Golf Course Slope – How to Master the Uphill and Downhill Lie

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Sometimes you will find that you will have to play on a downhill or uphill slope while golfing. What you need to remember is that on uneven lies your swing will remain the same but you will need to change your setup and your choice of club.

On uphill and downhill lies, try to work with the slope rather than against it, replicating a level lie by setting up your body perpendicular to the slope.

  • Uphill Lie – When you’re faced with an uphill lie, your ball will fly higher than usual. Work with this by taking one more club than normal. So if you would usually take a 7-iron, take a 6-iron instead. Set the ball farther forward in your stance than usual, and when you take the club back, keep your back leg firm. During the down-swing, transfer the weight of your front leg and finish your swing with the all-important shoulder turn.
  • Downhill Lie – For a downhill lie, work in reverse to the uphill lie. Choose one less club than normal, as the ball will fly lower and position the ball back in your stance. When you play the shot, your weight should be on your front foot, and as you swing you should feel your hands following the line of the hill.

If the slope is particularly steep, you may also need to hinge your wrists more, to keep from hitting the ground on your back-swing.

One of the most difficult shots to play is when the ball comes to rest on the side of a hill. However, if you manage to maintain your balance throughout the stroke and adjust your setup to allow for the incline, you’ll soon discover that there’s not too much to be worried about.

When the ball is below your feet, you should sit back on your heels as you prepare to make your shot. There will be a tendency to slice the ball since your swing plane is more upright, but you can allow for this by aiming more to the left than usual.

Grip your club as near to the end as possible so that you can use its full length, then flex your knees and tilt your upper body downward.

Don’t be fazed by a hilly lie. Adapt your setup and approach the shot with confidence, and you’ll find it much easier to play. When the ball is above your feet, you’ll be nearer to it than you would be on level ground, so grip lower down the handle of your club. There will be a tendency to hook the ball to the left so adjust your setup and aim slightly to the right of the target. Try to keep your weight on your toes throughout the shot.

Playing golf on a slope is not as difficult as you imagine. Just get enough practice and you’ll do fine!