When your ball rests on an upslope just off the green, you can play either a high or low shot depending on the situation. But you must be mindful of how your stance and swing pace will affect the ball’s flight or you could be in for a surprise.
Any time you’re playing uphill, including full shots from the fairway, the ball will tend to fly higher because, in effect, the slope adds loft to the club. Therefore, if you want to chip the ball high from an upslope, simply assume a normal stance and lean with the incline so that your shoulders are parallel to the ground.
In these cases, you’ll want to swing a touch harder than you think is necessary to account for the extra loft. And whatever you do, keep your hands a little ahead of the ball at address and impact, which will prevent you from scooping the ball into the air.
Conversely, let’s say you need a chip that comes off low and rolls to the target. Here’s what to do:
- Use a lofted club, i.e. pitching or sand wedge.
- Assume your normal chipping stance, then lean slightly into the hill. Your left (lead) knee should flex more than the right.
- Your hands are ahead of the ball, de-lofting the clubface.
- Make your usual chipping stroke. Your club may contact the turf after the ball, but that’s fine.
The ball will come out low and possibly “hot,” with very little backspin. Compensate by swinging a little more softly than you normally would from the same distance off a level lie.