Here in the lowcountry, hills are hard to come by unless…. you are at the Ocean Course and missed the fairway! I was talking with a student about the concept of a Trouble Shot and realized ya’ll are trying to memorize what to do in this situation instead of thinking what I should change in my swing to get me out of this trouble. Therefore this article was born!
A trouble shot is a shot that affects you from taking a normal golf swing. The four major trouble shots are categorized as Up Hill, Down Hill, Ball Above Feet and Ball Below Feet. I went ahead and made a chart explaining what you need to do and WHY! I want these trouble shots to make sense why you change your swing. If it makes sense hopefully you don’t have to memorize it, you will instead just do it!
Remember, a trouble shot means you are in a bit of trouble. Don’t try to be a hero and go for it. This usually puts you back in trouble. Instead, check your situation out and think what is the best thing to do so you can get out trouble. Sometimes taking a small swing to get you back in the fairway can save you and put you at an advantage in your next shot to finish the hole strong.
Here is the Chart to download to have, print, and study! If you are having trouble downloading please email me and I can send you a copy through email too!
This blog we are going to concentrate on: Down Hill Lies. This means that the hill you are standing on your back foot is higher than your front foot. Therefore the ball will be traveling down the hill. These are things I look at:
Ball Flight: The ball will go lower because you are swinging down the hill therefore the actual loft of the club may decrease.
Club Selection: Possibly a more lofted club. When you are swinging down hill the tendency might be to not stay down long enough so you will hit the leading edge of the club instead of the face. Adding a lofted club would help us get more loft. When we take a more lofted club we might lose distances. It is better to increase your loft so the ball will have a chance to get height to fly farther than in most cases just dribbling the ball down the hill.
Swing Decisions: How big is the hill and how is it going to effect my swing. The bigger the hill the harder it will be to stay down the hill long enough without losing our balance. But the good thing is the hill will help transfer my weight towards the target because the hill is helping us move forward. The smaller the hill the less my swing will be effected therefore the ball flight will not be effected as much. As the hill increases I will need to take a smaller swing and trying to position myself to execute my next shot might be the best solution.
In Swing Thoughts: Remember to always swing with the hill. How you do this is when you set up to your hill your shoulders will match the hill (front shoulder is lower than back shoulder) and it will feel like you are following through down the hill. My last thought before I swing is transfer my weight as much as possible and stay “down the hill” so my shot will be the best it can be!