Step Back on Steep Slopes

Drop your right foot back at address to level out your knees. This will also improve your balance.
Bob Atkins

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

Dear Jim,

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.

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