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Truth about lies No.4: Downhill shots

Exclusive instruction with Scott Strange

Bob Warters's picture
Tue, 8 Jun 2010

Truth about lies No.4: Downhill shots

Australian Scott Strange won the prestigious Wales Open in 2008 and the Volvo China Open in 2009 on the European Tour. A native of Perth, he is one of FootJoy's ambassadors and we recently caught up with him at Bearwood Lakes for some exclusive instruction.

He says: "The truth is, ball position and body position are so important when facing awkward lies like this. I hope in this short series I've helped you overcome any nerves you might feel when playing them."


THIS IS ONE of the more challenging shots in golf. The ball tends to go a bit further - often tailing off to the right - so it's important to keep your swing under control and not expect too much from it.

Here I'm trying to get the ball up when the lie is trying to keep it down, so my first thought is generally to open up the club (aim the face a little right with a little more loft) and aim my body position a little left of the target.

I also widen my stance a little to give me more stability and point my left foot out a bit.  This allows me to turn more easily through my left side and release the clubhead down the slope.

With the club slightly more open it gives me slightly more loft at impact and helps to straighten out the flight which will generally be left to right, if anything.

Depending on the severity of the slope, select a club that's one or two clubs shorter than the distance dictates from a normal lie as the slope will tend to de-loft the face and the ball will fly with a lower trajectory.

It's hard to gauge how for the ball will go but time and practice will help you learn that. Remember too, to keep your swing compact and balanced and move the ball a little further back in your stance - the steeper the lie, the farther you move it back.

Good luck!