HENRIETTA, N.Y. (WROC) — Temperature, dewpoint, and air pressure are all things you might not consider when setting up at the tee. But they can significantly impact your shot down the fairway, and in some cases can be the difference between making it to the green or not.
We’ll start with air pressure, or simply the density of the air, the less dense the air the less friction your ball will face.
A classic example of this is found in baseball. Denver sits over 5,000 ft above sea level and as a result, has a much lower air pressure than other cities that MLB teams play in. Like Miami which is right at sea level. As a result, Coors Field has the largest outfield of any MLB stadium in an effort to reduce the number of home runs.
Baseballs, and in the same vein golf balls, are able to fly through the less dense air in Denver with much less resistance allowing them to travel that much further.
The other two, temperature and dewpoint, also work along those same concepts as they can both affect drag on the ball much like air pressure.
For air temperature, it’s a simple relationship. Warm air is less dense, and cold air is more dense. Simple enough, on a warm or hot day your ball will travel further than on a cold day. Other things to consider are also how you might dress each day. Cooler weather might cause you to wear extra layers which could impact your shot, while warmer weather should allow less restriction on your movement with your outfit choice.
The dewpoint, or a measure of how much moisture is in the air, can affect both the way your ball travels in the air and on the ground. On a day with high dewpoints, the air can feel ‘soupy’ or thick with moisture, this high moisture content can increase the drag on the ball as small amounts of moisture accumulate on the ball as it flies through the air. Dewpoints that are close to the actual air temperature can also lead to dewy grass, especially in the morning hours which can slow the roll of the ball when it drops.
One final impact for air temperature and dew point isn’t just the impact on the ball, but on you as the player. Higher temperatures and higher dewpoints will put more strain on the body which can also impact the strength and accuracy of your swing off the tee.
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