Playing mountain golf, a lot of times you can find yourself in tricky situations, with uphill or downhill lies. A lot of players tend to set up a little bit “off.” Let the golf course tell you how and where to stand for uphill and downhill pitches.
Here I have an uphill lie so I’ll set the ball back in my stance a bit. The key is, I will get my shoulder plane going the same direction of the hill I’m standing on. Being a lefty, I want my right shoulder higher than my left; for a righty you want your left shoulder higher than your right. Make a nice shoulder turn toward your target without manipulating the club, and don’t sway off of the ball — let your club do the work and the results will be quite a bit better.
Here we have a severe downhill slope. Again, set up according to what the course tells you. My left shoulder will be higher than my right here, and I use a bit wider stance on these shots, and keep the ball in the center, or just back of center. Again, make that good shoulder turn with soft hands, and the club will do the work to get you on the green, with a great chance to save par.
Caleb Olsen is Head Golf Professional at Grizzly Ranch Golf Club in Portola, California