It's one of the most common mistakes on downhill lies—here's how to avoid it

November 16, 2023

Dylan Buell

Downhill lies are tricky. If you’re a golfer who struggles to get solid contact off of these lies, you’re not alone. Cathy Kim, a Golf Digest Best Young Teacher, says that a common mistake can be blamed for bad shots off of downhill lies: She sees a lot of players fighting the lie.

This means that instead of angling your body with the direction of the slope, you’re tilting your shoulders and weight against it. So, if you’re a righty, this would mean your left shoulder is either level with your right, or above it. Kim says that results in hitting the top of the ball.

Instead, setup so that the angle of your shoulders matches the angle of the slope. You’ll notice your left shoulder is lower than your right.

“We’re going to work with the lie and try to get our shoulder somewhat in line with slope,” Kim says. “From here, let the weight in your feet shift over to the left side. Everything is working with the lie.”

Kim says to take a few practice swings, and throughout those swings, maintain that shoulder angle that you created at address: Throughout the swing, you want your shoulders to continue to work with the slope. “Keeping the weight on the left side will certainly help with that,” Kim says.

By learning how to use your body with the slope, you'll get more solid contact off of downhill lies.