Mountain courses tend to challenge every club in a golfers bag. You are faced with trouble shots, knock downs, impossible lies and shots where you need to hook or slice the ball to keep it in play. Compared to these ‘tougher shots’, a ball sitting above your feet would seem rather simple. But the truth is, few golfers know how to play this shot properly. How should you play this shot?
When the ball is above your feet, you club will be resting on the ground higher than normal. You’ll have to choke down on the club to ensure that it bottoms out squarely on the grass. Otherwise, the toe of the club will be in the air, encouraging a hook and poor contact.
Aim Right of your Target
A general rule of thumb for uneven lies is that the ball will tend to follow the slope. Meaning a ball hit from below your feet will leak to the right, while a ball above your feet will tend to head left. You can see how your lie effects the direction of your clubface angle by holding a tee on the face and placing it on different slopes.
Furthermore, as you will see a little further into this post, your swing path should be flatter, which tends to encourage a right to left ball flight.
There is no need to reach for the ball on this shot, so simply compensate for the slope by standing nice and tall. If the ball is more than a foot above your feet, I’d stand nearly dead straight. This will also help for the next tip.
Flatter Swing Path
A flatter swing path will help you come into impact solidly and with the sole of club matching the slope. Effectively, by swinging more baseball like you will perform a swing that should bottom out squarely, not toe or heel first.
Stable Lower Body
Unfortunately you cannot put much power into your lower body drive on this shot, because it’s very easy to lose control and chunk it. A solid lower body is imperative to keeping your spine angle still. A still spine will make all the difference in this type of shot. But, by keeping your lower body rather stable, it will reduce your ability to make a solid turn, so clubbing-up is strongly suggested. So… hit a 6 instead of that 7 and swing smoothly and under control.
Exaggerated for Shorter Irons
A little tip to note, the longer the iron, the less affect the slope will have on influencing the initial direction of your shot. Try the tee drill again, you’ll notice that with a 5 iron, the tee aims generally in the same place on each type of slope. Whereas a wedge has vastly different alignment. So simply keep in mind that the slopes affects are exaggerated for your shorter irons.