AUSTIN (KXAN) — The final WGC-Dell Technologies Match play tournament is in full swing over at Austin Country Club. The forecast looks to be a warm one with temperatures into the 80s for the remainder of the tournament.
The First Warning Weather team looked at how varying types of weather can impact a golf ball’s distance.
A golf ball hit in warm air will travel further than cold air. Here’s why:
Cold air is more dense than warm air and will cause a moving ball to encounter more friction and drag when traveling. This in return will slow the ball down. Also, energy that is transferred during the golfer’s swing (from the club to golf ball) is not as efficient in colder air.
Luckily, Dell Match Play golfers will be dealing with optimally warm temperatures and will not have to deal with cold air impacting their driving distance.
Higher humidity means more distance for a traveling golf ball. Here’s why:
The atmosphere is mostly made up of nitrogen (78%) and oxygen (21%). With low humidity (dry air), nitrogen and oxygen is essentially the only gasses a golf ball travels through. A more humid airmass however, contains more water vapor. Water vapor is made up of oxygen and hydrogen. Because hydrogen is the lightest gas of them all, this will allow a golf ball to travel further.
Humidity will be highest during Dell Match Play on Thursday, ahead of a cold front Friday morning that will bring in very dry air through the remainder of the tournament.
The impact of wind, of course, is a bit more obvious. Swinging the ball in the same direction (the wind on your back) leads to greater distance on the shot. Swinging the ball against the wind tends to lead to straighter, often more accurate shots, but a loss in overall distance. Each hole, depending on the directional orientation and topography will have varying wind impacts.
Golfers adjust for this with switching (up or down) between clubs or adjusting their stance from what they would normally use/do on a windless day.
Winds during Dell Match Play:
Thursday – Southerly winds gusting up to 35 mph
Friday – West winds gusting up to 25 mph
Saturday – Light NW winds with gusts up to 15 mph
Sunday – Variable light winds