On a Down slope

On a Down slope

You may notice that the changes here are the similar to the ones we make for a ball played from a upslope. It is often helpful to think of these shots as related.

Essentially, the challenge here is to create power and control from a restricted base that has all your weight on the lower foot. This is where you will feel the benefit of hitting lots of shots with our one-foot drill. LINK TO VIDEO.

In addition, we are tasked with aligning the bottom fo our swing with the slope. These means making the set up changes outlined in the video and having a clear intention to swing down following the contour of the slope. If in doubt then adjust your shoulders so they are parallel with the hill and then remember this phrase for both up and down slope shots:

Move the 'weight towards the lower foot and the ball towards the higher foot."

Since our balance is compromised, I would swing the club less far in the back swing and reduce the effort level to a point where I can make a repeatable, balanced movement. The club arc needs to 'chase' the ball down the hill so the follow through is often truncated too.

Maximum Club Choice

Since this slope decreases loft to the club we are significantly restricted as to how much club we can take and still flight ball. It obviously comes dow to the severity of the hill and what's in front of you but if you are playing from a steep slope like the back of a bunker, then I wouldn't suggest more than an 8 iron. Also, mindful of the low trajectory and the extended run out of the ball.

 


Movement Psychology

We know that the ball will come out low and powerfully from this slope. Any attempt to add loft by scooping the wrists or leaning back and shallowing the arc will likely lead to topped shots. Keep clear intentions in your mind to hit it low and you will deliver the required shaft lean and downward angle of approach.

As with all the sloping lies, I aim to stay very centred and make the swing predominantly with my hands and arms. Try and remember that you are essentially, standing on one foot.


 

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