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Uneven Lies: Hitting From a Downhill Lie
Hit quality shots from a downhill lie

Hit quality golf shots from a downhill lieLearn to Hit from a Downhill Lie

Regardless of where you play, you will get some uneven lies from time to time. If you play in mountainous regions, chances are a flat lie is a rare occurrence! On the other hand, if you happen to have a home course that is flat, it can be exhausting to play for the first time on a course with rolling hills. A whole different ball game takes place. It is a game of constant adjustment.

Knowing how to adjust your set up, club and ball position can make hitting from an uneven lie much more doable. Don't think of it as a different swing, only as an adjustment to some of your pre-swing fundamentals. Once you are positioned correctly, making a good balanced swing is the key.

Of the 4 uneven lies, ball below your feet, ball above your feet, uphill lie and downhill lie, most players will tell you that the downhill lie or ball below your feet are the most challenging. The ball will tend to slice from a downhill lie and since 85% of golfers naturally slice, a downhill lie can be a big issue. High handicappers also tend to top the ball as well and staying down through the hit on a severe slope is not easy. Success with hitting a ball from a downhill lie will depend on your ability to make changes to your set up and the amount of time you spend experimenting.

The Situation:

Your ball has landed on a downhill slope.

The Solution:

Because of a combination of the slope and the de-lofting of your club face as you swing through the ball, the shot will come out low and hot so prepare for extra roll. You should take at least one more club of loft for a slight slope and possibly a few more for severe slopes. The most important thing to do to prepare for this shot is to set your shoulders and hips running parallel to the slope. Be prepared for the ball to slice as your swing will naturally steepen, so offset that with your aim. Play the ball back of the center of your stance so that you will catch the ball early and not swing over the top of it. Once you are set, make a concentrated effort to stay down through the entire shot and keep your club head swinging along the slope. A low finish will facilitate hitting down and staying down.

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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