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Golf Tips
Ask the Pro

Q. Can you tell me where I should be standing when my ball is on a hill?

A. These are difficult shots to hit because the ball isn't in what we refer to as a level or flat lie. The lie of the golf ball affects a few things.

For instance, the flight of the ball, the distance it will travel, your swing plane and the angle of the club face at impact and also your ability to stay in balance throughout the swing.

When the ball is above your feet, it will cause your swing plane to flatten, much like a baseball swing. This will reduce the loft, or de-loft the club.

The club face will also tend to be a little closed at impact, resulting in a shot with a lower that will have a tendency to hook or draw. You may also tend to hit this shot a little farther than normal.

If you're in a situation where you would normally use a 7 iron, my suggestion is to use less club (an 8 iron instead) or to choke down slightly on the 7.

It's also important to aim to the right of your target (if you are a right handed golfer) to allow for the ball to move from right to left. When the ball is above your feet the swing plane is more upright. This will tend to add loft to the club (a 7 iron becomes an 8 iron).

The swing plane is much steeper which causes the club face to remain open at impact. The tendency is for the ball to fade or slice with a slightly higher trajectory than normal and a loss of distance.

Again for a right handed golfer, take one more club (a 7 iron instead of an 8 iron) and aim to the left of the target to allow for the ball to fade or slice off this type of lie.

You may also want to try moving the ball back a little in your stance.

I hope this helps you improve your shots from these situations. If you're still having trouble, your local P.G.A. Professional can be of some help.

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