After 15 years of teaching golf to top Tour players like Keegan Bradley, Greg Norman, Lexi Thompson (sorry for the name drops) to the average or beginner golfer, one of the most common questions I hear is, “How do I play from an uneven lie?” Herein, I will explain how to do so and I am very confident you will improve and understand these situations more clearly, and shoot lower scores. Remember, this article is written in right-handed terminology.
BALL BELOW YOUR FEET
Probably, this is the most sought-after question I get. When the ball is below your feet, the typical miss hit is thin with a fade to the right, or the most obvious miss, a top or whiff. Let’s start with how we set up correctly. You need to bend your knees and tilt over the ball slightly more than normal. Now that you are in a good setup, it is important to aim 5-10 yards to the left to compensate for the slight fade. Your swing key should be to maintain your spine angle or stay level on the backswing. I would lastly encourage you to add 5-10 yards to the shot.
BALL ABOVE YOUR FEET
This example and the aforementioned example are the exact opposite fixes. When the ball is above your feet, the typical miss hit would be to hit behind the ball or hook the ball to the left. Starting with the setup, we will need to stand tall and grip slightly down on the club. We will need to aim 5-10 yards right of the target to anticipate the ball curving slightly right to left. The reason it curves to the left on this lie is because the clubface is pointed to the left because the heel of the club is lower than the toe of the club.
The uphill lie is the easiest out of all the uneven lies out there. The key is to keep your balance while staying braced into the hill. Many people make the mistake of setting up to the lie which would force your weight to stay on your back foot. Level yourself to the Earth, this will make you feel like you have your weight on your left side. Lastly, you need to take one extra club because the ball will launch higher than normal. To add onto that, if you have any wind in your face you will need to add two or three clubs more.
When faced with a downhill lie, you must start with your weight favored on your left foot, this will help the contact and keep you from hitting behind the ball. In order to make even better contact with the ball, you must have the club traveling down to the ball, ensuring you hit the ball first and then the ground. Before applying these two tips, you will need to select one less club because you will de-loft the club and the ball will travel longer. I hope this advice helps your game and leads you to shooting lower scores.
Special thanks to Eric Lillibridge
Head Teaching Professional, Casa de Campo Golf Academy
(809) 523 – 3333 Ext. 3187 | (829)767-8563 | [email protected]
Casa de Campo Villa owners – US$100 Guests | Huéspedes – US$160
[Rates per hour]
Eric Lillibridge is Casa’s leading expert for golf lessons and club fitting. Casa de Campo Golf Academy offers a 33% discount to Villa Owner for lessons and clinics. The new club fitting room is also the perfect place for checking loft and lies.
* This article was previously published in our sister magazine Casa de Campo Living Winter 2017 edition.