Dealing with mud balls
The biggest problem with a mud ball is that nobody really knows where it’s going to end up. It all depends on how much mud there is, where it is on the ball and how you hit it. You can’t be expected to figure all that out from the fairway, right?
Situations like this are what rules are made for! That’s why you’re allowed to mark your ball, pick it up and clean it, then replace it before sending your next shot to the heart of the green (when local rules apply). Well, the last part is up to you, but it will be easier with your freshly-cleaned ball.
But there’s always a catch, of course. The catch here is that you better have hit your first shot well because you can only do this normally when on the fairway. If you’ve found the rough then unfortunately you’ve simply had a bad break. Sorry!
How will your ball react?
With that said, having a rough idea of what might happen will help. If there’s mud on the left of the ball then it’s likely to cause the ball to move right in the air, while mud on the right will take your ball left. However, mud on the top, front or back of the ball will reduce distance without much directional change, so it wouldn’t hurt to club-up if this is the case.
So, next time you’re playing in unkind weather, don’t be shy to give yourself the best chance hitting the shot you want.