Cold weather yardages
Professionals will often explain to their pupils how important it is to know their distances. In the winter however, your usual yardages can be a hinderance – being wedded to certain numbers will cause problems. Instead, you need to forget those and work more on your feel for distance. For instance, I know that for me, a 190-yard shot in the summer is a soft 5-iron or a big 6-iron. But today it’s cold and obviously the air temperature will cause the ball to fly a little shorter. I’m also going over a water hazard – the air above the water will be even colder and this will also cause the ball to fly shorter. In addition there is a small breeze into my face. Finally, the ball will pitch and stop, regardless of which club you hit so you need to know what your carry distance is for each club. All of these factors mean that what would have been as little as a 6-iron in the warm summer months becomes a hybrid today.
The hybrid is also a good option because of the extra forgiveness on offer. The confidence this inspires at address is important.
Understand that in a winter scenario like this, at least 50% of the field will make the mistake of not using enough club. Given that on the majority of holes at the majority of clubs, the trouble sits at the front of the green – you need to make sure that you are not part of that group.
Crucially, once you have made your decision on which club to hit, commit to it. Being half-hearted here will result in disaster so once you have picked your club make your normal, athletic swing. Try to make a smooth swing but commit to the shot and you should be able to find the green.