Knowing how far you hit each club is a valuable skill in course management. In fact, it is one of our key services we offer here at Peter Field Golf in the form of a yardage analysis. However, how do these yardages change, with an ever changing environment? – Very rarely do we get similar conditions each time we step on the golf course.
Wind changes in speed and direction
Temperature changes from bitterly cold to slightly warm (sometimes!)
and the green can change in Elevation either uphill or downhill.
Lucky for us, as part of Trackman University, we get access to Trackmans wind, temperature and elevation calculators. Through their complex algorithm, they can make an educated calculation on what effect these variables will have on carry distance.
I have compiled some tables using these calculators with varying wind, temperature and elevation against different club head speeds with either a PW or 6 iron.
Before you start pruning…
A couple of things you should be aware of…
- If you do not know your club head speeds, do not worry… use the baseline yardage in the wind tables to see which one you are close too.
- I have chosen these 3 club head speeds based on what I see the majority of people through coaching and fitting.
- These are all mid-trajectory shots.
- All distances are carry yardages.
- 6 iron and PW were chosen because they are the only ones offered from Trackmans calculators, other than driver.
- I have not given driver numbers because we are focussing on approach shots to the green.
For wind, I have two tables which show how much affect headwind and tailwind has on the golf ball at varying club head speed and with 2 different clubs.
First up, is the PW:
Next up, 6 iron:
Couple of interesting takes on wind here…
- A headwind hurts, more than a tailwind helps (18 yards difference in 20mph headwind and 20mph tailwind at 90mph club speed with 6 iron)
- Even the slightest wind of 5mph can have a very significant effect on carry distance.
Next time you go play golf, maybe worth checking the wind forecasts for strength and direction!
I selected 3 different temperatures based on UK monthly averages from 2019. In the tables below, you will see what months of the year these temperatures best apply too.
As you can see, temperature has more effect on the golf ball, with higher club head speeds. From our horrible winters, to our sometimes warm summer, the golf ball could fly 6 yards further.
When going to an uphill or downhill green, the actual distance the golf ball has to carry will change. Some of you may have slope readings on your laser devices which will show the yardage adjustment you will need to make. However, for the majority of us, hopefully these tables will help!
I have done the uphill and downhill slope in feet, up to 30ft (10 yards).
Slower club speeds have more of an effect on uphill and downhill shots due to the lower peak apex and shallower land angle. The lower the total flight, the more affect this will have on the golf ball during elevation changes, however these are quite small changes.
Although we consider Norfolk to be quite flat, we are talking 10 feet (3 yards) change in elevation will have up to 4 yard difference in your carry!
Have a look at each of those tables and start to build a rough picture of how this will effect your golf…
For example, my 6iron speed is just under 90mph and I carry it in normal conditions ~175yds. I struggle with selecting the right club into the breeze, however looking at the table, a rough formula for me is double the wind speed, -2/3 yards and that is how much extra I need to add onto my approach shot.
Unfortunately, there is no “one formula” which fits all and this goes across all 3 factors. I have heard 1mph of wind is 1 yard quite frequently among fellow golfers, but looking at the table, this is obviously not true. Even if it was that simple, changes in ball flights and club speeds has a huge influence on how much effect this environmental conditions will have.
Remember, these are GUIDELINE numbers!