How to Hit from the Downhill Lie

How to Hit from the Downhill Lie


Chip Dwyer, an Instructor at the Killington Golf Course, is available for clinics and lessons by calling 802-422-6700.

On the first two holes at the Killington Golf Course, it is common to have a downhill lie to hit from and with a few adjustments, this difficult lie can be tamed.

Common faults:

  • Most golfers have trouble creating a normal swing that delivers a descending blow on the ball.
  • It is natural to try to stand with equal weight on both feet.

Other Problems:

  • Harder to balance
  • Easy to hit the ground first
  • Ball flies lower than normal 
  • Ball tends to go right


Take a wider than normal stance and before setting your posture, hold the club up to your shoulders so you can set them parallel to the sloping ground.

If it is a gentle slope, play the ball in the same spot as normal (slightly ahead of center), but if it is more than that, play the ball in the center of stance and expect the ball to go a little right, so aim body line to the left to compensate. It goes to the right from moving your head ahead of the ball at impact so try to have a steady head and don’t fight the weight starting more on your downhill leg going totally to it on the follow through.

It usually helps to take a step forward after the hit because your balance is challenged, and we do not want to hang back on uphill leg.

Lastly adjust club selection for the hill taking loft away from the club so if you would normally hit a 7 iron take an 8 iron instead. Before swinging, think of a steady head and try to watch a point on the ground just in front of your ball as you swing into your finish.

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