Your setup for every shot on a fairway may need adjustments. Every course is rated with a SLOPE. It is drastically affected by the rolling terrain of the fairways. Every time that you find your ball on side sloping ground or a forward or backward sloping surface, you need to make adjustments or your will lose control of your shot.
Find a FLAT Surface for Your Tee Shot
The simplest mistake that I notice is when recreational players don’t check out the slope on the tee. Premium courses ensure that the tee is flat but many club and public courses don’t pay enough attention to the flat surface on every tee. A side slope to the left will automatically force your ball to pull to the left and a slope to the right is just as dangerous. Find a flat surface to setup your tee shot to avoid pulls or pushes or slices.
Setup for any Shot
Clay at Top Speed Golf recently pointed out the importance of your body position for your setup:
1/ Ball position (forward or back in your stance) affects your angle of attack and shot shape. Practice and know what to expect from your swing.
2/ Let your arms hang to avoid stretching to reach your ball.
3/ Your stance width relates to your stability and power, You need a shoulder width stance for driver power, a narrower stance for irons and even narrower stance for gentle chip shots.
4/ Bend your back forward (don’t hunch forward) at your hips (and stick your butt out) for more power using any club.
5/ Shoulder tilt is so critical to ensure that your club path will add launch angle to your drives.
Adjust for Slope (side, up or down)
A. Your mind expects to make every swing on a flat surface. It is difficult for you mind to adjust for your swing on sloped surfaces. Adjusting for the 5 points listed above will all be affected. To help your mind adjust, make a full speed practice swing on the same slope where your ball is resting. You need to “customize and sensitize” your body and mind for the swing that you need to make. Then duplicate that exact swing without changing your swing speed.
B. You swing a golf club in an arc. Expect that a side slope to the left will pull your shot to the left. If the slope is to the right and you are standing above the ball, you are faced with more problems. You may have to bend your knees a little more (or widen your stance) to reach the ball and to keep your balance. Your club will not lie flat on a down side slope. A severe side slope can catch your hosel and twist your club before impact. Don’t expect a miracle shot. Prepare for the worst and take your medicine to reach a safe location for your next shot.
C. When you hit from any up or down slope, adjust your stance to ensure that you swing on the plane of your slope and your club will bottom out just after your ball. Use a higher lofted club for a down slope and a lower lofted club for an up slope to compensate for added or reduced angles.
Your clubs are designed to hit from flat surfaces. If you don’t adjust for sloped surfaces you can expect direction and distance control problems. GOLFSTR+ is a great training aid to help you learn the correct swing for every club in your bag. Golfing on sloped surfaces needs your special attention. Buy one today at www.GOLFSTR.com
Golf Truism #28: It’s not a gimme if you’re still away.