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MattM

Can a slight down slope on a Driving Range mess up your swing during the round?

16 posts in this topic

So I'm playing yesterday with my buddy at Dauphin Highlands. I get free tokens for the driving range and decide that I should definatly take some swings to get warmed up and ready to go. I get on the Driving Range and find that the tees have been moved all the way up the the range tee box to the very front. I don't think anything of this and start to take some swings with my 7 iron. Feels good but I start getting a fade then a pull hook that a slice. I then take out my driver to hit it. Feels totally aweful! I put the ball forward of my left foot like I always do to get some height on it. Well through the swing I proceed to hit the ground before the ball multiple times. Then when I start hitting I get a BIG fade with it. So then I start trying to keep it straight and adjusting thinking that my swing is off. Towards the end I get done and look around and see that it seems like it's on a downslope. I pull out my electronic level and sure enough 1.7-2% slope. UGH! Get on the course and feel completely uncomfortable over the ball. I had good swings throughout the day but never settled in to my usual swing a comfort level. I'm thinking that I started to make adjustments on the range to the slope and it messed me up on the course. Does this happen? Also, if you make the same swings on level ground and on a slight down slope what does that usually do to your ball flight?
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Can't answer all your questions, but a down slope tends to lower your ball flight and, for some, will produce more of a fade.  Most recommend playing the ball a bit farther back than normal on a down slope.

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So I'm playing yesterday with my buddy at Dauphin Highlands. I get free tokens for the driving range and decide that I should definatly take some swings to get warmed up and ready to go. I get on the Driving Range and find that the tees have been moved all the way up the the range tee box to the very front.

I don't think anything of this and start to take some swings with my 7 iron. Feels good but I start getting a fade then a pull hook that a slice. I then take out my driver to hit it. Feels totally aweful! I put the ball forward of my left foot like I always do to get some height on it. Well through the swing I proceed to hit the ground before the ball multiple times. Then when I start hitting I get a BIG fade with it. So then I start trying to keep it straight and adjusting thinking that my swing is off.

Towards the end I get done and look around and see that it seems like it's on a downslope. I pull out my electronic level and sure enough 1.7-2% slope. UGH!

Get on the course and feel completely uncomfortable over the ball. I had good swings throughout the day but never settled in to my usual swing a comfort level.

I'm thinking that I started to make adjustments on the range to the slope and it messed me up on the course. Does this happen? Also, if you make the same swings on level ground and on a slight down slope what does that usually do to your ball flight?

I think it's likely nothing to do with the slope on the driving range.  Under 2% is pretty danged flat, and most tee boxes should have somewhere between a 1-2% slope on them anyways ... otherwise they'd be a swamp.

You were likely just having a bad day.

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If you didn't notice it (feel it in your feet) when you were hitting balls, it's probably not as bad as you think it was. Even if the slope was severe, one range session is not going to do that much "damage". I think you got unsettled because you psyched yourself out a bit worrying about it.

Downhill lies will tend to produce a lower ball flight and good low point control can be harder to achieve (thin and fat shots). The "trick" is to get the hips parallel to the slope at address.

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If you didn't notice it (feel it in your feet) when you were hitting balls, it's probably not as bad as you think it was. Even if the slope was severe, one range session is not going to do that much "damage". I think you got unsettled because you psyched yourself out a bit worrying about it.

Downhill lies will tend to produce a lower ball flight and good low point control can be harder to achieve (thin and fat shots). The "trick" is to get the hips parallel to the slope at address.

I definitely did notice it.  It was a weird feeling with the driver because it always felt like I was going to fall forward in my backswing.  Like the ground was pushing against my left foot.  Then my downswing felt weird after.....Very strange....You're probably right though....I probably did psych myself out....

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I definitely did notice it.  It was a weird feeling with the driver because it always felt like I was going to fall forward in my backswing.  Like the ground was pushing against my left foot.  Then my downswing felt weird after.....Very strange....You're probably right though....I probably did psych myself out....

Yeah like I said, one range bucket isn't enough time to "groove" any bad habits.

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Mike, on slopes i always try to shape my shoulders to the slope, not my hips.  But i have never thought about doing so with my hips.  I'll try it.

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2 degrees downhill...??? Whatever...

A major undetected problem at driving ranges is when you hit off of an elevated tee. The practice range at my current course comes off a hill, so it is clearly evident.

But, the local practice range has a hitting area that's about 10 feet above the landing area for most of the range.  This gave me an unrealistic idea of how high I was hitting my driver and 3W.

I hit a super drive on a Par 5 at my then new course, and was about 220 yds. out from the green, whick was uphill from the landing area. I hit an all-ball 3W, but it clipped the top of the hill and ricocheted 45* left into a fairway bunker. No birdie, struggled for bogie.

So, rate your long clubs potential on whether or not you practice from elevated tees.

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2 degrees downhill...??? Whatever...

A major undetected problem at driving ranges is when you hit off of an elevated tee.  The practice range at my current course comes off a hill, so it is clearly evident.

But, the local practice range has a hitting area that's about 10 feet above the landing area for most of the range.  This gave me an unrealistic idea of how high I was hitting my driver and 3W.

I hit a super drive on a Par 5 at my then new course, and was about 220 yds. out from the green, whick was uphill from the landing area. I hit an all-ball 3W, but it clipped the top of the hill and ricocheted 45* left into a fairway bunker. No birdie, struggled for bogie.

So, rate your long clubs potential on whether or not you practice from elevated tees.

Not degrees....

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But, the local practice range has a hitting area that's about 10 feet above the landing area for most of the range.  This gave me an unrealistic idea of how high I was hitting my driver and 3W.

10 feet is not that much. The height lets you see where the ball lands. [quote name="MattM" url="/t/76072/can-a-slight-down-slope-on-a-driving-range-mess-up-your-swing-during-the-round#post_1027201"]Not degrees.... [/quote]2% < 2 degrees (~3.4%)

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Since hitting off of downhill slopes is the most inconsistent part of my game (by a mile) I would say I need to almost always practice off of a downhill slope.

If I could hit those shots well I would be set. ;-)

Problem is that I hate to practice things I can't do very well.

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Mike, on slopes i always try to shape my shoulders to the slope, not my hips.  But i have never thought about doing so with my hips.  I'll try it.

On a level lie the hips will be level and the rear shoulder, due to the way we grip it, will be lower than the lead shoulder. So it makes more sense to shape the hips to the slope rather than the shoulders.

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10 feet is not that much. The height lets you see where the ball lands.

. 2% < 2 degrees (~3.4%)

I totally have no idea what you are saying.  I said 1.7-2%.  So that would be 2%  not .2%.  WVU didn't read that at all.  I'm guess you are trying to say that I'm saying in my post 1.7 or .2%.  That makes no sense even if I did mistype it.  In this case I didn't lol.  I'm still wondering what you are saying....lol.....

Just to clarify...at no point did I ever say .2% .   I said that the slope was between 1.7 and 2%.

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I totally have no idea what you are saying.  I said 1.7-2%.  So that would be 2%  not .2%.  WVU didn't read that at all.  I'm guess you are trying to say that I'm saying in my post 1.7 or .2%.  That makes no sense even if I did mistype it.  In this case I didn't lol.  I'm still wondering what you are saying....lol..... Just to clarify...at no point did I ever say .2% .   I said that the slope was between 1.7 and 2%.

ignore the period. 2% is pretty flat is all he's saying. 1.7% is even flatter. And, again, tee boxes themselves should have a similar slope (perhaps back or to the side, though) for drainage. Maybe closer to 1%, but the difference between 1% and 2% (about 1/3" across your stance) wouldn't be noticeable enough to use as an excuse for playing poorly.

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Tees require 1.5% for proper drainage. I was just saying that 2% is less than 2°.
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Ah! Ok! I got you now! I'll tell you....I have this weird problem where I can be in my swing for have a round and playing extremely well. Then out of nowhere I stop feeling comfortable! I wish I could figure out why this happens to me all of the time! On Saturday....I'm playing the best golf I've ever played on the front nine. That includes 6 PARs in a row. Every one of those was getting girs. I was also putting myself within 15 ft for birdie putts (never made one though). I was really keen on getting my first 39 for nine holes at Dauphin. I PAR number 8 which is a devistatingly tough hole (225 yard par 3 over ravene) and step up to number 9 needing only a bogie. I'm standing on the tee and do something which I have NEVER done on that hole..... I yank it way left with a hook!!!! I proceed to find my ball in the thick grass and take my second shot which has to be a lay up. So now I'm sitting 77 yards from the green needing to only get it on the green and two putt for bogie. I NEVER miss a full shot with my 58 degree....Wouldn't you know it.......Duff!!!! Come up and make a 6 for a 40. So I'm ok with that.....Get on the 10th hole and my swing is completely gone. I'm talking I have a 150 to the green and hit my usual 9 iron and get it no where close. After that I was completely uncomfortable over the ball. Nothing I could do!!!! I think this is what happened to me when I hit the driving range before my round on Wed. I was just trying to justify why I didn't feel comfortable by using the downslope. It's definately not that...... I just don't know what to do when I stop feeling comfortable..... Anyone have any advice for that? Oh btw....I wind up shooting a 48 on the back!!!! Ugh!!!
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