Golf Tips: Hitting From Different Lies

By: Savannah Durbin

Golf would be much easier, if every shot were from a nice flat spot in the fairway. Part of being a good golfer, is not only having a perfect shot from a flat lie in the fairway, but having a nice shot at any lie. Hitting a golf ball from a different lie, requires slight changes in the "normal" golf swing.

Hitting on a Downhill Lie

If the ball is on a hill sloping downwards, first you must consider playing a different club than you normally would from this same distance. Playing from a downhill lie will cause the ball to ball travel further, so play a club down. In other words, use a more lofted club.

Also, you will want to change where the ball is placed at address. Line up, so the ball is farther back in your stance than normal. In order to judge how far back to place the ball; take a normal practice swing, and note where the club makes contact with the ground. Line up so that the ball is where your club made contact with the ground. Finally, you will want to put a slightly greater amount of weight on the front foot than the back.

Hitting on an Uphill Lie

If the surface from which you are playing is sloping upwards, again consider playing a different club than you would from this distance on a flat lie. This time, play a club up; meaning use a club with less loft. This is because the uphill lie causes the ball to have a higher trajectory, therefore not traveling as far.

This time, at address, the ball should be placed more forward in your stance, than if you were hitting from a flat surface. Again, take note of where the club makes contact with the ground when taking a practice swing, and use this to judge where to place the ball. As far as weight distribution is concerned: place slightly more weight on the back foot for the uphill lie.

Hitting with the Ball Above Your Feet

When the ball is located above your feet, it will have a tendency to travel on a right to left trajectory. In order to compensate for the ball being above your feet, first choke down on the club. Then, make sure to aim right of the target, as the ball will travel left of where it is aimed.

Hitting with the Ball Below Your Feet

With the ball below your feet, you may feel slightly awkward at address, because of having to reach down to line up to the ball. In order to alleviate some of this awkwardness, bend your knees, and try not to be reaching for the ball. In this case, the ball will travel on a left to right trajectory, so aim to the left of the target.

Remember, in hitting from different lies, your swing mechanics will all be the same; do not attempt to change the rhythm or actual path of your swing. The changes that will be made in order to compensate for these different lies involve changing your position at set up, not the swing itself.

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