Dear Top 100 Teachers,
My home course is very hilly, which is unfortunate because I'm horrible from uneven lies, especially downhill slopes. Any tips?Jim G., via e-mail
Downhill lies are tough, no question. Your stance is awkward and if you don't keep your balance there's a good chance you'll catch the ball thin or not at all. The difficulty stems from the fact that when you address your ball on a downhill lie, your left knee sits below your right. And due to the pull of gravity, your weight will favor your downhill leg during every part of your swing. That's an invitation for a reverse pivot. Plus, in order to make decent contact, you must keep your knees flexed throughout, which places your right knee smack in the way of your hands.
A single change to your setup will solve all of these problems. Settle into your address position, then drop your right foot back. This simple move levels out your knees (allowing you to make a better weight shift) and, more importantly, gets your right knee out of the way. Now you have plenty of room to swing your hands and club into the ball and send it straight toward the green.