downhill Lie – What the Swing Does 1

Downhill slopes tend to give amateur golfers major fits, usually causing thin shots and flares out to the right (for a right-hander). Even well-struck shots from this awkward position often fly very low and roll forever after landing.

Here’s why. When playing downhill – that is, the slope falls directly toward the target – the golfer’s weight is pulled onto his left (lead) side, making it difficult to turn sufficiently on the backswing. When this happens, many golfers adjust by shifting their weight right too late in the swing, causing a “reverse pivot” that only makes things worse.

If your weight stays left throughout, the hands will lag the lower body on the downswing, leaving the clubface open at impact. Often, this failure to release the club (roll the right hand over the left) causes a thin shot as the club doesn’t bottom out until it’s well past the ball.

Occasionally, the player will hit behind the ball in an attempt to scoop or flick it into the air.

Our next tip will analyze the effect of a downhill stance on the ball’s flight – or lack thereof.