This simple swing thought will help you lower your ball flight in the wind

Sophia Popov captured her first major championship at the Women's Open this summer.

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NEWTOWN SQUARE, Pa. — Golf is hard. Golf in the wind is even harder. Your misses are amplified and the difficult task of controlling your ball becomes borderline impossible. Shots into the wind hook and slice with conviction, and shots with the wind bounce off the green like it was treated with cement. Wind can make the best players look like hackers and can make hackers spend their Saturdays on the couch.

But even though the wind makes the game tough, if you can control the trajectory of your ball, you can survive even those blustery days.

sophia popov swings
This key swing thought helped Sophia Popov win the Women’s Open
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That’s what Sophia Popov was able to do at the Women’s Open Championship this summer, earning her first major championship in improbable fashion. And while the winds shouldn’t swirl quite as much here at Aronimink Golf Club this week for the Women’s PGA Championship, Popov is still working on ways to keep her trajectory flighted low.

“It just helps my swing in general to have more solid contact, more consistent,” Popov said. “It’s not very technical, it’s just more of a swing thought or a movement thought.”

For Popov, that means focusing on her hands as she comes into impact. Any good swing will have a forward shaft lean at impact, but Popov wants to exaggerate that feeling. When the hands are in front as they approach the ball, the ball will naturally come out lower because the face will be delofted at impact.

“I get a little bit scoopy,” Popov said. “I try to keep the hands up front and shut the face a little bit more at impact. I try and use my body a little bit, all that together, just get a little bit lower.”

flagstick blowing in the wind
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Although it’s a shot she leaned on frequently at the Women’s Open, Popov is still working to ingrain that feeling, and you should, too.

It’s a simple tweak in the swing, but if you can incorporate it into your own move, you’ll have a much easier time flighting the ball down when the breeze picks up.

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Zephyr Melton Editor

Zephyr Melton is an assistant editor for where he spends his days blogging, producing and editing. Prior to joining the team at, he attended the University of Texas followed by stops with Team USA, the Green Bay Packers and the PGA Tour. He assists on all things instruction and covers amateur and women’s golf.