Chipping with a Downhill Lie: Video Tip from Todd Kolb

By David Anicetti
May 8, 2015

putting series


Not all of the chips that golfers are faced with will be on a level surface. At times golfers are faced with hitting a chip shot that is on a downhill lie. If your fundamentals are already down and ingrained for a regular chip shot, then shots from a downhill lie should not be a challenge.

Using a set of tips that make a few small adjustments, golfers will be putting the ball close to the pin to make the putt in no time.

Let’s take a look:

Two things take place when the golf ball ends up on a downhill slope. One of those things is that the golfer’s balance will be slightly off. With this change in balance, a compensation or adjustment must be made to help counterbalance this.

The other thing that takes place is the ball will not follow a same flight path and angle and once it reaches the green. Because of this, it will roll out.

With the setup to the ball, a few minor changes must be made from a regular chip shot. The first change it to widen the stance to help improve stability. The next is leaning forward so the hips and the shoulders are parallel to the ground, while putting more weight on the front foot.

This ensures that the swing path is even with the ground and solid contact can be made with the golf ball. Playing the ball back in the stance is key as well.

With the golfer’s weight forward, the club will be de-lofted. This will make the ball come out both hot (with speed) and low. Due to that, there will be extra roll. The shot does not have to be hit as hard as it normally would be if it were on an even lie, because the roll out will compensate for distance. The technique is correct if both the hands and clubhead are at the height of the hip in the follow through.

There also could be an adjustment made on the club that is used to chip with. If a 7-iron were the iron usually used then an 8-iron, 9-iron or even a wedge could be substituted to take into account the adjustment in launch angle.

With practicing just a few times from a downhill lie, golfers should have the feel necessary to execute the shot with ease, hopefully to the same success of those chip shot from a flat lie.

One can hope….

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