How to hit on a sidehill lie: 5 tips for when the ball is below your feet

While it would be nice to have a level lie for every shot on the course, that is rarely the case. Even when you hit the ball in the fairway you will sometimes have an uneven lie that forces you to adjust your approach to hit a proper shot.

One of the most difficult shots from an uneven lie is when the ball is below your feet. It’s an awkward shot that forces you to make some substantial adjustments to put solid contact on the ball. Worse yet, it can be a tough shot to practice because your local driving range is unlikely to have uneven lies.

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But even though you can’t practice with the ball below your feet on just any range doesn’t mean you can’t learn how to hit the shot. On today’s episode of How to Hit Every Shot, GOLF Top 100 Teacher Lou Guzzi gives us five tips for solid contact when the ball is below your feet.

Check out the video above or read below for more.

1. Practice swing

Assess the lie you have and then find a spot near your ball that has similar conditions to make some practice swings. Choose a spot on the ground to aim for and try to brush your clubhead over it with each swing. Make note of how your feet being above the ball impacts your swing as you make practice strokes.

2. Ball position

Determine the ball position in your stance based on where the clubhead bottomed out in the swing on your practice strokes. This will be key for solid contact as you’ll need to be precise to hit the ball properly.

3. More club

Be sure to club up on this sidehill lie. With the ball below your feet, it will tend to leak to the right which will lose some distance. Take a bit more club to compensate for this power loss.

4. Aim left

As noted above, the ball will drift right with this lie. To compensate, flex your knees a bit more and aim to the left.

5. Maintain knee flex

You’ll want to make sure you maintain your posture through impact to make solid contact. Make it a point to maintain your knee flex throughout and make a concerted effort to finish your swing.


Zephyr Melton Editor

Zephyr Melton is an assistant editor for where he spends his days blogging, producing and editing. Prior to joining the team at, he attended the University of Texas followed by stops with Team USA, the Green Bay Packers and the PGA Tour. He assists on all things instruction and covers amateur and women’s golf.