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The Golf Club | October 22, 2016

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Development Diary: Adam Viljakainen – Physics and Camera Software Engineer

In our insatiable desire to achieve the most realistic and enjoyable golfing experience possible in a virtual world, we have overhauled the wind system and as always we will be anxiously awaiting the community’s feedback.  This means that you are going to have to relearn everything you have learned about the wind in The Golf Club.

7  mph is no longer the monster it once was and as a result we now allow for much higher wind speeds. As in real life, adjusting for the wind is not as simple as clubbing up or down, aiming left or right, and swinging away.  Too much back spin into a head wind can cause disastrous ballooning.  A tail wind means you can expect the ball to hit the ground at a shallower angle and it will likely release more upon landing.  Do not expect to get the same low scores in high wind conditions just by crunching a few numbers and taking a different club.  Expect to hang on for your life and take pride in the fact that you didn’t let a windy day completely destroy you.  It’s a lot of fun.

If you like that sort of thing.  Here is a repost of a great sports science video talking about the effects of wind on a golf ball – Sport Science: British Open Wind.  An interesting point in the video is that a tailwind can actually reduce the effects of the lift created by the Magnus effect which will in turn DECREASE the ball’s hang time.

There are plenty of written papers and opinions on the internet about the wind’s effects and what to do when confronted by it out on the golf course.  For those that do not feel like getting lost in the sea of information out there, here is a short article – 5 Keys to Playing in the Wind – that should help you combat the wind in real life and in The Golf Club.

For reference, here are the average monthly wind speeds for U.S. cities.

Now, one of the major concerns of the community was the inconsistent wind conditions when playing on the same course at the same time as someone else.  This has been resolved in the latest build.  If you are playing live with a friend you will experience the EXACT same wind conditions on the course that they are experiencing.  There will be windy days, there will be calmer days, and there will be all over the place days. All themes use the same algorithm for determining the wind.

The Links theme however has a higher average wind than the other themes.  This does not mean that you won’t get a calm day on a Links course, or a windy day on the other themes, it just means that on average you are going to experience a higher wind on the Links courses.  Below is an example graph of the wind that player’s will experience on a Links course over a 24 hr period.  The next 24 hrs could be completely different.  It’s all up to mother nature.  A mother nature that somewhat listens to what I tell her to do.

The Golf Club Global Wind Post - Image

Links course wind speed per second over a 24 hour period.