A large percentage of shots during a round of golf will not be from a perfect, level lie like you practice on the range. Understanding what may or may not happen from these uneven lies and making the necessary set-up adjustments are extremely important to executing the shot and minimizing the BIG mistakes.
When executing any of the uneven lies, use these three steps to help.
- Take several practice swings to get a feel for the slope
- Swing at 75% tempo
- Use a three-quarter length swing
Here we’ll discuss the two toughest uneven lies: Ball above your feet and ball below your feet.
UNEVEN LIES: BALL ABOVE FEET – Photo 1
- Choke down on the club
- Aim right of the target
- Weight towards the toes
- Create a more upright posture
- Use less club to reduce the hook
The more lofted club you use for this shot, the further the face will point to the left. Using a lower lofted club will point closer to the target at address and reduce the amount of hook on the shot. This lie shifts the ball closer and higher to you than normal, which will steepen the swing plane, causing you to hit too much ground. At impact, feel the club just brushing the top of the grass. The slope, and a flatter swing plane, will create a right-to-left flight.
UNEVEN LIES: BALL BELOW FEET – Photo 2
- Grip up on the club
- Aim left of the target
- Weight toward the heels
- Increase knee flex
- Use more loft to reduce any slice
This is by far the hardest of the four uneven lies. Why? In this situation, your swing needs to be more upright than normal WITHOUT changing your posture or knee flex during the backswing. Opposite of the other lie, the ball is now further away, making is easier for you to thin or top the shot. Keep your chest down and keep your knee flex throughout the swing, including the finish. Use a club with more loft to help increase backswing on the ball which will reduce the amount of slice. Play for a left-to-right shape and stay down.
Derek Nannen is the Director of Instruction for the Eagle Mountain Golf Academy in Scottsdale, Arizona. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.