Video Series

Video Transcript

What’s the best technique to use on downhill lies on the golf course? Well, when you hit a normal golf shot from your average position, the ground and surface conditions are very flat and so the position you get into is, if we have the yellow pole representing the ground, you stand so that your spine is perpendicular to that position. And that’s really important because when we go on to a slope, we need to recreate that perpendicular position with your spine to the ground. So from this position we’re now playing a downhill lie. The ground is now sloping away to the left if you’re a right handed golfer. So, we need to adjust your set up so that you're still set with your spine perpendicular to that slope, and that’s going to ensure that your shoulders also become perpendicular, sorry become horizontal to that slope.

So, what we want to ensure is when you set up and you’re on the slope, your spine is perpendicular and that your shoulders reflect the angle of the slope you’re on. If you’re hitting off a flat lie, your shoulders would normally be horizontal and parallel to the ground, if you’re now on a downhill lie where the surface is more like this, you’ve got to tilt your spine this way to become a right angle to the slope and so that your shoulders are now parallel to that slope. What you’ll find happening is that all your weight now goes on to your low foot which is correct and you want to play the ball just slightly further towards your higher foot than usual, and that’ll encourage you to get a clean and crisp contact.

The main thing to remember now is, when you swing from this position with your shoulders horizontal, sorry parallel to the floor is to swing with the slope. So, the slope is at this angle, as you swing back you want the club head going up the slope and then as you swing back down make the club head come back down the slope. You’ll tend to hit the shot and then take a step forward down the slope, because gravity is wanting to pull you that way.

So to play off a downhill lie remember, alter your spine position so it becomes perpendicular to the floor, check that your shoulders are horizontal to the angle of the slope, and then the weight will go on to the low foot, the ball will be positioned towards the high foot. Just two more things, because of the slope and the angle and the effect it has on your swing, you’ll tend to hit the ball left to right off that slope. So, just allow for that, and just aim slightly more to the left to allow for the curve of the left to right shape of the ball flight. There’s nothing you can really do about that, it’s the effects that the slope’s having on your swing. And secondly, as you swing through you’re going to hit a much lower shot than usual, so the ball will have a lower trajectory and will tend to run on a lot more when it lands. So again, just remember that when you’re picking the club to play the shot. And that’s how to play off downhill lies.