Golf is a game that is played from where the ball lies and more often than not the ground on which we find our ball is not level.
This, for many golfers, can spell trouble.
There are four main uneven ground levels we can face:
Ball above your feet
Ball below your feet
Ball on an upslope
Ball on a downslope
Each of these lies present a different challenge, but they needn´t.
If you are new to the game people will advise that a ball played below your feet will fade while a ball played from above your feet will draw, but this is not always true, as many golfers will also admit.
I believe that you can play a ball from any lie and achieve the same natural flight that you would from a perfectly flat lie.
The key lies within you set-up and how you approach each situation.
Perhaps the most difficult is when playing with the ball below your feet, so we will discuss this first.
When playing with the ball below your feet the two most important aspects are your posture and your balance which go hand in hand.
If you adopt the traditional posture of bending your knees more and lacing more weight in the heels to counterbalance yourself, you will see the ball move fade or possible a shank.
If we look at why this is;
Placing more weight in our heels and increase knee flex, we lower the body and block the body from rotating correctly around its centre of gravity, effectively changing your swing.
Instead I want you to lean forward and match the angle of the slope with your spine angle, thus maintaining your “normal” posture. This allows you to rotate in the same way as you would from a flat lie.
To help understand this, grab a ruler and place this ruler against a book, at a 40º angle (Similar to your spine angle). The book represents the lie of the land. As you tilt the book the ruler will also move to maintain the 40º angle, just as your spine angle should when playing from uneven ground.
For a ball that is above your feet, the opposite would be true so you would lean backwards until you match your spine angle to the slope.
Playing from a downhill lie (non-target foot higher than your target foot) is also tricky, but by applying the same idea you will be better positioned to play the shot. So using the book and ruler, stand the ruler straight up (again more or less the same position as your spine would be) as you tilt the book left (for right handers) the ruler will maintain the 90º angle in relation to the book.
It is paramount that where possible you maintain your normal angles within your posture, and in doing so you will begin to play more consistently from uneven lies.
Go and give it a try!!