How to play the ball above your feet | by Alex Day

By Alex Day, Head Professional at Dreamland Golf Club 

Unlike when we practice at the driving range from a truly flat mat, we often experience awkward sloping lies when playing on the course. Having an understanding of how the ball is ëlikelyí to move when playing from a specific slope and how best to adapt, is key to keeping the ball on greens and fairways.

A ball positioned above your feet is not always perceived the most difficult by golfers, but depending on the severity of the slope and club selection, the ball flight can be very different to that of a conventional shot from a flat lie.

What is the ‘likely’ outcome?

The ‘likely’ outcome when playing a ball positioned above your feet is a shot that will finish further left than normal (right handed golfer). If you fade the ball it might straighten your ball flight and produce a pull. If you draw the ball it might accentuate the draw into a hook.

Why does this happen?

The reason for the ball finishing more to the left is the effect of ‘face plane tilt’.  This is basically a term used to explain the fact the higher the toe end of a club is in relation to the heel, the more the loft/face of the club will point left. Also the more lofted the club, the greater this effect.

When making these adjustments it is not an exact science. To control your ball flight when playing from slopes requires a good amount of practice. Furthermore to practice hitting balls positioned above your feet can help create better patterns to your swing and improve overall mechanics.

When making these adjustments, it is not an exact science. To control your ball flight when playing from slopes requires a good amount of practice. Furthermore to practice hitting balls positioned above your feet can help create better patterns to your swing and improve overall mechanics.

 

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