Willow Valley Blog  

"Play It As It Lies!" - How To Play Any Lie

08 Sep 2017

So you hit a FANTASTIC tee shot on a short par 4... Dead centre of the fairway and a clear shot to the pin! As you approach your ball, there are 5 situations you could find yourself in: an even lie, an uphill lie, a downhill lie, a below-your-feet lie, or an above-your-feet lie. It’s all about where your ball is in relation to your body! In these 5 situations, there are some ball-tendencies that you should keep in mind in order to hit your ball on target. I guess the 6th situation is ending up with a shot off a spectator's foot, but we won't be covering that one... (For details, see Adam Sandler's Happy Gilmore from 1996)

Even Lie

This is the best-case scenario. Approach the ball and swing away! Here at Willow Valley, we have a beautiful practice facility for you to work on level shots. 

Tee Block Shot

Downhill Lie

Your left foot will be below your right foot if you are right handed. This downhill slope will de-loft your club, and the ball will tend to go right (away from your body). In order to compensate, take less club (a higher number) and aim a little left.

The reverse is true for lefties; your right foot will be below your left foot. Again, your club will be de-lofted so you should pick a shorter club, and the ball will tend to go away from your body (left) so aim slightly right to compensate.

Uphill Lie

The uphill lie can be one of the most intimidating… Be prepared to take a mulligan or two. As a right-handed golfer, your right foot will be below your left foot. Take a longer club because the uphill lie will add loft, and swing at about 90% power. The ball’s tendency is to go left (towards your body) so aim slightly right.

For the lefties out there, your right foot will be above your left foot and the ball will tend to go right. Still take the longer club and go for a 90% swing, but aim slightly left to compensate for the ball’s tendency to go right.

Ball Above

With the ball above your feet, choke up on your club slightly so that you can maintain your posture and swing path. For the right-handed golfer, the ball will tend to go left. Aiming right slightly will help you stay on target! For lefties, again it’s the opposite. The ball will tend to go right so you should aim slightly left to compensate.

Ball Below

When the ball is below your feet, you want to maintain bent knees throughout your swing to make sure that you can stay down on the ball and make clean contact. With this lie, right handed golfers will tend to hit the ball right, so aiming left will keep you on target. Once again, for the leftie, the reverse is true: the ball will tend to go left, so aim slightly right.


No matter the lie, just remember that golf is a game of fun! Always enjoy yourself and don’t get frustrated. If you can address the ball consistently and take your time with setup, uneven lies should not be a problem!

I hope this helps save some strokes! Let me know if there are any topics you want me to touch on, and whether or not this was helpful! Thanks for reading and remember, swing easy!

Play more golf for less with Willow Valley's Advantage Packages! Purchase a 50 pack before September 30th, 2017 and receive 5 FREE ROUNDS to be used before season's end! 

Last Modified: Tuesday 12 September 2017 08:25
Golf lie play

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Willow Valley Golf Course
8475 English Church Rd.
Hamilton, ON
L0R 1W0

2907 Upper James St.
Mount Hope, ON
L0R 1W0