Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Playing from Slopes

Playing from slopes

Unlike football fields and baseball diamonds golf courses are not built on level playing surfaces. Players are often faced with shots from sloped lies that make a relatively easy shot suddenly more challenging. By making a few adjustments to your stance, alignment and swing you can successfully hit these shots solid and more accurately.

Uphill lie - Hitting up the hill
When faced with an uphill lie stand perpendicular to the slope which will position your right shoulder lower than normal. This allows you to swing parallel to the slope so you won’t hit into the ground after contacting the ball. Swing down the slope on your backswing and up the slope on your forward swing. Your weight will remain on your rear side and because we tend to hook the ball from this position aim slightly right of your target. This position also creates more loft so you’ll generally want to use more club.

Downhill lie – Hitting down the hill
With a downhill lie you will also want to stand perpendicular to the slope. This stance will put more weight on your left side and your hands will be ahead of the club. Pick the club up on your backswing and swing down and through on the forward swing. Feel that you are chasing the ball down the slope with the club head. Downhill shots are easier played with more lofted clubs. Because the ball will fly lower and run farther you will want to use less club than normal.

Side hill lie – Ball above your feet
When playing a ball that is above your feet you will need to stand more erect at address and stand farther away from the ball. This posture creates a more rotary swing and a flatter swing plane. This swing path often produces hooked shots because of the added rotation of the hands and arms. This action added to the more upright lie angle of your club will cause the ball to go left so aim right of your intended target

Side hill lie – Ball below your feet
This type lie requires you to bend over more to reach the ball which also results in you standing closer to the ball. This position creates a more upright swing plane than usual. Because your body turn becomes restricted your swing will be predominantly an arms and hand movement. The steeper swing path combined with the flatter lie angle of your club will cause the ball to go right so aim left of your intended target.

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