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Uneven Lies


Well-Known Member
Aug 30, 2004
I need a bit of advice. I am playing in a golf league on a course that doesn't have too many level lies. Most of the time (even in the fairway), I find that my ball is either above or below my feet (when looking at the ball to swing, the ball is lower or higher than my feet). I need suggestions for how to setup to hit the ball when the ball is either above or below my feet. I am adding on many stokes because I am not hitting the ball well in these types of situations.

Any help would be greatly appreciated...


Well-Known Member
Aug 27, 2004
The idea on uneven lies is to be comfy, keeping your balance and making good contact. Where it goes needs a bit of practice.
When the ball is above your feet, stand slightly more upright and choke down on the club as it's easy to fat the ball. Your swing may be bit a little flatter, so be careful of a push or a draw.
When the ball is below your feet, make sure you keep your torso and head down or you can easily thin the ball. Also keep your balance to avoid falling down.

Just my 2 cents...


All around nice guy
Apr 22, 2005
I agree with Loop's advice on the downhill lie...DON'T FALL OVER, then you just look stupid.


The golfer fka ST Champ
Aug 31, 2004
There was great article on this on golfonline but the link doesn't work anymore.

Here are the basics.

1. Use a three quarter swing.

2. Anchor your weight into the hillside.

ball above feet: More weight on toes
ball below feet: More wieght on heels
uphill lie: Weight favors target-side foot
downhill lie: Weight favors trailing foot

3. Visualize a tripod to level your upper body.

ball above feet: grip down on the club to shorten this leg of the tripod.
ball below feet: Widen your stance and use more knee flex to shorten the tripod's back legs.
uphill lie: Add flex in the left knee to shorten the tripod's front leg.
downhill lie: add flex in the right knee to shorten the tripod's back leg.

My home course doesn't have a even lie except on the tee box so I use all of these tips and they work with practice. Good luck.


Well-Known Member
Aug 27, 2004
My course has very very few level lies. I am playing off some sort of slope most of the time.

An easy, obvious thing to remember is that when the ball is below your feet - aim left because it will have a tendency to go right.

Ball above feet aim right because it will tend to go left.

And last - you have been given some good tips from others here about knee flex and ball position. They are good ideas. A simple one is to try particularly hard to keep your body still when playing sidehill lies...If anything, when you are taking your practice swing - have a strong thought of keeping your body movement to a minimum...because of the sidehill lie - gravity already has you in an awkward position and the swinging of the club does nothing but make your awkward postion worse/exaggerated...


Well-Known Member
May 23, 2005
Another question about this matter; I've been told that when hitting the ball on a downhill lie that it's a good idea to hit a more lofted club while on an uphill lie you should hit a less lofted club. Any truth to that?


Well-Known Member
May 25, 2005
Yes. A downhill lie, ie, you are hitting the ball downhill, not ball below feet, decreases the effective loft of the club, while an uphill lie increases the effective loft. Just picture how the club is contacting the ball in each case and you can visualize what is going on.

Another thought on the ball below/above feet. If you have trouble remembering which makes the ball tend right or left, visualize what is happening with the loft of the club. Instead of being horizontal, the club is tilted a bit toe up when the ball is above the feet and toe down when the ball is below. Think about what this is doing. Now the loft, instead of aiming the ball up straight ahead, is aiming up and a bit left or right, respectively.

Jeff Gallo

Swing Guru
Aug 26, 2004
My home course offers exactly... zero even lies (even most of the teeboxes are slightly slanted). I must say that there is a lot of good advice here. i feel that the best point made however needs to be highlighted.

With the ball below your feet do be sure to keep your weight a little on your toes and of course stay down. But the single most important pointer is related to kneeflex. By simply flexing your knees low enough that your upperbody feels close enough to its usual position to swing comfortably you will reduce bladed and thin shots by a tremendous margin.

remember that and you will do very well with the ball below your feet.


slacker hacker
Aug 31, 2004
A good topic...

This topic reminds me of an idea that I had a while ago...

I think it would be good to have a place on this site dedicated to "rules" of golf. Not rules as in what is written and released by the R & A, but more about the "laws of physics" like the ones raised in this discussion.

For example (and assuming that the swinger is right-handed and everything else is "normal"):

Rule: When the ball is above your feet, the shot will go left.

Rule: The golf ball will not travel as far in the air in colder temperatures.

I know a lot of this seems obvious, but it's funny how often I forget these rules when I'm out on the course, or only remember them once I've hit the ball!

Another rule I would like to add, but am unsure of its certainty is...

Rule: When hitting from a bare lie, the ball will always (?) go left to right.

What do you guys think?



Well-Known Member
Aug 27, 2004
I don't think that is true from a bare lie. A ball coming off a bare lie will behave pretty much like one coming off grass.

Jeff Gallo

Swing Guru
Aug 26, 2004
Bravo is right, the ball may simply be more inclined to fade because ones own subconscious effort to pick the ball clean may often open the blubface.


Used club guru
Mar 29, 2005
Balance is true with the ball above your feet. I had one next to a pond, I lost my balance just enough to have to step back, into the pond, to keep from falling.

I played the last 6 holes with a water mark just below the knee, so everyone got a good laugh when they saw me.

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