This is one of the toughest shots in golf. The ball lands on a downhill slope and you need to somehow hit it up in the air and towards the hole. That’s against the laws of physics, right? It seems that way in the moment, but there is a technique for doing it correctly.
Step #1: Set Your Shoulders Parallel
This is going to feel really unnatural. We spend most of our time keeping our shoulders level when we’re learning the game. Now you need to essentially “tilt” towards the hole. Set both feet and hold the club across your shoulders. Tilt your spine towards the target until the shaft is parallel to the slope of the hill.
Step #2: Shift Weight to Your Front Foot
I have a buddy who claims he does the opposite, but all the material I found on this recommends shifting 75% of your weight to your front foot, not your back. You’ll want to have the ball positioned either dead center or slightly behind that, closer to your back foot.
Step #3: Swing to Match the Slope
Keep your eye on the ball and swing as if you’re on flat ground, but trace the slope instead. You’ll want to extend your arms through the impact and make sure that the club strikes the ball first, not the ground. It should be almost a chopping motion to ensure your ball gets up in the air upon impact.
That’s it. Give it a try and comment back to us on whether it works for you or not. I’m playing this afternoon and intend to put myself on a downhill lie at least once to experiment with this.
How to Putt Downhill
I’ve included a video on this below. For a downhill putt, the important elements to consider are speed and break. You’ll want the ball to roll slower so you don’t miss the hole, but that slow roll also means that your ball will break more. On an uphill putt, where you’re being more aggressive, that doesn’t happen. Watch the following: