My Golf Instructor

Uneven Lies
On Shaky Ground

Learn to effectively hit off of uneven lies to avoid big numbersLearn to Hit Off of Uneven Lies

Growing up in the Midwest near the foothills of the Ozark Mountains proved to be an education in golf that many don't get to experience. Walking the hilly, tight, tree lined golf courses was not only a great strengthening program it was also a lesson in adaptability. I left the Midwest eventually to attend college in the South.

Although our home course was hilly and challenging, many of the schools we played in Florida, Louisiana and Texas had very flat courses without much undulation at all. I later moved to Chicago at the start of my teaching career and once again experienced the same flat lands with Prairie style golf. After a while you forget what it is like to hit from trees and lies that make you feel sea sick.

Types of Uneven Lies

The four uneven lies a player gets on the golf course are below: (Note that one can also get a tricky combination of these)

  • Ball Above Your Feet
  • Ball Below Your Feet
  • Uphill Lie
  • Downhill Lie

Whether the ball is above or below your feet or you have an uphill or downhill lie, pulling off a solid shot from an uncertain stance is challenging. The flattest of courses will have some undulation, even if it is just a small mound around the green. Some courses can be so hilly that you almost never have a flat stance even if you drive it down the middle of the fairway. The less accurate you are, the less likely you are to be able to place the ball on an ideal lie. If you are a higher handicapper and are inconsistent, you will want to learn how to hit from the 4 uneven lies without having doubt. Knowing how to position yourself correctly and choose the right club is the key to making these shots feel like they are no different from those on a perfectly flat lie.

Practice Uneven Lies

Uneven lies need to be part of your practice routine. When hitting balls, you most likely have a nice flat stance at the driving range. If you cannot find a hill to hit from, you will want to take some time out on the course when it's not busy to hit from some uneven lies. The range where I instruct has a sloped mat than can be rotated four different ways to allow you to practice uphill lies, downhill lies, ball below your feet and ball above your feet lies. If your facility does not have this your backyard or a park will suffice.

To hit an uneven lie successfully here are some of the things you may need to alter:

  • Alignment
  • Club Selection
  • Shoulder Tilt
  • Stance Width
  • Ball Position
  • Follow Through

Learn to make simple alterations to the list above making your play from here on out feel like smooth sailing.

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?
- Top 50 LPGA Instructors in the World
- A Golf Digest Top 10 Teacher in Illinois
- A Golf Magazine Top Teacher in the Midwest
- More about Maria
- Golf Questions
Golf instruction made simple
Golf Overview
Overall Game
- Getting Started
- Equipment
- Golf Fitness
- Junior Golf
- Mental Game
- Practice
- Rules of Golf
Short Game
- Bunkers
- Chipping
- Pitching
- Putting
Full Swing
- Pre-Swing Fundamentals
- Shot Making
- Diagnosing Problems
- Driving
- Hybrids and Woods
- Irons
Playing Golf
Ball Striking
- Fitness (78)
- Course Management (82)
- Getting Started in Golf (75)
- Practice (66)
Course Management
- Club Selection (66)
- Equipment (107)
- Driving (68)
- Putting (127)
- Golf Rules (69)
Short Game
- Bump and Run (72)
- Chipping (82)
Ball Striking
- Chunking (79)
- Distance Control (86)
- Fat Shots (92)
- Flipping (48)
- Poor Accuracy (118)
- Slicing (48)
- Thin Shots (85)
- Topped Shots (52)
- Lack of Distance (108)
- Putting Accuracy (72)
Swing Plane
- Blocking (50)
- Inside Out (56)
- Outside In (59)
- Over the Top (49)
- Pulling (54)
- Pushing (66)
- Releasing Early (47)
The Swing
- Grip (65)
- Alignment (55)
- Balance (50)
- Ball Position (80)
- Posture (77)
- Setup (117)
Swing Plane
- Backswing (84)
- Controlling Trajectory (47)
- Divot (48)
- Downswing (67)
- Impact (103)
- On Plane (85)
- Path (84)
- Power (71)
- Shaft Plane (63)
- Swing Plane (112)
- Weight Shift (79)