If you are a golfer, you may wonder how important it is to estimate the distance from the ball to the flag. Since it is the first step to hitting a perfect shot, it is something that you need to learn. The sooner you can learn the process, the better you can hit. Regardless of what clubs you are using, the better you can hit, the better you can play!
So how can you measure the distance? Well, I know you can do that easily by using a good rangefinder; however, in many tournaments, like ones hosted by the PGA, you cannot use these advanced tools.
So there is only one way you can go. You need to know how to calculate distance in the wind.
First, understand the wind. You need to understand the movement of the wind in the course because the wind plays a significant role in how to plan your shot to the hole.
You need to find out the direction of the wind. If you are playing into a headwind and you see a crosswind around the courses, that should not affect the distance. So, you do not need to worry about the crosswind. Tailwind can have some (sometimes huge) impact on the distance.
So how can you understand the blowing direction? It is very easy to guess if there is a strong wind blowing in the course. However, you may have trouble guessing the direction when no strong wind can be felt. To know the direction, take some grass and throw, then observe the direction when the blades are falling. Or, look at the sky. If there is a cloud, look at their direction of movement.
Here is a simple formula you can follow.
When calculating distance in headwind: It is better to add 1% for every 1 mph. So, if it is a 100 yard shot, with a wind speed of 5 mph, you should consider it a 105-yard shot.
When calculating distance in Downwind: You should add 0.5% instead of 1%. So, if it is a 100 yard shot, with a wind speed of 5 mph, you should consider it to be a 98-yard shot.