Golf Ball Below Feet Lie

The golf ball below feet lie is probably the hardest of the four uneven lies. It occurs when you have hit your shot onto a side upslope and your feet are higher up the slope than your ball. 

The key to appreciating the difficulty of the golf ball below feet lie is that your ball is essentially farther away from you than normal. Despite all the new technology, the rules do not allow us to change the length or angle of our clubs during a round.

Fortunately there are a few setup and swing adjustments that will help you make solid contact and get the ball out of this situation. There is a theory that says this lie will force the ball to slice.  However, this technique will take some of the sting out of that slice and help you hit it much straighter.

Follow the steps below to better ball striking and control off of this tough lie.

Golf Ball Below Feet Step #1
The Situation

  • As you can see from the picture your ball has landed on a side slope and your target line is straight across the slope.
  • The change to your ball flight is that the ball will likely fade.

Club Selection

  • This all depends on your comfort level of the setup and technique. 
  • If the lie is severe and you are not going to reach the green then make sure to select a club that will get you out of trouble. If you are building your confidence with this shot then make sure you select a shorter club to help make solid contact.  You don't want to compound the problem.
  • You may hit this shot a little shorter than normal.
  • You may need to take one club more in order to adjust for the difference.

Golf Ball Below Feet Step #2
Setup (Key step of lesson)

  • The key to playing this shot is in the setup. A small adjustment helps create much more consistent contact for purer shots.
  • If you stand into this shot as you normally would and took a swing, your balance would be too much over your toes. You would lose you balance and make a swing that is too steep. This is why many people believe this shot will always fade or slice.
  • For this shot we want to take our normal stance and then sit down. We want to squat into the ball so that we really feel both legs.
  • This will help you keep your balance and make a flatter swing.  
  • You should feel your upper leg muscles and your weight over the entire length of your feet.
  • Your ball position should remain in the middle of your stance. 

Golf Ball Below Feet Step #3
Takeaway

  • The two most important aspects of the swing are balance and maintaining your squat position throughout your entire swing.
  • Start your takeaway but maintain the squat in your legs. Take special note of the angles in my legs and hips.  A key is to keep these angles consistent through your swing.
  • If you change your angles in the takeaway, you will have to compensate for the change through out the rest of your swing.
  • Notice how the club is still along my toe line at this position, just like a flat lie.  Still a good sign of a strong takeaway.

Golf Ball Below Feet Step #4
Backswing

  • Continue turning your chest, back, shoulders and club in unison.
  • Your arms and club should stop when your shoulders, chest and back stop turning.
  • If they continue it will likely make your swing too steep especially for the slope you are dealing with.

Golf Ball Below Feet Step #5
Downswing

  • As with all shots, be patient with your transition from backswing to downswing.
  • Transfer your weight like any shot, however, be careful to not let your weight move towards your toes.
  • Your weight should move towards your target, not down the slope.
  • Keep your squat consistent into the ball.

Golf Ball Below Feet Step #6
Impact

  • This part will take care of itself as long as you maintain your flex in the knees and hips consistent through your backswing and downswing and you drive towards your target.

Golf Ball Below Feet Step #7
Follow Through

  • Maintain your squat from address right through the finish position to help hit much more solid and straight shots off of this lie.
  • When I teach this shot in a live lesson I describe it as the 'Arnold Palmer' swing adjustment because the restricted finish gives you the look of Mr. Palmer.
  • Please take notice of how long I keep the extra bend in my hips and knees (right through middle picture)

Summary

Shot Results

  • Your trajectory should not change much. 
  • Your distance may be a little shorter.
  • A well executed shot should fly quite straight, with maybe a little fade.

I encourage you to practice this shot at your practice facility or on the golf course.  It is easier to be confident standing over a shot if you have successfully tried the setup and swing technique. It is a little different and does take some getting used to. Once you get used to it, the most difficult of uneven lies actually becomes the easiest to control.

I hope you find the lesson helpful in the development of your game.  Good luck with all your practicing and playing.

Return to Uneven Lies from the Golf Ball Below Feet Lesson

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