When watching the PGA Tour this week, pay careful attention to an often overlooked step in the shot selection process. The players often rip a few blades of grass out of the ground and throw them up in the air to see how fast the wind is and what direction it is moving. The wind can be a hidden adversary and is often mis-played by amateurs. TrackMan has done a study on the effects of “headwind” (hurting) and “tailwind” (helping) and the results are incredible. To summarize, a 20mph headwind takes 39 yards off of the carry distance of a 6 iron and the same 20 mph of tailwind adds only 23 yards of carry distance with the same 6 iron. So 20mph of wind does not have the same effect in different directions, it is about a two club difference with tailwind and an incredible 4 club difference into the headwind. This explains why most amateurs do not adjust accordingly when facing a shot into a strong headwind, coming up well short of the green. Factors like this are why it is so important to be playing golf on the golf course and not golf swing.