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Matt Schoolfield

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Re: Designing with prevailing wind in mind.
« Reply #25 on: August 03, 2023, 06:03:22 AM »
perhaps there are places on earth where the wind blows constantly the one way, and at a consistent strength.

Edit: I was obviously misinterpreting what was meant by this. I'll leave my comment, but I didn't mean to offend

Forgive me if Iím missing a metaphor here, but Khan academy has a nice short video on it:

I grew up in the doldrums of central Texas with no prevailing winds. Scotland also lies just near a cell divide, leaving no strong prevailing wind.

Local conditions do vary, but most areas have prevailing winds.
« Last Edit: August 03, 2023, 05:28:03 PM by Matt Schoolfield »

Niall C

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Re: Designing with prevailing wind in mind.
« Reply #26 on: August 03, 2023, 07:58:35 AM »

Thank you, but I already generally knew how weather worked. From Wikipedia; "In meteorology, prevailing wind in a region of the Earth's surface is a surface wind that blows predominantly from a particular direction." It doesn't say only from a particular direction, or at a constant strength. In other words it varies even where there is a "prevailing wind".



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Re: Designing with prevailing wind in mind.
« Reply #27 on: August 03, 2023, 11:35:20 AM »
The variations in certain regions do affect things.  As Matt S mentions, in TX, it is from the south in summer, and most often, from then north in Winter.  There is a course here in DFW featuring a shallow green fronted by a pond.  In summer, no problem to hit and hold the green, but in the winter, with the opposite wind and harder green surface not many shots can even hold the green.  In these cases, I always provided a "defensive" design, i.e., a deeper green, even though a tough pin would only be near the pond edge, similar to what I described earlier, i.e., larger, wider, and rounder greens in opposing crosswinds.

In the Midwest, it was always a bit easier, since it was SW in summer, and NW in fall, with a NE wind off Lake Michigan in Chicago only a 15% probability, but you could align the targets with the wind more reliably.  Another rule of thumb on that was that the "Sunday Pin" should most often be located at the furthest point on the green in the wind direction, i.e., if it was from the left and behind, the SP would (as often as possible) be on the back right of the green and the aggressive player can use that wind to get close (i.e., add a club) or play a safer shot to the green middle.  If the tough pin was on the front left, the wind would most likely carry them past the pin and they usually like at least a chance to get close to the Sunday Pin with some kind of shot, as they won't under club to get close and risk being in the bunker, which is tricky and okay, too, but not as architecturally tempting of a more aggressive shot.

Lastly, again in response to Charlie, many people have the thought that top golfers prefer all the signals to align to avoid confusion and instill confidence (i.e., the shot "fits the eye".)  However,  most people revere a course that calls for you to "hit all the shots" and the way to design that is in fact to use features to strongly favor one shot type over another, which is usually done by aligning all features as described.
Jeff Brauer, ASGCA Director of Outreach


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Re: Designing with prevailing wind in mind.
« Reply #28 on: September 06, 2023, 05:55:02 AM »
Recently I heard an interesting comment from a well known architect that works on links courses a lot. He determines bunker placement based on downwind conditions; making sure the professional does not easily hit it over a bunker from the tips and a club golfer would have a hard time doing so from the medal Tee. I had never heard that before.

 If there is no wind balls may not fly into bunkers but still roll into them is the reasoning. And if the hole plays upwind the fact that the hole plays longer will compensate for bunkers not being in play as much. At first this seemed simplistic to me but the more you think about it the more sense it makes, especially if the surfaces are firm. It certainly limits the amount of bunkers to be built and maintained if one would desire to ensure similar strategic values in all wind conditions.

Just wonder how this would work out on sites with extreme prevailing wind conditions.


Jason Topp

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Re: Designing with prevailing wind in mind.
« Reply #29 on: September 06, 2023, 09:56:36 AM »
A basic tip for the group - when scouting out a course, find the nearest airport and see the direction the runway is pointed.  Planes take off into the wind.  The strip usually reflects the primary and secondary prevailing winds. 

If you want to geek out further, use this site:


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