How to Make a Pitch Shot from a Downslope

Hitting a good pitch shot is a skill that many golfers struggle with – from flat ground. When you add in a downslope to the mix, the task can get downright impossible. It is important to be able to pitch the ball well from a variety of lies because the area around the green on most golf courses is sloped at least moderately. The better you are able to adapt your pitch game to the slopes of the course, the more successful you will be in getting up and down.

When you do encounter a pitch shot from a downslope, try using the following tips to improve your performance –

  • Move the ball back in your stance. If you use the same ball position for this shot that you would use when the ball is on flat ground, you are likely to hit it thin, or even top the shot. To counter act the slope, move the ball back in your stance a couple inches to make it easier to reach. Then, play the shot as you would normally and you should be able to make solid contact as long as you keep your eyes down on the ball all the way through contact.
  • Play for more run. When you are picking your landing spot for this shot, make sure you adjust for the fact that the ball will be coming in lower and should have more run after it lands. Figure out where you would normally land the ball for this kind of shot, and then move that spot back at least a couple feet closer to you. Even if you are planning to stop the ball with spin once it is on the green, the first bounce should be lower and harder when you play in from a downslope.
  • Consider changing clubs. For a shot from a particularly steep downslope, you might need to change clubs and use one with more loft. For example, if you normally hit your pitch shots with a 52* wedge, consider using a 56* or 58* degree wedge if you have one in the bag. The added loft will help you get the ball up into the air a little higher – which is a much needed advantage when playing from a steep downslope. Other than changing clubs, you shouldn’t need to make any further adjustments at this point to hit a good shot.