Weather and Ball Flight


A golfer can know everything there is to know about their ball flight: how far each shot of theirs with every club travels, how to manipulate the ball in the air, the physics of the flight of the ball, and the physics of the striking of the ball on the clubface. But if they don’t know anything about how weather affects their ball’s flight, then they often will find themselves very frustrated on a North Myrtle Beach golf course.

Every kind of weather can influence a ball’s flight; it is just a matter of how each weather condition can affect the ball’s flight. Generally, the most common influential natural force on the ball in the air is wind. Wind can make a huge difference with what club a golfer hits and where the golfer is aiming. A general rule is that if a golfer is hitting in the opposite direction the wind is blowing (called “hitting into the wind”), that golfer should take a club higher for every 10 mph of wind. For example, if a player is playing into a heavy 30 mph wind from 150 yards, where they would normally hit a 9 iron, they should take a 6 iron to get the ball the proper distance. The same goes for if you were playing in the same direction the wind was blowing (called “hitting with the wind”).

Another common influence on ball flight is precipitation. Any form of precipitation will influence ball flight, whether it is rain, snow, sleet, hail, or fog. Many times when these forms of precipitation exist no golfer will be on a North Myrtle Beach golf course—especially snow and sleet, rare occurrences in South Carolina. However, there may be times when it is necessary for a golfer to play in these conditions. For these cases, it is generally accepted that a longer club is necessary in order to get the ball to the target in these conditions.

An influence that will affect the ball’s flight every time a golfer plays is temperature. Unbeknownst to many golfers, the temperature outside has an effect on how the ball performs. For example, in cold weather, the ball will generally be a colder temperature, causing it to not compress as much when it strikes the clubface. This causes the ball to travel a shorter distance. In warmer weather, the warmer ball will compress more, causing the ball to travel a longer distance.

Humidity will also affect the distance of the ball, in that the bogginess of the air will cause resistance toward the ball in flight, decreasing the distance it travels. If a golfer understands these weather conditions while playing at Eagle Nest Golf Club and any other North Myrtle Beach golf course, they should be well on their way to lower scores in adverse conditions. However, a mastery of the proper golf form should be obtained first.