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Colonial Country Club

The Loop

Saturday Morning Tip: Taming the wind

OK, it's officially March, and in many parts of the country, if you're playing golf it's going to be windy. You know, "In like a lion, out like a lamb." So here's a great tip for keeping your ball-flight low and under control, by Golf Digest Teaching Professional Jim Flick. And remember to follow me on Twitter @RogerSchiffman.

*Roger Schiffman

Managing Editor

Golf Digest*

Jim Flick: A few years ago, at an outing we did together, I was teasing Tom Watson. "I never would have picked you to win five British Opens," I said, "because of your generally high ball flight." Tom responded that his concept in such windy conditions was to "chip the ball around the

course" with his irons. He didn't want to swing too hard, he said, because that imparts too much backspin on the ball and causes it to balloon in the air.

Growing up in Kansas City, Mo., under the tutelage of Stan Thirsk, Tom learned to play different kinds of shots, including a low, controlled ball flight in severe winds. To play these wind-cheaters, he made four simple adjustments:

1. Use two clubs more than normal (a 5-iron, say, instead of a 7).

2. Grip down one to two inches on the club.

3. Shorten the backswing and follow-through.

4. Swing easier.

Thanks, Jim. Great advice from you and Tom. And to all you followers out there, let me know if you have any other tips for playing in the wind. I'll respond to the best ones.