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July
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2022

How to factor in slope, wind, rain and temperature into your distances on the golf course

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How to factor in slope, wind, rain and temperature into your distances on the golf course

As a golfer we’ve run into this so many times, you get up to your ball and it’s 120 yards out from the flag so you grab your wedge and put a great swing on the ball only to come up 15 yards short!  How could this well struck shot come up so far short and lose you strokes in the process? 

After talking with hundreds of golfers from all skill levels we realized a common theme was that golfers either weren’t factoring in conditions like wind, uphill slope, and other factors into their shot.  And for those golfers who were factoring these conditions into every shot, often they would underestimate how much those conditions would affect their ball flight.  

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18 Birdies Plays like Factors

18Birdies Plays Like factors in local conditions for every shot

That’s where 18Birdies Plays Like feature makes your life so much easier and allows you to pick the right club with confidence knowing that we’ve done all the math for you to figure out the right yardage to hit every shot.  

Plays Like will factor in elevation change (slope), wind, temperature, lie angle, rain, & altitude for when you’re playing golfer in other areas that are closer to sea level or more in mountainous regions. This is exactly what a Tour Caddy would do on a daily basis when they’re prepping for a golf course, and 18Birdies has combined it all into a simple feature for you.  

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How Does Wind Affect

How does wind affect a golf shot?

For example on a 100 yard shot, if there’s a 10 mph wind in your face that shot will play 110 yards, but if the wind is 10 mph downwind (with you) then it’s going to play 95 yards.  We’ll even factor in when the wind is blowing sideways, or diagonal from any position.  

18Birdies automatically will detect the local wind conditions like direction and speed that are happening any moment on the course, but if you’re playing on a day with swirling winds you can also adjust the wind direction and indicate if the wind speed has increased or decreased in speed..  Wind is by far one of the most important conditions to factor into every shot.

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How Does Slope and Elevation affect shot distances on the golf course

How does slope and elevation change affect a golf shot?

Elevation change or slope as you may refer to it is another condition that plays a big factor on distance.  The main thing with slope is often times you can’t tell how uphill or downhill the shot is, but 18Birdies uses GPS maps and we know exactly how much higher or lower every green or landing area on the fairway is from your exact location which helps us automatically adjust your adjusted plays like distance vs the non-adjusted distance.  

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How Does Temperature Affect shot distances on the golf course

How does temperature affect the distance a golf ball will fly?

You’ll also notice temperature is factored in as a plays like condition. Temperature is important in many ways, first off people tend to associate their club distances with how far they hit each club during the main chunk of the golf season, which for most golfers worldwide will be a warmer temperature.  But if you play in the morning or if you play more golf in the spring, fall, or winter most of the time you’ll run into colder temperatures which will make the ball fly shorter. 

Cold air is denser than warm air and creates additional drag on the ball. More lift and drag makes the ball go higher and shorter. Tests have shown a loss of two yards of carry for every ten degrees below 75° and it gets even greater for longer shots.

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How Does Lie Angle Affect shot distances on the golf course

How does lie angle affect the height and distance of a golf shot?

You’ll notice in the Plays Like panel during a round that you have the ability to manually set your lie angle which is the slope of the ground under your feet when you hit a shot. What you’ll notice is when you hit shots off an uphill lie, the ball will fly higher and shorter, and if you hit shots off a downhill lie the ball will often fly lower and slightly further especially with your wedges. You have the ability to indicate the extent of the slope you’re standing on which will do the math to add or take off distance from your shot.  This is a very useful feature if you use it :)

How does rain and fog affect the distance of a golf shot?How Does Rain and Fog

How does rain and fog affect the distance of a golf shot?

Rain and fog are also considered into plays like distance, the reason rain makes your ball fly shorter is due to more molecules getting in the way of your ball which slows it down and reduces distance.  18Birdies will automatically detect if it’s raining in your area and will do the math calculating how much further you should hit each shot.  

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How does altitude affect the distance of a golf shot if I’m in the mountains vs sea level?

How does altitude affect the distance of a golf shot if I’m in the mountains vs sea level?

Altitude works in a unique way in that when you go play at higher altitudes or elevations than where you normally live, the air will be less dense which means there are less molecules getting in the way of your ball to slow it down.  You’ll find at higher altitudes that you ball will fly further and lower than normal, and if you live at higher altitudes and go play closer to sea level the ball will fly shorter because there is more dense air with more molecules to get in the way of your ball.  

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How will this help my game?

18Birdies does the math for you, just like a tour caddy would to help you get distances to every hole on the course based on local course conditions.  This will save you time and you’ll shoot lower scores by picking the right club to hit more greens.  The average player will drop 4+ strokes within their first 3 rounds after trying Plays Like in 18Birdies, so we suggest testing it out for yourself to see how it helps your game. 

Try Plays Like for free for 14 days, cancel anytime risk free!

To get Plays Like, start your free 14 day trial of 18Birdies Premium today. 

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