Cover It: To control the ball in the wind, I feel as if I'm covering the ball with my body at impact.
The wind always seems to be a big factor in the winter. That's when I rely on my wind-cheater off the tee. If you get the ball up into the breeze, it's not going very far. Even worse, it's a lot easier to miss the fairway because a wind into you exaggerates any sidespin on the ball. A gentle fade turns into a mean slice, and a controlled draw becomes a vicious hook. So lowering your ball flight is a must.
One of the first things I do into the wind is grip down on the club a bit. The shorter shaft helps keep the ball down and gives me a better feeling of controlling the swing. Then I try to keep my body and my hands a little ahead of the ball as the club makes contact. I want to feel as if I'm covering the ball with my body and club.
Actually, it's a lot like playing a shot from a fairway bunker. I feel as if my lower body is fairly still and I'm staying on top of the ball as I swing through impact.
JERRY KELLY* has won three times on the PGA Tour, including the 2009 Zurich Classic, and was 13th on tour in driving accuracy in 2010 (70.5 percent).*