Pebble and Sidehill Lies
by, 07-09-2010 at 04:59 PM (5782 Views)
The US Open was played at Pebble Beach's course on the side of a hill going into the Pacific Ocean. Graeme McDowell made the following adjustments on his uphill downhill shots to set up his victory.
When the forward foot is higher than the back foot your back swing feels easy because your club and body are moving downhill.
However your downswing and follow through must be exaggerated to help you transfer your weight and swing to the forward foot. In your practice swings make sure you get to your finish with your normal tempo and rhythm. Remember to finish with your back foot on the tippy toe. This shot will fly higher and shorter than usual, so consider taking one club more to make up the distance.
When the forward foot is lower than the back foot the back swing feels difficult and limited.
The key is to exaggerate your back swing so that you get your normal weight transfer to your back foot. The transition to your downswing should be more natural as you are now moving down the hill. After impact, your weight is still moving downhill and you may lose your balance, but this is ok. Allow your swing to finish and if necessary take a step forward down the hill just like Anika often does.
For all side hill shots:
1. match your shoulder tilt to the slope
2. make several complete practice swings to allow your body to adjust to the feelings of that particular shot
3. swing within yourself
Please leave your observations in the comment section below.