Trouble Shots

Uneven LiesDownhill Lies

The ball will tend to fly lower and to the right.

Your weight will be positioned more to the left side due to the slope of the land.

Your left shoulder will be lower than normal at address.

Position the ball back in the stance to make sure we contact the ball first. The steeper the lie the more back in the stance the ball is positioned. If the ball is positioned forward in the stance you could strike the ground first.

Swing the clubhead down along the slope through impact maintaining good balance. The tendency is to swing up to early resulting in a low or topped shot.


Uphill Lies

Uphill lies are probably the easiest of all uneven lies to play. The main thing to keep in mind is that because the ground is angled upwards the ball will tend to fly shorter distance than a normal swing.

Your weight will be slightly to the right than normal due to the slope of the land.

Your right shoulder will be slightly lower at address.

Position the ball as per usual in the stance if not just a little forward.

Make sure that you keep moving through the ball and not fall backwards.

As the ball will have a tendency to curve to the left aim slightly to the right of target to allow for this.


Uneven Lies

Not all shots are played from a level lie as the ball could be positioned either above or below your feet and this can make your stance feel quite awkward and at the same time will influence ball fight direction.

Do I aim to the left of the target or was it to the right? Is the ball positioned forward in the stance or in the stance?

Many golfers unfortunately do not realize that by making a few adjustments can help them save strokes in this area.

In this section I will give you a brief description of some of the adjustments that are necessary for uphill, downhill and sidehill lies.

Understanding these basic fundamental and practicing these shots will give you the confidence to play these shots the next time you are out on the golf course.


Ball above Feet

The swing will be flatter in this situation and very much like a baseball type of action. The more the ball is above the feet the flatter the swing will be.

Grip down on the club, as you need to compensate for the fact that the ball is closer to you than it would be from a level lie.

Take a club less than the distance you would normally use for he shot because the flight on the ball will be a lower hooking trajectory.

Align your stance to the right of the target since the flatter swing plane will cause the clubface to close (aim left) resulting in a pull or hooked shot.

Position the ball farther back in the stance, which would prevent you striking the ground first before the ball.

The higher the ball is above your feet the more to the right you aim as the ball will hook more to the left.

Practice this shot on the practice fairway or at the driving range.


Ball below Feet

The tendency for this shot is for the ball to curve to the right.

It can be very easy to top the ball or play a low slice to the right. As the ball is lower than the feet we need to address the ball with a wider stance and more knee flex with a little more upper body tilt forward.

Aim to the left of the target as the ball will tend to curve to the right.

When the ball curve right there will be a loss of distance so make sure that you select plenty of club.

The swing plane will be more upright.

Swing smoothly and keep in good balance.


Punch or Knock Down Shot

The punch shot is a low trajectory shot and is usually played to keep the ball lower into strong winds or under overhanging branches.

The punch shot is a low trajectory shot and is usually played to keep the ball lower into strong winds or under overhanging branches.

Keeping the ball low is of course the primary goal so our main concern is to select a much less lofted club such as a 3 or 4 iron but this depends of course on the situation at hand as we have to determine the trajectory needed for the shot.

Take a little wider stance than normal as this will lower our centre of gravity and favour more weight onto your left side.

Grip down the club slightly and set-up making sure that you position the ball back in the stance towards your right foot (right handed players).

As the ball is back further in your stance your hands are now be positioned well forward of the ball. This means that your hands will be well ahead of the ball at impact which in turn reduces the amount of clubface loft.

Swing the club back to a three quarter backswing and strike down on the ball with an abbreviated follow through. If you continue to follow through to the finish of the swing the ball will fly higher.

Keep the swing smooth with a very steady head throughout the stroke making sure you do not try to belt the cover of the ball. Try to force the shot in an effort to gain more power and distance will only cause trouble.


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