It is often said the hardest walk in golf is from the practice range to the first tee.
Golf is one of the only sports practiced not on the field it is played. You can play tennis, basketball, baseball, softball, ski or even ride horses exactly where you would perform in a competition, but that’s not the case with golf.
Also, many balls are hit on a practice range from a flat lie. This is great for grooving your setup and your golf swing, and there is no argument for not hitting balls.
But, on the course, you are always faced with the non-perfect lie, and there are few courses where that’s more evident than at Augusta National, where uneven lies are the rule and not the exception.
The key to success with uneven lies is your set up.
You always want your shoulders parallel to the slope. You should feel level to the ground you are playing from, and the ball will be played always closer to the highest foot.
Now, not only will the shape of your swing change, but also the ball flight, curve and trajectory.
Here are a few things you need to know and do when playing from different types of lies:
• 1. Ball above your feet: Your swing will be flatter, you may have to open the face a hair at address for more severe slopes, you should make a three-quarter backswing for control, and the ball will tend to go left
• 2. Ball below your feet: Your swing will be more upright, you need to bend more from the hips and you might feel more knee flex, and your ball will tend to go right.
• 3. The upslope: Your shoulders should be parallel to the slope, you may feel a little more weight in your right leg, be sure to take one more club, and the ball will tend to go left.
• 4. The downslope: Your shoulders should be parallel to the slope, take one less club and you will feel left at address, make a three-quarter backswing for balance and control, chase the ball down the slope with your club, and the ball will tend to go right.