My Golf Instructor

Uneven Lies: Hitting a Ball Below Your Feet
The Most Difficult of the Uneven Lies?

Learn to hit quality golf shots with the ball below your feetLearn to Hit with the Ball Below your Feet

Some will say that a ball below your feet is by far the toughest shot in golf. Add to that when the ball is in a bunker and your feet are outside and I would have to agree whole-heartedly. Playing it from below your feet is a challenge in coordination and flexibility. The tendency for a large majority of golfers is to stand up or raise out of their posture. This is common from an even stance, much less one where the ball lies below your feet. In this situation if you stand up even a smidge, you will top the ball or miss it completely. It takes core strength and even flexibility to stay bent over while you make a good balanced swing. The more you have to bend over, the more difficult it will be.

Even if the course you play is relatively flat, you will encounter the ball below your feet occasionally. Flat courses will have some mounds at the very least around bunkers and greens.

Playing it below your feet is a challenge, but if you make the proper adjustments you can keep the ball in play pretty easily. The more severe the slope, the more you will need to adjust.

The Situation:

Your ball has landed on a slope and is below your feet.

The Solution:

Make sure to let out on the grip and don't choke up so you can use all of the length you have on the club. Bend over quite a bit more than you are used to feeling like your chest is facing the ground. It is important to feel like your rear end is sticking out and your chest is down throughout the entire swing. Setting and keeping your weight more on your heels will keep you from falling forward down the hill. Your swing plane will become naturally steeper. This will cause the ball will tend to slice, so offset this by aiming to the left (for a right hander). Try to swing through the ball as much as you can, but don't force anything. It is difficult to make a full finish from this lie. Stay down, prepare for the slice and make a good balanced swing.

Maria Palozola

Maria Palozola is a member of the LPGA and has participated in multiple LPGA Tour events. She has provided instruction to thousands of students in the past 20+ years and has won multiple teaching awards from the LPGA, Golf Digest, and Golf Magazine including being ranked as one of the top 50 female instructors in the world.

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