How to Play Downhill Pitch Shots


The key to playing a downhill pitch shot successfully is to ensure that you are setting up to the shot correctly.

Downhill Pitch 1Downhill Pitch 2

The most important element in the set up is to keep your weight forward in the stance, the slope that I am on is quite severe so most of my weight is on the left side by about 80%. Keep the ball in the center of your stance as this is where the low point of the swing is going to be.

The slope is also going to deloft the wedge a little so we need to take this into account. Your choices are to either take a more lofted wedge or just simply open the clubface to add loft to the wedge. It really does depend on what shot you are trying to play, a high soft pitch or one that runs out on landing.

The other important set up key is to move your right foot back to bring your thighs in line and square to the target line. It will also equal out your knee flex as when you stand with one foot higher than the other, one knee is naturally going to be flexed more. This will make your stance feel a lot more comfortable and natural, you will be setting up in harmony with the slope.

Keep your shoulders square to the target line. Your shoulders will feel aligned with the slope, not tilted back away from the slope. If you were tilted in the opposite direction to the slope you will more than likely hit the ground before the ball.

Downhill 3As you make your swing it is important to keep your arms fully extended so that the clubhead can swing down the slope. Many amateurs try to lift the ball into the air, this generally results in either a heavy shot or a thinned shot. When you try to scope the ball into the air you generally lift the clubhead up away from the ground too sharply, leading the arms to bend and breakdown.

Ensure that you keep the club smoothly accelerating through the shot by rotating your chest all the way to a controlled and balanced finish.

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