There are three types of lies for a golf ball: uphill, downhill and sidehill. Each shot has its own approach, and PGA Professional Todd Kolb demonstrates each setup.
– Uphill: Ball position, length of swing and matching shoulders to the slope are the three keys to this shot. For starters, grab a little extra club so you can swing a little slower and more smoothly (eg. Grabbing a 5-iron instead of a 6). Move the ball back in the stance a little, and tilt your back shoulder so they run parallel to the slope of the shot.
– Downhill: the ball tends to come out lower, and also fades a little more. Grab some extra club again, move the ball back a little bit, and match your shoulders to the slope again. This time, the lead shoulder and leg should dip down to match the angle.
– Sidehill: If the ball is resting on a sidehill lie, it will either be above or below your feet. If it is above the feet, grab some extra club once again. This time, however, choke up on the club by sliding your hands down the grip. The swing itself should feel like it’s going more around the body, helping to match the slope of the shot. If it is below your feet, grab some more club again for a smoother swing, but widen your stance a little more. The swing should work more up to down on this shot, rather than around the body. Choking down on the club will also compensate for the added distance from the ball.
Each of these shots may feel a little goofy at first, but the more you work on them, the more natural the changes in motion should start to feel. For another great tip, check out this video on how to improve your pre-shot routine by clicking here.