Few of us have access to a driving range with dedicated space to practice from different lies and stance levels, so those shots must be experienced on the course. Most short-game practice areas, however, feature humps, slopes and different cuts of grass, so you should take advantage and learn to play various shots.
For example, chipping from sidehill stance changes the shot’s basic equation. If the ball is below your feet, it will tend to come out slightly right of your aim; the opposite holds true when the ball is above your feet.
Here’s the method for chipping with your feet above the ball:
- Resist the urge to bend over to reach the ball. Instead, stand slightly closer and flex the knees more to make up the difference.
- You should feel a little more weight on your heels than with a level stance.
- Hold the grip as close to the butt end as necessary to comfortably reach the ball, and make sure the club’s sole lies flat on the ground.
- Aim left of where you want the ball to land. The farther below you it lies, the more right it come off the clubface.
- Plan for less spin than with a standard chip.
Now for a chip with the ball above your feet:
- Stand farther from the ball, with extra weight on your toes.
- Choke up on the club as necessary, since the ball will be closer to your body. The club’s sole should lie flat on the turf.
- Aim right to compensate for the ball’s leftward flight. The steeper the slope, the more left it will come out.
Swing a touch harder than you typically would from the same distance to counteract the effect of choking up.