Golf

These 2 decisions are key when facing a sidehill lie, says top instructor

Don’t let a tough sidehill lie ruin your round.
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Hitting a shot from an standard lie can seem tough enough most days. But add in the inconsistency of an uneven lie, and things get even more challenging.
Luckily, instructor Tim Gillis, who teaches at John’s Island Club in Vero Beach, Fla., says conquering sidehill lies comes down to two primary decisions players need to make in order to have success.
“The first step is evaluating the lie that the ball is sitting on, whether it’s on a tight lie or it’s on long grass,” he said.
Club selection is key here, and the length of the grass you’re dealing with will dictate what club you should use. That’s important decision No. 1.
“Before you actually strike the shot, make sure that you have an effective lofted club that’s gonna best move through the turf on the slope,” Gillis says. “You want to ensure that you stay balanced throughout the shot.”
Once you’ve evaluated the lie and made your club selection, the next step is adapting your grip to an uphill-sidehill or a downhill-sidehill setup — decision No. 2.
“If you’re on an uphill-sidehill lie, you’re definitely going to want to move that ball up in your stance,” Gillis said. “A good visual is to think about your belt matching the slope that you’re standing on. You don’t want your club fighting against the slope, you want to swing with the slope to make ideal contact.”
The same idea applies to a downhill-sidehill lie, too.
“When you’re on a downhill-sidehill lie, you want to move the ball back in your stance,” Gillis says. “This will help you keep your weight forward, so that the club is also swinging down with the slope and not fighting against the hill.”
Give Gillis’ advice a try to prevent sidehill lies from derailing your next round.

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