Ball below the Feet
By Jon Woodroffe
Golf courses sadly are not built as flat as the golf range so when you are out in the real world, there is every chance you are going to have to play a shot from what we call a hanging lie, with the ball hanging below the level of your feet.
As you can see from the picture I have chosen a rather extreme situation to demonstrate this predicament, you would normally expect a golf ball on a slope this severe to make it to the bottom of the hill, but say it doesn’t, here is what you do to cope.
Firstly, you do not need to make any radical changes to your normal golf swing, which is quite a relief. What you mainly have to consider is what is likely to happen to the ball because of the slope and then you set about allowing for that.
Firstly, the ball will drift away to the right in this example. If you imagine this slope was a putting green (some putting green!!) you would know to aim up the hill to allow for the hill, so do the same here, so aim up the hill to the left in this example.
The main thing you have to guard against is topping the ball as it is so far below your feet so to do this you must bend from the knees, do not tip over from the waist as you will lose your balance. As this address position is so uncomfortable you will have to guard against pulling up through impact in an attempt to return to a normal position as this will lead to topping the ball, so in this one instance I would suggest thinking about keeping down on the shot is valid.
The final action you will need to take to avoid topping is on the take away, deliberately swing the golf club slightly more away from you and up steeper, as in picture 2. This will add to the slice spin on the ball but you have aimed up the hill to allow for that. It will cause a steeper angle of attack that will help get to the bottom of the ball which is really the main thing you need to do.
This is a very difficult shot to practice at the golf range as it is flat, but with these couple of tips in mind you should be able to cope with whatever the golf course throws at you.
Categorised in: Tip of the month