Playing From Downhill Lies

During this lesson we will be discussing the biomechanical changes that you need to make when Playing from Downhill Lies.  So, that by the end of the lesson you will understand the technical requirements of playing the ball when it’s on a downhill lie.

What You Will Learn

  • How to change your set up to hit a shot from a downhill lie
  • Stance adjustment
  • Weight distribution
  • Club adjustment
  • Grip adjustment
  • Shoulder line adjustment

What You Need

  • A media device mobile, tablet, laptop or computer
  • Internet connection
  • Practice area or driving range
  • Golf balls
  • Golf club Sand Wedge – 8 iron

Playing from Downhill Lies


The aim of the shot is to progress the ball to the target.  To do that you need to take into consideration the ball flight that is a natural result with this type of shot.


Your ball will be on a downhill slope and if you took your normal stance without making any adjustments, you would hit the ball above the equator.  This will probably result in a thinned shot, with very low-ball flight and uncontrollable distance.  This would bring the course hazards into play.


Set up Adjustments When Playing from Downhill Lies


So, to get the best results from a downhill lie you need to make some adjustments to your set up.  I would recommend that you make the fewest changes to your normal swing as possible required to make this shot.


The set-up changes required to a shot from a downhill lie are:


  • Your ball to target line is that which goes through the ball and on towards the target
  • The foot, target line should be parallel left to ball to target line
  • Your knees, hips and shoulders should be parallel to the foot line
  • You need to flex your knees a little more than normal to help with balancing on the downhill slope
  • Your shoulder line needs to be tilted in relation to the severity of slope
  • Your grip should be normal
  • Your backswing should be a normal length
  • Abbreviate your follow through slightly as this will aid balance at the end of the shot
  • You will find it difficult to control the movement of your COG, over to the target side leg, due to the downhill slope
  • Keep your lower body as stable as possible throughout the swing
  • Your swing tempo should be the same as normal


Club Selection When Playing from Uphill Lies


With good contact the topography of the slope will have an effect on your ball flight.  The club will need to follow the angle of the slope and therefore will have a decreased loft.  So, the ball will fly lower than it normally would with any given club.  You will need to go down one club to help you make the required distance.


What’s Next


The next lesson in the Advanced Shot Coaching Plan is Playing the Ball From Above Your Feet.

Next Lesson – Playing The Ball From Above Your Feet

During this lesson we will be discussing the mechanics of the shot where the ball is above your feet.

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