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How to Hit the Ball well from Uneven Lies

I know some of you are laughing under your breath wondering what I am doing writing a tip on UNEVEN LIES. What in the world could I
possible know about uneven lies living in Scottsdale, Arizona?
Well, it is the Grand Canyon State for starters, but yes you’re right, we do not face as many uneven lies as someone from North Carolina, for example. However, there are plenty of times during the course of a round when we are faced with a golf ball that might be on a side hill lie.

Before I begin, I am going to first give you the definition of the four uneven lies in golf.

  • Uphill Lie – The easiest of the four uneven lies. The ball is level with your feet but the slope is up-hill, we refer to this as an uphill lie.
  • Downhill Lie – A ball that is level to your feet but the slope is down hill, probably the second most difficult shot in golf.
  • Ball Below Feet – The most difficult shot in golf is when the ball is below your feet
  • Ball Above Feet – The fourth uneven lie is when the ball is above your feet.

Don’t get confused between an uphill lie, and when the ball is simply above your feet. These are 2 different lies, and should be addressed separately. Also, don’t get confused with the downhill lie, and the ball being below your feet. Again, these are 2 different lies.

Golf Swing

Let’s start with the easiest shot in golf, the up-hill lie. If you struggle with this shot, you probably swing the golf club to vertical into the ground and hit a fat shot. Before you prepare for an uphill lie, you need to think of a few important items first.

  1. Make sure you take a less lofted club. When you have an uphill lie, it will make the ball go HIGHER and SHORTER.
  2. The ball will have a tendency to hook to the left, so aim a little to the right.
  3. To avoid hitting the shot fat, check your shoulder alignment and make sure they are parallel to the ground you are standing on. If you are on an uphill lie, your back shoulder should be a little lower that your leading shoulder.
  4. The ball should be positioned according to what club you are using, as though you were on a level lie. (A bit forward for longer clubs.)
  5. You want to make sure you follow through HIGH after impact.

Now we can move on to one of the hardest shots in golf, the down hill lie. If you have a tendency to struggle with this shot, the miss hit is usually a top. Follow the steps below and you will see a huge change in your down hill shots.

  1. Because the ball will fly lower, you can take a more lofted club to help the ball go a little higher.
  2. The ball will have a tendency to curve to the right, aim a little to the left.
  3. If you have your shoulders at address tilted level to the down slope of your lie, this will encourage the club to swing DOWN into the ball (correct) and not up in the down swing. Thus, you will hit the bottom of the ball and not the top.
  4. Play the ball in your stance according to the club you are using (again, a little forward for a longer club).
  5. You want to make sure you follow through LOW to the ground after impact.

Now we are back to an easy shot, the ball above our feet. If you follow the steps below, you will not hit the ground behind the ball anymore, and the ball above your feet will become your absolute favourite shot in golf

  1. If you struggle with hitting the ball fat in these shots, make sure you are standing taller than your normal stance.
  2. The ball will have a tendency to fly to the left, aim a little farther to the right.
  4. This is the main point, the golf club wants to swing more AROUND your body, let it…DO NOT TRY TO MAKE A NORMAL SWING…let the club
    swing around you.

THE HARDEST SHOT IN GOLF. The dreaded, (I can’t believe this is happening to me) BALL BELOW YOUR FEET golf shot.
You have come to the right place, below is the answer.

  1. When the ball is below your feet, you will have a tendency to top it to the right, whiff the ball, or shank it.
  2. The address is the most important part of this shot. Bend your knees and bend WAY over at address. You ALMOST can not bend TOO much.
  3. The ball will have a tendency to go to the right, aim farther left.
  4. The golf club wants to swing up and down, NOT around. LET IT…It will feel like a lob swing, this is correct. IF you make your normal swing, you will whiff the ball completely.

Now, forget everything you knew about uneven lies and give this a try. I KNOW IT WILL HELP! Get back to me with all of your golf successes.

By Bobby Eldridge

About the Author
Bobby Eldridge is a Teaching Golf Professional for the PurePoint Golf Academy where he teaches “The Simple Golf Swing” theory. You can check out PurePoint Golf here

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