This common mistake on a downhill lie is costing you strokes. Here’s how to fix it
Instagram / @CathyKimGolf
A downhill lie in golf can present lots of challenges for players; especially for amateurs, who often feel funky with their feet being above the ball, making them a bit unbalanced as they set up their shot.
So understanding how to hit a downhill lie is critical in making stronger contact, leading to better results and lower scores.
Since a downhill lie is tricky, Cathy Kim says it’s understandable that certain tendencies show up for lots of her students, with the golf teacher highlighting a common mistake she sees in players forced to hit from a downhill lie.
“One of the big mistakes that I typically see with golfers when they are standing on a downhill kind of side slope is that they end up trying to fight the lie by shifting their shoulders this way [pulls shoulders back].”
To help correct the issue Kim mentions above, check out the video below, which offers some tips to fix the problem.
How to hit downhill lie: A step-by-step process
For those looking for a step-by-step fix, here are some images to correspond with Kim’s recommendations.
Since Kim says the most common issue she sees is players leaning back and almost fighting gravity, she suggests repositioning the shoulders, making them fall in line with the slope.
“So what we’re going to do is we’re going to work with the lie. We’re going to make sure that the shoulders are in line, or somewhere in line, with the slope. From here, let the weight in your feet. Don’t fight the slope — we’re going to work on shifting it over to the left side. So you can see that everything is kind of working with the slope here.”
Next, Kim says that the swing from a downhill lie should always fall “in line with the slope.” This helps make a little bit more contact with the ball.
“I’m not looking for the shoulder line to reverse and back up. When you do that, you’re going to end up hitting the top of the ball. We end up kind of hitting it thin — which we don’t want. When we take a couple of these swings, the idea is to make sure that we are keeping the shoulder line in line with the slope.”
Lastly, Kim reminds players to keep the weight on the front leg (the left for right-handed players, and the right for left-handed players). Position the ball towards the middle to middle-back, and swing through as you hit the shot.
“Keeping the weight on the left side will certainly help us with that. So when you set up to it, the ball positioning is more in the middle or even middle-back. I don’t like to put it in the front. From here, I’m going to make sure that I swing down through it, and I’m not backing up off of it.”