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Uneven Lies: Hitting From an Uphill Lie
Hit quality shots off an uphill lie

Hit quality shots from an uphill lieLearn to Hit from an Uphill Lie

Growing up in the Midwest at the foothills of the Ozarks makes you a master of the uneven lie. Whether the ball is above your feet, below your feet, uphill or downhill, you have to be accustomed to making the adjustments necessary to keep your ball on target. To be truthful, there aren't many courses in the country where you will always have a flat lie. Even sea-side courses will have some rolling hills or mounds to contend with, albeit not to the extremes of courses in Colorado, California and other mountainous areas.

The uphill lie is probably the easiest of the uneven lies to play. In fact, you will often hear high handicappers say that they don't mind an uphill lie or a lie where the ball is slightly above their feet. From both of these stances, it's easier to turn the ball over and produce draw spin (most likely a pull rather than a draw with most swings). Considering most golfers slice, this can actually be a fun experience for them. The ease or difficulty for any uneven stance lies in the severity of the slope.

Don't think of uneven lies as difficult to hit, only think of them as an adjustment. If you know how to properly adjust your club and set up, oftentimes you will hit a ball off an uneven lie as solid as you will off a perfectly flat lie. In severe cases though, you may have to take your medicine and just get the ball safely into play for the next shot by advancing it as much as you can without landing in more trouble.

The Situation:

Your ball is lying on an uphill slope.

The Solution:

The first step is to guesstimate how much yardage you will lose because of the amount of slope. The ball is going to jump up a lot higher than usual so go up one club for a minor slope and possibly quite a few for severe slopes. By far, the most important part of getting set up for an uneven lie is to set your shoulders and hips so that they are running parallel to the slope. Once you are set parallel to the slope, aim yourself to offset a draw or hook. Again, the amount the ball will move will depend on how big the slope is. It is very difficult to get your lower body up the hill and through the shot so you will tend to swing your arms around your body and turn the ball over. Play the ball forward of the center of your stance. As you swing try to follow the slope of the ground and make a concentrated effort to get your weight through the shot and up the hill.

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.

Who is Maria Palozola?
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