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Pure Pro: How to approach sloping lies

Pure Pro: How to approach sloping lies

I am based at Rugby Golf club in Warwickshire, which is a hilly course with tricky slopes. A lot of my lessons recently have been talking about the slopes and how to set up to allow for the slopes. So, this month I will be covering sloping lies.

(All examples are referring to a right-handed player) This is a general guide to approaching sloping lies. It differs person to person based on tendencies.

Uphill Slope:
When the left foot is higher than the right when setting up to the ball.

What does it affect?

  • The ball will tend to travel higher and stop quicker, and distance will be a little shorter due to the added spin created from an uphill lie.
  • Direction, the ball will tend to curve to the left.


What can we change at set up?

  • Aim your body slightly right of your target.
  • Try to create your spine angle perpendicular to the slope, the weight will tend to favour the back foot.
Downhill Slope:
When the right foot is higher than the left when setting up to the ball.
What does it affect?
  • The ball will tend to travel lower, and the carry distance will be a little shorter, and will roll further.
  • Direction, the ball will tend to curve to the right.

What can we change at set up?
  • Aim your body slightly left of your target.
  • Try to create your spine angle perpendicular to the slope, but the weight will tend to favour the front foot.

Ball above feet slope:

When the ball is above your feet and the ground is sloping towards you.

What does it affect?
  • The ball may travel a shorter distance due to the restricted rotation in the swing. Also depending on the severity of the slope, gripping down your club can help with connection but will reduce distance.
  • Direction, the ball will tend to curve to the left.

What can we change at set up?
  • Aim your body slightly right of your target.
  • Try to get you weight distribution in your feet as even as possible. The tendency is to put more weight in the toes to counteract the slope. Also try to keep your posture as natural as possible not trying to stand up too much with the slope towards you.
Ball below feet slope:
When the ball is below your feet and the ground is sloping away from you.

What does it affect?
  • The ball may travel a shorter distance due to the restricted rotation with lack of balance.
  • Direction the ball will tend to curve to the right.

What can we change at set up?
  • Aim your body slightly left of your target.
  • Try to get your weight distribution in your feet as even as possible. The tendency is to put more weight in the heels to counteract the slope. Also try to keep your posture as natural as possible, not trying to bend your knees an excessive amount.
I hope this helps you to approach awkward slopes. For me, I always bear in mind that the connection of the strike might be off (thin or fat). So, if you feel a little under-confident take a reduced swing and try to keep balance through the shot to help with the strike.


Love, Zoe x
Zoe North PGA Professional 
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