Golf is an interesting game with lots of ups and downs, good shots and bad shots, great holes and disastrous holes. Not many golf courses are flat and every now and again, we need to hit a shot off a slope with the ball that may be below or above the feet. When faced with any or all of these situations, there is a need to make an adjustment. The common factor in all these shots is the relationship between shoulders and the slope (always parallel). Here is a check off list for playing the golf ball in awkard lies.

Sidehill lies require an adjustment so that balance can be maintained. 

1) Ball Above the Feet

Ball above feet of golfer Trimann

  • Lean a bit into the hill for balance, feet shoulder width apart with weight on balls of the feet
  • Grip the club shorter since the ball is closer to the body
  • Aim to the right of target - tendency to hook
  • Steep hill - open club face

    2) Ball Below the Feet

    Ball below the feet Trimann

    • Lean back a bit to retain balance on the downslope with feet spaced wider than normal. Squat a little to eliminate some of the distance between the ball and the body
    • Grip the club at the very end making it longer as the ball is farther from the body 
    • Aim to the left of target – tendency to slice
    • Steep Hill - close club face

    3) Downhill Lie

    Downhill lie golfer Trimann

    • On a downslope, because right leg is higher than left, weight shifts onto left leg. Let that weight shift happen so that shoulders are parallel to the slope of the hill.
    • Feet wider than normal for stability with ball positioned normally.
    • Ball flies lower and hence further because of down slope so add + 1 to club selection i.e. use a 9 iron instead of an 8 iron 
    • If Green is at a lower height then add + 2 to normal club selection (use shorter clubs as the ball will travel further)

      4) Uphill Lie

      Trimann playing uphill lie golf shot
      • Because left leg is higher than the right, weight naturally shifts to the right leg. Let that weight shift happen so that shoulders are parallel to the slope of the hill.
      • Feet wider than normal for stability with ball positioned normally
      • Aim - right of target since the weight is on the right foot there is a tendency to have body behind the ball at impact leading to a hook
      • Ball flies higher thus shorter so take a -1 club as normal selection i.e. an 8 iron instead of a 9 iron
      • If green is elevated then take - 2 of normal club selection (use longer clubs as the ball will travel less)

        Remember. Swing about 75 percent of normal swing speed to keep balance and practice with different clubs from different lies to get a feel for these shots.
        Trimann Saluja professional golf

        Trimann is a professional golfer currently residing in Delhi playing on the WGAI. Apart from being a professional golfer, she is also pursuing her BA History (Hons) from Dyal Singh College Delhi University. She's frequently playing or practicing in the Delhi Golf Club and loves watching movies or listening to music in her spare time. She was also part of Kranti NGO and assisted covid patients in find hospital beds during the peak of the pandemic.
        Disclaimer: The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in the text belong solely to Trimann Kaur Saluja. 

        Trimann is an ambassador for Golf Partee, the collection of polo shirts that she loves can be found here

        Here is a video of Trimann practicing on the range at DLF Golf and Country Club for her upcoming tournaments.