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Subject

How lie effects shots




Every course has its bad holes and difficult grounds to shoot from. If your ball has a bad lie on a slope, whether it be sloping to the right or left, your shot will more than likely hook or slice.

There are 4 types of lies: right/left/down/up.


In picture 1 (counting from left to right), the lie of the ball (ground where the ball is standing) is inclined down from left to right. If you hit the ball in these conditions, no matter how accurate your shot is, the ball will always curve to the right during its' flight. Therefore, you will have to aim the ball a bit to the left before taking your shot to compensate for the curve. This will happen with every club, especially woods (3/5W) and Irons (3/4/5/6/7/8/9I).



In picture 2 (counting from left to right), the ball is positioned in a right to left incline. The opposite effect of the above case will happen here: the ball will curve to the left in mid-flight. Therefore, you should aim right to compensate for the curve. Pretty much every club will be affected by this.

Note that you will have to adjust differently every case, considering the incline angle and remaining distance. For example, there is more need to adjust for a long iron shot than for a short wedge chip.



In picture 3, the ball's slope is going downhill, which will change your shot distance by decreasing it with long irons (3/4/5/6I) and woods (3W/5W). Due to the club's loft, the ball will fly near to the ground and potentially hit any obstacles in your way, such as trees, high sand dunes or simply the ground itself due to the field's elevation.
The effect is different with shorter irons (7/8/9I) and wedges (SW/AW/PW); your shot distance will be drastically increased and your trajectory will be lowered, reducing the effect of a backspin hit.

If you are chipping or planning a short approach (below 100 yards), this factor is very important, as your backspin effect will be reduced forcing you to hit the ball short and let it roll the rest of the way towards the flag in extreme cases. Again, the effect of a downwards slope will be greater depending on the slope's angle.



In picture 4, the ball is placed in an uphill slope, which will reduce your shot distance because the ball will be sent to air at a greater height, hence maximizing your backspin effect on the ball. This gets tricky especially if you are approaching the green, because your ball will probably roll back after hitting the green, then stop further away from the pin's location. There are 2 ways to correct this: if you are chipping or approaching from short distances (100 yards or less), then you should apply less or no backspin to the ball depending on the ball's slope. If you are hitting a long iron or wood shot onto the green, an uphill lie can be beneficial, because your ball will roll less on the green, as long as if you increase the adequate power to your shot. Adding the right power is often tricky, because it depends mostly of your distance, club and slope angle.