How to control the ball when it’s blowing hard — 

Turnberry’s Ailsa Course in Scotland is known for its strong crosswinds. No. 13 is a good example: It’s a medium-length par 4 that usually plays in a heavy right-to-left wind. It played that way in 2009 and also back in 2003, when I won the Senior British Open there. 

To guard against the ball going too far left in a right-to-left wind, my main key is to hold on a little tighter with the last three fingers of my left hand. My dad taught me that years ago. My normal shot is a draw or controlled hook. Adjusting my grip pressure this way slows the rotation of the club through the ball—slows the release that can produce a hook. 

Also, you shouldn’t aim as straight in a crosswind. Most golfers underplay the “break” of the wind like they underplay the break on a putt. The wind makes the ball move, both in the air and when it lands at an angle. You might have to aim the ball off the fairway or off the green to hit your target. I like to imagine goal posts that give me left and right limits for a shot—and not just during football season. 

More Thoughts from Tom 

I rely on hybrid clubs more and more these days. I hit my 18-degree 25 times at the British Open in July 2009: off the tee (including at No. 13), from the fairway and out of semi-heavy rough. I took awhile to convert, but I find hybrids are easier to hit than long irons, especially if you lack superior swing speed. Most of you should substitute a hybrid or two for your longer irons.