Greg P. Ortman, Ph.D., PGA

Thanks for making this column a part of your golfing day.

I am very pleased with the response and attendance at my weekly golf clinics. Unfortunately several have been rainouts. So let me remind you to call me ahead of time to check-in if the weather looks ominous.

Speaking of my clinics I am always encouraged by the discussions we have that lead my students to the proverbial “light coming on” instead of “smoke coming out of their ears.” This past week was no exception.

At our full-swing clinic last Tuesday at Indian Lake Golf Club we were discussing impacting the golf ball. A student asked about how to play a downhill lie. They inquired as to why they often hit behind the ball creating a “fat” or heavy impact. The explanation is a simple one. It is all about the pre-swing setup.

Build your downhill lie setup and stance ritual in this fashion: 1) take out a club with more loft (the downhill lie will negate the loft on the club); choke down on the club about 2 inches; play the ball back in your stance (off the back-foot instep at least); and most importantly, place a majority of your weight on the front-foot allowing your shoulders to tilt parallel to the slope angle. This will inhibit your lower body rotation and permit a longer shoulder turn on the backswing. Keep your weight on your front leg and let it rip. The ball will fly much lower so allow for some extra roll!

I always recommend to practice this shot at the driving range before you try it on the course. Gary Player once said: “I never hit a shot on the course that I didn’t practiced at least 100 times!”

Many thanks to the following sponsors who are supporting the Golf Professor with my high school programs this season. This season’s featured sponsor is Harbaugh Trucking, Rockwood, PA. Also, thanks to Hilltop Office Supply, Windber, PA and Somerset Trust Company. Dear readers, please support them when the need for their services arises.

Clinic Schedule (weather permitting): Long game clinics on Tuesday July 19th at Indian Lake Golf Club beginning at 1pm and short game clinics on Thursday July 21st at Middlecreek GC at 1:30pm. The fee this year is only $5 per adult student for the hour clinic. There is no age limit at the clinics but space is limited.

Golfingly, The Golf Professor

Greg Ortman, Ph.D., PGA is the Golf Director at Indian Lake Golf Club “Arnie’s First” and owner of Peak Performance Golf. The author of Golfology is a nationally recognized PGA award-winning teacher and coach. He has numerous professional tournament wins and course records. He is available for lessons at the HSP Swing Lab 305 Georgian Place, Somerset, PA and Indian Lake Golf Club, Indian Lake, PA. Email: