Most golfers are challenged when having to hit from downhill lies (terrain sloping down in the direction of the target). Very few players practice this shot and lack confidence when the situation occurs during a round. Before we discuss how to play such a shot, let’s make sure we understand the challenges:
When hitting from a downhill lie, the ball will fly lower than normal and, will tend to fade, depending upon how steep the slope.
There may be a problem staying in balance (especially during the downswing).
Being unsure of your technique and tightening up during the swing, there may be a tendency to “scull” the shot or “chunk” it.
To be successful hitting a shot from a downhill lie requires the following
As the ball will tend to fade, align left (right-handers) of the target (depending upon the degree of slope).
Try to stand so your upper body is perpendicular to the slope (this will mean angling your upper body forward down the slope. Take a wider than normal stance to help you maintain your balance.
Play the ball further back in your stance than usual.
Make sure that the pace of your swing is rhythmic, and allow your left wrist to cock early, maintaining a relaxed grip throughout the swing.
Now for the most critical part: allow the club head to “lag” by using your lower body to make the down swing providing a natural “release.” As you practice this shot and learn to execute it properly, it will reinforce correct downswing technique for all your swings.
Our private practice area is perfect for working on these shots.