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How to hit off uphill lies: 4 things golfers need to remember

In some ways, hitting off uphill lies is a golf cheat code, helping golfers who might otherwise struggle to get the ball in the air to, well, get the ball in the air. But if you don’t make a few adjustments when hitting off uphill lies, then you’ll struggle with good contact and distance control. Just like in hitting off downhill lies, one of the main keys with this shot is to swing with the slope. Let’s dive in. — Andrew Park, Andrew Park Golf, West Orange C.C., Winter Garden, Fla., Golf Digest Best in State Teacher

How To Hit Off Uphill Lies

  1. Take more club
  2. Aim right
  3. Shoulders with slope
  4. Swing with the slope

How To Hit Off Uphill Lies #1: Take more club

You could make every technical adjustment you need to hit off uphill lies, but if you don’t take more club, then you’re going to come up short every time. That’s because when you’re hitting off an uphill lie, it’s tough to get as much shaft lean as you normally would. The ball will tend to fly higher and shorter as a result.

So, take an extra two or three clubs to account for this. Keep in mind the wind, too. If you’re hitting into the wind off an uphill lie, the ball will get killed by the wind when it flies higher. It’s hard to take too much club in this situation.

How To Hit Off Uphill Lies #2: Aim right (for a right-hander)

Since your body is leaning away from the target when you’re swinging off an uphill lie, it is difficult to get your weight to your lead leg. And that’s OK. As we’ll cover in a second, we want to swing with the slope. When we hit more off our back leg, however, the clubface tends to release, or turn over, earlier. This will produce a draw, so it’s important to aim five to 10 yards right of your target if you’re a right-hander. Lefties, aim left!

How To Hit Off Uphill Lies #3: Shoulders with the slope

Just like the slope of the ground is tilted up, make sure to tilt your shoulders up as well. Feel like your trail shoulder is well below your lead shoulder when you address the ball. If you start with your shoulders level, then you’ll dig into the ground too much and likely chunk the shot. Remember, you don’t want to fight gravity or the ground. You want to sweep the ball off an uphill lie, and setting your shoulders with the slope is key to doing that. Your wrists will thank you.

How To Hit Off Uphill Lies #4: Swing with the slope

At some point in your golfing life, you’ve probably been told to hold your finish. Well, this is one exception. When hitting off an uphill lie, you want to feel like you are swinging with the slope, which might mean that you fall back in the downswing. That’s OK! Some great players have done that off these lies.

Avoid trying to trap the ball by hitting down on it. That’s good for some lies but not here. It’s OK to not get your weight to your lead leg in the downswing when hitting off an uphill lie. Staying on your back leg a little longer will help you swing with slope and sweep the ball off the grass.