

When it comes to these shots, there’s some truth to the old rhyme, When it’s breezy, swing easy. “You could mess this shot up by swinging too hard, because that’ll make it go higher with more spin,” says Compitello. “And that’s the last thing you want in the wind.”

Practice this shot on the range. Choose a tree or pole to gauge your shots against to see how low you’re keeping it.