Editor's note: Each week, Megan Padua, a teaching professional at Maidstone Club (East Hampton, N.Y.) and Belfair Plantation (Bluffton, S.C.), and one of Golf Digest's Best Young Teachers, offers tips and advice for women golfers.
By Megan Padua
Uneven lies are tricky, mostly because it's difficult to practice them on a driving range. Whether the ball is above your feet, below your feet or on a sidehill lie, you'll have to adjust your stance, aim and swing accordingly, because the ball will curve off the slope.
To adjust to an uphill or downhill lie, hold the club shorter or longer depending of the severity of the slope. A ball above your feet requires a more shallow swing, and standing taller will help you swing more around your body. A ball below your feet calls for a more vertical approach with the arms and club working in an up and down motion. To maintain your balance throughout the swing, put your weight towards the higher side of the slope so your body is supported and so you can push into the hill.
Sidehill lies are a bit different. For them, you'll want to adjust the low point of the swing by playing the ball towards the higher side of the hill. When making your club selection, remember that the hill will change the loft of your club--an uphill lie will add loft and a downhill lie will deloft your club. Also, tilt your shoulders with the slope of the hill and swing along that slope, trying to make your normal swing.
Here are a few specific things to remember if your ball is...
...Above your feet: aim right (if you're a right-handed golfer); grip down; stand tall; swing more around your body (think "U" shape); shift your weight toward your toes.
...Below your feet: aim left (if you're a right-handed golfer); hold the full length of the club; maintain your posture and squat in stance; swing up and down (think "V" shape); shift your weight toward your heels.
...On an uphill lie: play the ball towards your left foot (if you're a right-handed golfer); tilt your shoulders so they're parallel to the hill; take one extra club; aim right, since the lie will cause your ball to go left.
...On a downhill lie: play the ball towards your right foot (if you're a right-handed golfer); tilt your shoulders so they're parallel to the hill; take one less club; aim left, since the lie will cause your ball to go right.
Note: Always take a practice swing to test out the undulated surface.