Chipping Techniques from a Downhill Lie

Chipping Techniques from a Downhill Lie

Let's talk about the short game chipping from a downhill lie. As you already know, it is possible to draw a downhill lie around the green. In fact, this is a common situation – you may face this kind of shot as often as once or twice per round. Chipping from a downhill lie may not be quite as tricky as hitting a full shot from the same position, but it still isn’t easy.

The first thing to think about when chipping from this kind of spot is the same thing you need to consider when hitting a full shot – the ball is going to come out lower. For your chip shots, that means you’ll have a harder time carrying obstacles in front you, and it is going to take longer for the ball to stop. When planning this kind of chip, be sure to consider the fact that you’ll need more room to bring the ball to rest.

It is particularly important that you do a good job of setting your shoulders with the slope of the ground when playing this kind of chip shot. It is easy to make poor contact on this shot, and failing to catch the ball cleanly will often mean that you don’t even hit the putting surface. Solid contact should be your number one objective here, and that is going to get much easier if you set your left shoulder lower than your right at address. Once you start the swing, do a great job of keeping your head down and your eyes on the ball. Those are tips you’ve heard a million times before, but they need to be repeated simply because they are so important.

If the chip shot you are facing not only includes a downhill lie but also deep rough, you really have your hands full. It can be hard to get the ball up in the air out of the deep rough anyway, and that challenge is only furthered when the lie is sloped down toward the target. To play this shot as successfully as you can, use a high-lofted wedge and open the face at address. Basically, you are going to pretend like you are hitting a bunker shot, swinging down along the slope while trying to slide the club head under the ball. This shot is far from easy, but it is just about your only option in this difficult spot.

Golf would be easier if it were played on flat ground, of course, but it would be pretty boring as well. By playing the game on uneven surfaces, you will encounter interesting challenges you simply would not find otherwise. We hope this discussion has helped you to understand exactly what kinds of changes you need to make in order to play quality shots when you are faced with a downhill lie. Good luck!