Instruction

The little adjustment Lexi Thompson made on this sidehill lie, and why you should copy it

June 22, 2024
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Scott Taetsch/PGA of America

The little adjustment Lexi Thompson made on this sidehill lie, and why you should copy it

Lexi Thompson had it going during the first round of the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship. She shot a four-under 68 to take the lead at Sahalee Country Club. Anyone leading a major has hit a lot of great shots. But one approach shot Thompson handled exceptionally well is one we’ve all seen: You’re in the fairway, and the ball is above your feet. Thompson made a small adjustment in her setup that made this difficult shot much easier—and it led to a birdie.

It’s a bit hard to see, but Thompson has slightly choked down on the grip.

Gia Liwski, a Golf Digest Best Teacher in New Jersey, says that making this small change can make all the difference when hitting off of a sidehill lie when your feet are below the ball.

“With a ball above our feet, the ball is closer to us so we will hit the ball sooner in the swing arc,” Liwiski says.

To be able to hit the ball at the bottom of the swing arc like you would off a flat lie, Liwiski says to grip down a little like Thompson, and also play the ball slightly farther back in your stance.

One other thing to look out for when hitting off a lie like this is that the shape of the shot will change: You’re more likely to hit a draw (for righties). The angle of the hill sets your clubface up slightly shut. But this is easy to fix, says Lewiski. Simply shift your target to the right.

These simple changes can put your in position to make birdie from this difficult lie, just like Thompson.