Navigating Around 4 Different Sidehill Lies in Golf

By John Elliott

Navigating Around 4 Different Sidehill Lies in Golf

The Four Slopes

How many times have you hit a good shot but it did not end up on level ground and you looked at the ground and wondered what should I do now? Well let me show you. My cameraman and I are going to walk around this golf ball that is sitting on this sidehill lie and we are going to show you what all four slopes do.

Playing the Upslope

If you were standing up there and the ball was below your feet this is what the ball does on the ground, it curves to the right. Let me run it a little further than that, let me go a little more, there it goes, it curves to the right and that is what it will do in the air. Now we are going to move down here where we are going up the hill. As we are going to that initial ball from here a ball going up hill climbs the hill, it goes upward, it goes higher. Right away that tells you that it is going to go higher but it is going to go shorter, so you need to use a less lofted club. It now climbs the hill.

Playing Downslope

Then from over here the ball now will travel in the same direction as the slope. Watch it curve to the left. When the ball is above your feet it is going to curve to the left if you are a right hander. Then the last one, where we now go above the original ball, we turn and go down this way. Now the ball is going to travel lower but look how long it goes on the ground. So when you have a ball going downhill you take a more lofted club because the down slope delofts the club you are using, which makes the ball go a greater distance, not in the air, but air and ground time.

Summary

  1. We have four sidehill lies, ball above your feet, that is this one, the ball will go to your left.
  2. Ball below your feet, where you are taller and the club feels like to the point where it won't even get to the ball, that will curve to the right.
  3. Going up hill where your weight is predominantly on your back foot you do two things. One, take a less lofted club, and two, play the ball back in your stance a little because the weight will get stuck on your back foot. It is hard to move it up the hill.
  4. The final one is the low shot where the ball is going to take off on a lower trajectory and then bounce and roll quite a bit. Because the ground behind the ball is higher than the ground the ball is sitting on we automatically choke down and play the ball back so that we can be hitting down on it and not end up either chunking it or skulling it.

So the four side hill lies effect the ball exactly the way the ground is shaped depending on what direction you are going. Put that up here and it will come out of there, that is the whole key.


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