Hit out of an awkward greenside downslope

Escape shot: Hot to hit a shot when you’re on a greenside downslope

It’s very easy for an of ine approach to get caught up on a grassy bank, leaving an awkward downhill lie for your recovery. In this situation, your lead foot much lower than your trail, you become hyper-aware the ball will shoot out forwards instead of up and your instinct tells you to create more loft.

You have to fight that thought, because it leads to a back-footed scooping action that can’t work on a downslope. Instead accept the ball will come out lower and take steps to control the flight. Follow this process.

Four keys to getting out of an awkward greenside downslope

Club selector

The downslope will deloft the club, so take more loft than normal. You can open the face to add loft, but as with the greenside chip, beware as the club can slide right under the ball.

Set-up: Go with the slope

Use your set-up to create an action that works with the slope. Set your spine at right angles to the gradient to permit the same attack angle you’d have if you were upright on a level lie. Widen your stance to aid balance.

Backswing: More rounded

On this shot we need the clubhead to work down the slope. That’s best achieved from an action that moves the club around your body, creating a shallower arc. So let upper body rotation dominate your action, its bigger contribution calming wrist hinge and creating a more rotary feel to your movement.

Throughswing: Hit down the slope

Avoid any temptation to help the ball up. Instead, maintain that feeling of your core rotation dominating your motion and turning throughout the shot. At the nish your chest should face both the clubhead and your target. This shallow pass at the ball sees you come in shallower and work the club down the slope, key to an effective strike from this lie.


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