Why did I Do That?

When you hit from an up­s­lope, your 60-de­gree can play like an 80.

Golf Digest (South Africa) - - Play Your Best -

Pitch­ing up­hill, you get it half­way there

Your ap­proach trick­les off the green and stops on a steep downs­lope. You’re fac­ing a pitch back up the hill, but you still turn to your trusty lob wedge.You catch it just right, but the ball shoots straight up and barely gets to the green. What just hap­pened?

If you’re stand­ing over the ball and feel most of your weight on your back foot, this will in ef­fect add loft to your club. It can turn a 60-de­gree wedge into a 70 or 80. So un­less you’re some kind of ex­pert at ma­nip­u­lat­ing tra­jec­tory, take a less-lofted club – like your pitch­ing wedge.

On up­hill pitches, the ten­dency is to push your weight to the up­hill leg, and that causes you to stick the club into the ground at im­pact. In­stead, tilt your shoul­ders so they match the slope. Hover the club­head just even with the grass, and ex­tend your arms at setup to form a V.

De­pend­ing on the lie, you do that by chok­ing down or hold­ing the club at full length. This will boost your odds of good con­tact.

Then make a smooth swing back and through, keep­ing your lead arm and the shaft mov­ing to­gether so you don’t flip your wrists (the dreaded scoop). You’ll eas­ily pull off the shot and get the dis­tance you need.

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