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Answer How do you hit a shot from an uphill lie

You know what would make golf a lot less interesting? Level lies for all shots.





Part of golfs addictive appeal is its variety. No two shots are exactly alike, so theres always a new and different challenge. Depending on where you play, youll likely face unlevel lies on at least half your fairway or rough shots in a given round. Sidehill
and downhill lies
pose specific difficulties requiring different adjustments. Here well focus on shots played from an uphill stance.

Gravity being the potent force that it is, playing uphill makes it tough to transfer weight from your right (back) foot to your left during the downswing. This usually causes a pulled shot, sometimes with a slight draw, so you need to aim slightly right of the target. The slope effectively adds loft to the clubface as well, meaning youll need at least one extra club depending on the hills severity.

With those tips in mind, heres how to approach a shot from an uphill lie:

  • At address, tilt your body so that your shoulders knees and hips are level with the slope. Dont lean into the hill, and dont let it pull your upper body into a downhill tilt.
  • Keep your body aligned with the slope as you swing. Dont fight the slope, but try to finish as close to level as possible.
  • Swing at about 80% of your normal effort to maintain balance.

Thats the basic method for playing from this tricky spot. But thats not quite all there is to it.

There are two types of shots where an uphill lie might come into play. The most common happens on a hole that plays up a slope to the green, which is perched above the spot youre playing from. The other comes when you find a hillock or other irregularity in the fairway, but the green is at the same level as you are.

The only difference in playing these shots is in club selection. When playing uphill to the green, be sure to add one extra club for every 10 yards in elevation change. For example, if the green is 10 yards higher than you, hit an 8-iron instead of a 9-iron. (This is in addition to the club youre adding to account for extra loft.)

Playing uphill over flat ground only requires enough extra club to lower the trajectory and make up for a slightly geared-back swing.

Did we mention that funky stances are but one of many variables the golf course throws at you? Heres a handful of tips on handling some others:

When its Breezy, Swing Easy

Consider Variables When Playing from Greenside Rough

Strike Down to Escape Hardpan and Divots

How to Hit a Bunker Shot from Wet Sand

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By leaning into the hill rather than aligning your body with the slope, youll have a very difficult time making solid contact. Theres a good chance the ball will squirt out to the right, instead of pulling left, and you may even skull it (hit it thin). Conversely, your clubs angle of descent could be so steep that you hit the ball straight up into the air. In other words, anything can happen – and its not likely to be good.

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Good luck hitting the ball if this is your technique. If you favor your right foot at address, youll lose any semblance of balance on the backswing. And theres no chance youll recover with enough leftward weight shift to ensure decent contact.

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If you aim left with an uphill stance, the result is likely to finish much farther left than you want. The stance creates a tendency to pull and/or draw the ball, so you need to aim just right of target to compensate. You wont get much if any roll afterward, either, so plan to carry the ball all the way to the target.