Hi Golfers my name is Craig Lockwood I am Head Professional at Forrester Park Golf and Country Club in Maldon, last week I discussed the UPHILL lie. I hope you all read the changes we make in our set up from last week. Knowing how to play these awkward shots is a priceless weapon to your artillery. We must learn and understand the changes we make in our set up and swing to allow us to play all these tough shots. The shot I will discuss this week is a DOWNHILL lie.


The key to playing all awkward lies is to never try to hit the golf ball too far, swing well within your limits at a ¾ length and ¾ pace of swing. This will allow you to keep your balance better on uneven lies and thus improving your chances of striking the ball better.


Downhill lie ball flight


This shot will have a tendency to curve left to right for a right hander and right to left for a left hander. This is because the body is restricted in the backswing and cannot turn so freely, causing the arms to work a little more up and down during the swing. This up and down motion creates a movement with the club that cuts across the ball creating more sidespin on the ball making the ball curve.


Also the flight of the ball will be considerably lower due to the launch angle of the downhill slope. The shorter irons will fly further because you are affectively turning your 8 iron into a 6iron. The longer irons and woods will not fly as far as from a flat lie but will roll considerably more.






Right Hander- Aim further left of the target.


Left Hander- Aim further right of the target.

Set up


To be able to play solid shots from awkward lies we must adapt our body to match the slope we are playing from. We must create the same posture as we would create with our body from a level lie.


Good Posture


To allow us to play these shots as a rule of the thumb we try to match the angle of our shoulders with the angle of the slope. To enable us to do this we will need to place more weight onto our foot closest to the target. Placing more weight onto our front foot also offers us more balance. With a slope that is serve we will also need to have a wider stance again giving us far greater balance on uneven ground.


Poor Posture


In picture 2, I am demonstrating a common mistake with amateur golfers, my shoulders do not match the slope and I am not creating the same posture as I would from a level lie. This could cause me to hit the ground well before the ball, is this a common mistake for you??


Solid set up


Weaker Lofted club, 8 instead of a 6.


I am aiming left of my target. (Remember I am right handed)


I have a wider base- Perfect balance at the start of my swing sets up for perfect balance through the swing.


My shoulders matching the angle of the slope.


More weight on my front foot.


My ball position slightly towards my back foot.


Next week I will talk you through the processes of playing side hill lies. Don’t miss it.


Happy Golfing