After retracting the awning on various occasions when the wind seemed to whip up, I decided to leave it extended once and carefully observe the forces at hand. By doing so, I felt that the most potential for excessive force was actually when the wind got under the fabric and exerted considerable "lift".
The way the structural portion of the mechanism is designed, there is far more leverage against the attachment points when pushing up, rather than down.
So I came up with a simple Home Depot remedy.
It's made up of 4 items.
1. An adjustable length aluminum rod for ridding the up-&-down slop.
2. Heavy duty velcro strap with ring. (For attaching the aluminum "strut"
3. Heavy duty bungee chords.
4. 24" in-ground screw anchors
It'll all make more sense from a glance at the pics below.
And the results are better than expected. I can simulate extreme pressure up or down on the awning tube and it barely will give at all. And it has a nice "damped" feel to it.
Hope it proves to work as well as it seems it should.