Playing Golf on Higher Ground
For the first World Golf Championships event of 2017, the top golfers in the world are heading to Mexico. Specifically, they will be competing at the Club de Golf Chapultepec. This historic course was constructed all the way back in 1928, and it is located just to the west of Mexico City. One of the notable facts about this course is its significant elevation. In fact, the World Golf Championships – Mexico Championship will be the highest event ever played on the PGA Tour. Parts of the course are more than 7,800 feet above sea level, making for a unique challenge as players vie for this important title.
When playing golf at elevation, the ball is going to travel farther than it would when playing down closer to sea level. There is less air to resist the golf ball as it flies, meaning it will travel a longer distance before coming down. Also, with less air to act on the ball, spin does not have as much of a factor as it does at lower elevations. To me and you, these sound like great things – longer drives and less curve from side to side? Where do I sign up? However, for the pros, playing at this kind of elevation is going to be a challenge. The ability to control the golf ball is what sets top pros apart, but they are going to give up a bit of their usual control as the air thins out.
Even if you play most of your golf at the low elevations found in the northeast, you may decide to take a golf trip at some point which will have you playing at higher elevations. Should you get a chance to take such a trip, you will want to have a plan for how you can handle the high elevation while still shooting a good score. I have collected the following tips for your benefit.
Of course, if you would like to chat about playing golf at high elevation, stop by Cape and Islands Golf Shop in Hyannis, MA. We always love to talk golf!
#1 – Don’t Go Overboard
Are your drives going to go farther at elevation than they will at sea level? Yes – but that is going to happen without you doing anything differently. It is easy to get caught up in the idea of hitting extra-long drives when playing at elevation, and that idea might take you away from your standard swing. Make a normal swing with all of your clubs and let the elevation add yards to your shots naturally.
#2 – Practice Wedge Shots
As you get ready for a round at elevation, take some time to work on controlling the distance of your wedge shots. Your feel is going to be different than it is at home, so learning how much swing it takes to hit a ball 60 or 70 yards, for example, is paramount.
#3 – Play for Run Out
Most likely, your shots are going to be coming in low and hot when they land while playing at elevation. Since the spin on your ball isn’t going to have as much of an effect on the shots, your trajectory will likely fail to climb as high in the air as it would otherwise. This doesn’t have to be a big problem, however, as long as you plan accordingly. Pick a target that will allow your ball to bounce and roll before ending up in a perfect position.