Ups and downs of hitting on hillsides

 

Hitting a golf ball off a flat surface is a challenge. Hitting a
golf ball off a hilly terrain that most of us have at our area golf
courses make it down right tough. With a few simple rules, you can
make any hillside lie a flat one with a few adjustments.
Hitting a golf ball off a flat surface is a challenge. Hitting a golf ball off a hilly terrain that most of us have at our area golf courses make it down right tough. With a few simple rules, you can make any hillside lie a flat one with a few adjustments.

When the ball is above your feet: From this position there is no need to adjust where you position the ball in your stance. However, since the ball is closer to you, choke down on the club. The more severe the slope, the more you choke down. The ball has a tendency to fly left off this lie, so aim to the right of your target.

When the ball is below your feet: The ball is further from you now, so get to the end of the club with your grip and keep your knees flexed. The ball typically slices or pushes to the right, so aim a little left.

The downhill lie: When you are heading straight downhill, there are two very important things to do. First, place the ball further back in your stance by a few inches. By moving it back toward your uphill foot, you will strike the ball clean instead of hitting the ground first. Second, take a higher lofted club because a downhill lie de-lofts the club and can turn a 7-iron into a 5-iron.

The uphill lie: Play the ball further forward in the stance (still closer to the uphill foot) and take a less-lofted club. The added angle of the hill pointing upward increases the loft.

Next time you are practicing, find an area where you can simulate these conditions.

Don DeLorenzo is a PGA-certified instructor at Gilroy Golf Course. To schedule a lesson with Don, call (408) 848-0490.

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