We all know
that uphill shots require more club from the same distance than does
a level shot, and we need less club for downhill shots. Have you
ever wondered exactly why this is?
Some people answer that gravity
plays a role. They believe on uphill shots that the ball is
constantly fighting gravity instead of being helped by it, while on
downhill shots gravity gives some extra help.
This sounds plausible at first,
but we are talking about horizontal distance. Gravity works
vertically, not horizontally. In other words, it’s not the ball’s
up-and-down movement that is the factor, but the ball’s forward
movement. Therefore, gravity is not the reason we need more club for
uphill shots and less for downhill shots.
The reason is simple geometry. You
can see in Illustration A how an uphill shot in effect plays longer
than a level shot of the same distance.
shows how a downhill shot in effect plays shorter than a level shot
of the same distance.
Some modern rangefinders can calculate effective
distance based on whether the end target is uphill or downhill, and
are effective in teaching golfers about such shots. However, they
are illegal for modern play, but acceptable for casual play and for
Golfers who face hilly conditions but normally
play on fl at ground will definitely have an adjustment period.
Without a rangefinder, the best way is to hit multiple shots to dial
in the correct club they need. With a little practice, they can soon
make accurate judgments about which is the correct club.