- First of all, use a more lofted club than the distance calls for. If you’ve got a 150-yard shot and would normally hit a 7-iron, choose an 8- or 9-iron instead. The greater the slope, the less club you should take. And if the green lies well below the spot you’re playing from, subtract that yardage from the total. For example, a 10-yard drop will turn 150 yards into 140.
- When setting up to the ball, place your shoulders, hips and knees parallel to the ground, with your spine perpendicular to the slope. Fight the urge to lean back into the hill. You’ll feel more weight on your left (lead side) when properly set up, but that’s OK in this case.
- Play the ball slightly farther back in your stance than usual. This will help keep the ball down and improve your chances of making good contact.
- The ball will often fly right of where you’ve lined up, so aim slightly left of target.
- Swing with a smooth tempo – overswinging will throw off your balance.
- Don’t try to scoop or lift the ball airborne with your hands. Let the club’s loft do the work instead.
- Focus on staying down through the shot. Pick a spot on the back of the ball, laser in on it, and keep your eyes there until the ball is gone.
Downhill lies are one of golf’s biggest challenges, no doubt. Nail the fundamentals and they’ll cause you a lot less misery.