By Mark Wehrman EBS Contributor

Avoid big numbers on your scorecard by mastering uneven lies. Knowing how to setup, and where to aim, when playing the ball off uneven ground will prevent you from wasting strokes on the course.

Uphill and downhill

The rule of thumb is to always play the ball towards your higher foot. For a right-handed golfer, you will position the ball off of your front foot with an uphill lie, and off of your back foot for a downhill lie. Next, lean with the slope – uphill lies will require you to lean back a bit, while downhill lies will require you to lean forward. Also, try to match your shoulder angle to the slope.

The specialist demonstrates proper body and ball position when approaching uphill lie. PHOTOS BY TYLER ALLEN

The specialist demonstrates proper body and ball position when approaching uphill lie. PHOTOS BY TYLER ALLEN


The ball flight for an uphill lie will be high with a right to left shot trajectory, so you should aim right of your target. The ball flight for a downhill lie will be low with a left to right shot path, so you want to aim left of your target. If you plan on this type of shot shape you have a higher percentage of succeeding from these lies.

Sidehill

With the ball above your feet, choke down on the grip and make your swing more rounded. To do this, you must try to swing the club around your body more, which will flatten your swing path. This will keep your swing path from getting too steep and prevent you from sticking the club into the ground before it strikes the ball. The ball flight should move from right to left.

With the ball below your feet, stand closer to your lie and flex your knees more than you would typically. You want to make your swing path more up and down to ensure crisp contact with the ball. The ball flight should move from left to right.

Mark Wehrman is the PGA Head Professional at the Big Sky Resort Golf Course.