Just because you live in the Lowcountry doesn’t mean you are going to have level lies. As many of you know, you will have a number of uneven lies on our local courses.
Understanding what changes you need to make in your aim, set-up and swing, as well as understanding cause and effect will help you visualize the ball flight and trajectory.
In general, you should anchor yourself “into” the hill and then angle your shoulders to match the slope.
The following are suggestions for right-handed golfers.
Downhill lie: Weight should be on your target side and your shoulders should match the slope of the hill. Position the golf ball toward your higher foot.
Aim your clubface and body to the left of the target to allow the shot to react to the slope. The tendency is for the ball flight to be low with a fade to the right.
The slope will de-loft your club selection so you might want to choose a higher lofted club (for example, use an 8 iron instead of a 7 iron).
Uphill lie: Weight should be on your rear side and your shoulders should match the slope of the hill. Position the ball toward your higher foot.
Aim your clubface and body to the right of the target to allow the shot to react to the slope. You should take one or two more clubs than normal because the slope adds loft to your club.
Take a three-quarter backswing to allow for lack of balance since it is difficult to shift weight on this shot.
Ball below your feet: Position your weight slightly toward the heels, with the slope. Position the ball in the center of your stance. Align your body to the left of the target.
Balance is critical on this shot. Take at least one club more than usual from that distance. Hold your hands higher on the grip and bend your knees more than normal.
Keep your lower body quiet and feel like you are swinging more with your arms with less footwork. The tendency is for the ball to move from left to right so aim slightly left of the target.
Ball above your feet: Your weight again goes with the slope, so you need to be balanced more toward your toes. Position the ball in the center of your stance. Aim and align your body to the right of the target.
Grip down on the club to help maintain your posture and balance. Stand more upright than normal. Keep your lower body quiet and swing your arms along the slope. Make a controlled three-quarter backswing.
The slope causes a “flatter” swing plane and a tendency to swing around your body. This will cause the ball to move from right to left so aim slightly right of the target.
Dr. Jean Harris is an LPGA Master Professional and teaches at local courses. email@example.com; golfdoctorjean.com