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I often hear about how golfers are much better golfers when they’re standing on the mat, on the practice ground, when they’re hitting balls on the driving range than when they are on the golf course. And that’s kind of obvious that this is a closed, sterile environment that lies perfectly level, the floor is perfectly flat.

So when you go out in the golf course, very rarely is a golf course perfectly level and flat. A golf course is quite deliberately made of humps and slopes and hills and that makes golf an interesting challenge. But you need to be really aware of how that can affect you in the way you actually play your shot.

So if we consider first a ball that would be above my feet, a ball that would be slightly closer to me so it will upslope this way, that’s going to do a couple of things. First, it’s going to affect me and it’s going to affect the golf ball. The way it will affect me is it will make me feel a little bit more back into my heels. Playing a ball from up here is going to encourage me to be leaning back a little bit. It would also encourage me to make a slightly more rounded or flatter swing and it might make me struggle to get my balance in the follow-through.

So I need to do a couple of things with this. I need to make sure that I’m nice and comfortable when I start over the golf ball. Also, I could actually stand up nice and tall in my posture because the ball is a bit closer to me. To encourage me to make a good contact and not fat the golf ball, I would actually grip down on the golf club as well, just hold it a little bit lower. Because don’t forget our ball is nearer to me, so my golf club feels long and I hit the ground heavier, it’s often a common shot with a ball above the fit.

Gripping down would shorten the club and encourage me to hit at about the right level. The ball in flight will start to draw or possibly even hook. So I have to be careful of this. Two ways of doing this, some good players would actually try and hit a fade or a cut to stop the ball hooking. That’s quite an advanced technique, not something I would necessarily encourage you to try. What I would rather do is just aim to the right hand side if you’re a right-handed golfer playing this shot, so aiming down the right hand side and allow the ball to draw or hook from right to left because that’s what the slope will do.

Depending on the severity of the slope depends on the amount of curve. It might also be worth considering what’s your natural shot shape. Because if you naturally hit the ball straight, this is what would happen, it would draw. But if you’ve naturally already got a draw, it would turn that into more of a hook, but likewise if you got a fade or a slice, and then the line is promoting a draw, you might actually hit the ball quite straight. So you consider what your normal shot shape is, then consider what the hell it’s going to encourage you to do, add those two together and then pick out your target line.

One of the things worth considering is the ball will often go quite a long way when you draw the golf ball this way. So maybe just consider your club selection when you’re thinking about this shot. So, aiming right, standing tall, gripping down, an extra couple of practice swings just to make sure that you’re not going to start striking the ground heavy too low behind the golfer would be good, and then the other thing would probably just be to swing smooth, swing within yourself, swing balanced. If you’re in a bad position here and you try and really hack at it, it’s going to throw you off-balance. So maybe just go down to 90% power, 80% power even, swing smooth, swing balanced, nice big follow-through, watch that ball draw from right to left.

Another good go is practicing those sloping eye shots, because you don’t get a good chance to practice them on the range, so if you’re in the golf course, just throw a couple of balls down and practice the ball above the feet.