Many people assume that hot, humid air will slow their balls down while cold, dry air will give them more distance. The reality is that neither of these weather conditions will drastically impact your golf ball’s movements. But does a golf ball fly further in humidity?
A golf ball will travel further in humid conditions due to the less dense air. If the air is not dense, it will create less drag or disruption on your ball’s distance. However, the impact will be less significant than the potential impact of altitude, wind, and other inclement weather conditions.
This article will help you understand just how much weather can affect your game and what you can do to correct it. Keep reading to learn the tricks to improve distance and how the atmospheric conditions will affect your golf performance.
How Does Humidity Impact a Golf Ball’s Distance?
Humidity will have a minimal impact on your golf ball’s distance. Humid air is less dense, creating less friction on the ball, thus allowing it to gain an extra yard. However, the overall impact usually goes unnoticed, especially for a skilled player.
A golf ball will gain approximately 1 yard when humidity rises from 10% to 90%. As you might realize, this is not a significant change in distance, but it is a substantial change in humidity.
The difference between a high and low-pressure system will not significantly impact the travel of your ball. But, despite popular belief, your golf ball will travel further in the humidity (high-pressure system) than in less humid air (low-pressure system).
When air particles are warm, they move more, and thus there is more space between each for objects to move through unhindered. But, as the air cools down, air particles tend to cluster together, thus creating more friction.
Do Golf Balls-Fly Further in Cold Weather?
Golf balls will not fly further in the cold, less humid weather. The air is more compact and dense when the weather is cold, creating more friction for the ball while it travels. Therefore, you can expect to lose a yard or so when the weather gets colder.
Cold air is denser since the molecules move less and thus create more of a barrier to incoming objects. Ice is an extreme example of such molecular structures since, as the ice cools, the molecules become closer together.
However, cold, dry air won’t create a significant lag on your golf ball. Like how humid air may give you an extra yard, cold, dry air may decrease your distance by about a yard.
To What Extent Does Weather Impact a Golf Ball? (2 Impactors)
Weather such as a low or high-pressure system will not significantly impact your golf ball’s performance. Overall, the changes in air pressure will only cause you to gain or lose a yard. It won’t completely ruin your game, nor will you need to change up your golf clubs.
The extent to which weather impacts your golf ball depends on the conditions in question. As mentioned above, high or low-pressure systems aren’t significant, but other events can substantially affect your performance.
1. Altitude: the Greatest Impactor
Altitude will impact your golf ball’s distance significantly. The equation for uncovering your likely distance change is altitude (in feet) multiplied by .0016 will give you the percentage of change you’re likely to experience.
For example, if you typically golf at sea level in a place like New Jersey or Delaware and switch over to Denver, Colorado, you’ll probably see an increase of 6-10%. This can translate to up to 15 yards on a long shot.
There are several causes for this distance change. The most significant factor is the air density at higher altitudes. Similar to how temperature can cause air particles to move faster and slower, altitude can cause the air to be less dense. However, the impact is far more intense on a golf ball’s distance than air pressure and temperature.
This is mainly because of the density of the air at such an altitude. But it also relates to the gravitational pull and potential for intense winds. The Earth’s gravitational pull is less at higher altitudes than at sea level. This means it gives less drag on the ball as it travels through the air.
2. Inclement Weather and Wind
Typically less significant than the heavy impact of altitude, inclement weather and high power winds can impact your golf ball’s distance. Rain can disrupt the ball as it travels but is less significant than many assume.
However, wind and hail can disrupt your game considerably.
Light rain will not impact your golf ball significantly. However, heavy rain can. Heavy rains may prevent the ball from traveling smoothly, but the disruption of visibility is even more critical. Heavy rain will likely make it very difficult to see the hole clearly and thus make hitting the ball straight more complicated.
Strong winds and hail will definitely interrupt your ball as it travels. Hail can knock the ball right out of the air, as can wind. Of course, it isn’t recommended that players continue the game while experiencing these conditions since they’re dangerous and disruptive.
How can You Get Better Distance With Your Golf Ball?
You can increase distance by improving your swing and adding more power. This does not always translate as simply hitting the ball harder but in the proper place. This means finding the center and attempting to hit it as close to this place as possible.
Some of the best ways to improve your distance include:
- Adding more force to your swing
- Focusing on hitting the center of the ball
- Raise your hand arc
- Improve foot placement
- Use your hips
- Increase muscle mass
- Improve your equipment
Golf is a game of precision but also of strength. Adding more distance to your swing requires a solid relationship between feet, hands, hips, and club.
Try positioning your hands higher up on the arc of your club as you swing. This can give you a better arc for your swing and thus increase the speed at which you hit the ball.
However, ensure you move your hips with this swing to add an extra push. People often underestimate these positional movements, but adding these tricks can increase your ball’s distance by 10%.