Playing golf in Scotland - especially at a classics links course like Murcar - means that you often have to contend with a strong breeze or wind. There are many ways to try and cope with playing in a stiff northerly but one of the simplest is the knock-down shot. Using this you keep the ball low under the wind so that it is less likely to be deflected off course.
There are many different techniques for playing the knock-down shot but in my view the easiest to learn can be mastered in a few minutes.
Essentially, you want to restrict both the backswing and follow-through - the last thing needed here is a long, flowing swing because that's more likely to balloon the ball into the air. Instead you're looking for control and a comparatively short, punchy swing.
First, take at least one more club than you would normally hit for the distance - because you're swinging shorter you need to compensate. If the wind is directly into your face you might need two or even three more clubs but that can only be established with a little practice.
Now all you have to do is stand closer to the ball; close enough to feel just a tad uncomfortable. This restricts your capacity to turn, so will naturally shorten your swing and follow through. It also means that, without even thinking about it, you grip further down the handle of the club - you can't help it because you're standing so much closer.
Now all you have to do is make sure the ball is just inside your left foot, and swing the club.
|| 12 - JULY 2003