Hitting a Side Hill Shot: Five Tips to Follow

Hitting a shot off a side hill lie is a challenge for any golfer. You would almost always rather be on flat ground so you can make your normal swing with no adjustments or added variables to deal with. Of course, golf played over perfectly flat courses would be pretty boring, so dealing with side hill lies is part of the game. As long as you have solid technique to start with, and you learn how to adjust properly, you can hit quality shots even off of tough side hill lies.

Use the following five tips to sharpen your performance off of those dreaded side hill lies –

  • Expect less. Quite simply, you should lower your expectations and pick a more conservative target when you are playing from a side hill lie. It is hard to be as accurate as you can be from flat ground, so play safely away from hazards and keep your ball in good position for your next shot.
  • Never over-swing. Balance is paramount when trying to hit a shot from a side hill lie, so stay within yourself and take a comfortable swing. If necessary, use an extra club or two than you usually would from a given distance so you can reach the target without having to exert yourself too much.
  • Keep your head down. It’s easy to look up early when hitting from a side hill lie because you are anxious to see where the ball is headed. Resist the temptation and keep your eyes down on the ball until after it is gone. Looking up won’t help the shot end up any better, so do everything you can to hit the shot solidly.
  • Consider laying up. If you draw a particularly tough lie on the side slope, weigh your options and consider laying up to a good distance for your next shot. You don’t always have to try to reach the green with an approach shot if the lie doesn’t give you a good chance for success.
  • Good tempo. When you are uncomfortable on the course – such as when you are playing from a side hill lie – it is easy to rush and hit a poor shot as a result. Take your time and make a swing with a nice, smooth tempo when you find yourself in this situation. Good tempo and balance go a long way in golf, and that is certainly true when playing from a side hill lie.