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Golf Article - Tips for Uphill and Downhill Swings


When you must play on a slope you'll find normal stance a bit more difficult to achieve. There are several adjustments you can make to ensure that you lay these shot well and maybe you'll find that you even save a stroke here and there.

The most important factor to consider is your balance. You need to be able to keep good balance right up to the point of contact – afterwards is not so important, since the ball is already in the air by then. If the ball is above your feet in a sidehill lie you'll need a flatter swing. If you feel as if the pitch is up to your knees, grip the club further down than usual. You must aim for your shot to have a low, hooking trajectory, so align yourself to the right of the target. If you have a tendency to hit a fat shot, put the ball further back in your stance to compensate.


If the ball is below your feet in a sidehill lie, it will usually peel off towards the right. This is a difficult shot for most players. It's really hard to maintain address posture and you often get a low slice or topped shot. Bend by flexing your knees and tilting at the hips, use plenty of club and aim to the left. Keep your weight off your toes if possible and concentrate on keeping your balance. Your swing plane will be more vertical.

An uphill lie is slightly easier to play than the other uneven shots. Just remember that because the ground slopes upwards, more loft will be added to the club, thus causing the ball to fly shorter than usual. You must allow for the fact that your right shoulder will be lower than your left in this play. Your weight will be more towards the right due to the slope.

Watch that you don't fall backwards at impact, as this will pull the ball towards the left. It is advisable to aim slightly to the right to allow for any movement to the side. In a downhill lie, the ball will naturally go lower and further. It often seems to tail to the right. To compensate for the fast low trajectory of the ball, select one or two clubs shorter than usual. The ball should be back in your stance. The steeper the ground is, the further back the ball should be. Your swing should be compact and weight shift less assertive with a lower body turn. You must keep your swing compacted and controlled to help you succeed in uneven lies. Much practice is needed, but that's half the fun and when you see your game improve, you'll be glad you did it.


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