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Achieving Success off Uphill and Downhill Lies By: Keri Moffat, CPGA

Learning how to hit good shots from uphill and downhill lies will help you to become a well rounded player. The secret to achieving success on these uneven lies is to work with the lay of the land and adjust your set up to emulate the angle of the slope instead of fighting it. These situations will also require a bit of knowledge on the physics of ball flight.

For both uphill and downhill lies you should set your body as perpendicular to the slope as possible. Also, remember that the trajectory of the shot will be determined by the loft of the club as well as the launch angle that is created by the slope. As a result the ball will fly much higher from an uphill lie and lower off a downhill lie. Finally, keeping your balance will help you to make solid contact. Try taking a couple of practice swings to make sure the club is hitting the ground in the correct spot and that you can maintain stability through the swing.

For an uphill lie, choose a club that takes into account that the launch angle is tilted up so the ball will fly higher. If you would normally choose an 8 iron, then try a 7 iron. Adjust your setup to be perpendicular to the slope. On the backswing try to avoid letting gravity pull you down the hill and maintain good balance on your finish position.

On a downhill lie, choose a club with more loft to help the ball fly higher. Place the ball slightly back in your stance and find your balance on the slope as you adjust your set up to match the slope. It is important to stay down on the shot and feel like you are chasing the slope downward.

Uneven lies will test your adaptability as a player but with the proper knowledge you will be able to hit great shots from any uneven lie. Happy golfing!

Keri Moffat is the Director of Instruction at the GBC Golf Academy at Mayfair Lakes.


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