Backswing RoundUp

Hitting from an uphill lie near the green can be tricky for gauging distance. Any tips for this shot?

Hitting from an uphill lie near the green can be tricky for gauging distance. Any tips for this shot?
No two lies on a golf course are ever the same; especially when it comes to hills and chipping. When you're on an uphill slope around the green it can be tricky to gauge the right distance. Here are some tips on how to tackle this tricky position.

12 Professionals Contributed

Uphill chip shots around the green. How do I control distance?

The short answer is that you need to understand your options. You also need to stop hitting this shot with your lob wedge unless you’re extremely short-sided! Check out my YouTube video to learn your options and learn how to wedge it in close!

"The ball goes up easily but won’t travel far. players are invariably short in distance control." Click to Tweet

Focus on Contact First

Most amateur players struggle with contact on an uphill lie, often hitting “chunks” or “skulls”. With poor contact comes poor distance control. Therefore, step one is to ensure good contact when faced with an uphill lie around the green.

Because the uphill slope will naturally tend to launch the ball higher into the air than normal, I generally recommend students use a LESS lofted club than usual for their particular shot. For instance, if the specific shot faced would require a 54 degree sand wedge on a normal lie, I’d recommend the player move down to their gap wedge for the uphill lie. From there, I like to see the player move the ball slightly up in their stance and play a HIGHER than normal trajectory shot with the less lofted club.

These recommendations do the following:
1) The less lofted club helps reduce the influence of the upslope on trajectory while still providing the ball with enough energy to reach the hole.
2) Playing a higher than normal shot with the ball a bit more forward promotes a shallower strike with more bounce utilized on the sole of the club. Both of these help ensure quality contact with the ground and ball, helping to avoid a chunk or skulled shot.
3) The less lofted club generally requires a slightly smaller swing- a benefit for most amateurs on a tricky lie, whilst still providing some ball control via trajectory and spin.

The key with these shots is to learn to adapt to the slope and experiment with different clubs and shot trajectories to build skill and confidence. With a little practice, most uphill slopes can become easy to navigate. Good luck!

Florida Gulf Coast University PGA Golf Management

"The ball goes up easily but won’t travel far. players are invariably short in distance control." Click to Tweet

The ball goes up easily but won’t travel far. players are invariably short in distance control.

Having taught in Aspen Colorado for many years I have seen some incredible uphill lies around greens, students asking what to do? The ball goes up easily but won’t travel far. players are invariably short in distance control.

Two things, take your less lofted wedge play the ball nearer to where your weight is. On an uphill slope the ball should be closer to the back foot, it’s where gravity takes you, this will keep the ball lower on trajectory so that it will run out, Let the club head follow the slope upward. A sand wedge becomes a lob wedge on an uphill lie, gap wedge becomes a sand wedge, A regular wedge 47 degrees becomes the gap. the 47 degree the better choice.

Final gem stand as narrow as you can, , like standing on skis. there is less sense of slope. The wider your stance is the more you will feel the slope and get stuck.

"The ball goes up easily but won’t travel far. players are invariably short in distance control." Click to Tweet

Lean into it!

Hitting short shots around the green on an uphill lie can be tricky to get the distance right for some players. Because we generally try to get our shoulders parallel to the slope of the ground on most swings, this is what most people do with this particular shot. so for a right handed player most people will have their left shoulder much higher than their right and try to swing up the slope of the ground. This can cause many problems including but not limited to hitting the ground first, because it’s a short shot many will decelerate and unhinge club to soon causing thin shots and even going completely under the ball.

Fix: Set up with most of your weight on the front foot and the ball slightly back in your stance, Keep your shoulders level and take shallow back swing. You wan to feel like you are leaning into the hill. With a lofted club swing the club more into the hill. Straight back straight through. this will pop the ball out and allow it to land softly on the green. Practice this a few times before trying on a course.

Big Sticks Golf

"The ball goes up easily but won’t travel far. players are invariably short in distance control." @bigsticksgolf Click to Tweet

Uphill Green side shot

Yes, this shot can be tricky. It seems like it should be easy but it does create some problems.

The biggest mistake I see is that people tend to lean into the hill and then chunk the club into the ground.

What you want to try and do is level your shoulders to the slope of the hill. This will put more weight onto your trail foot. From there try and swing the club more level to the hill/terrain.

Additionally play the ball back in your stance a little bit because by tilting back you are moving your swing center back as well. Also, you can take a little less lofted club because you already have loft built into the hill/slope. If not the shot has a tendency to fly to high and come up short of your target.

Flagler Golf Academy

"The ball goes up easily but won’t travel far. players are invariably short in distance control." Click to Tweet

Posture

Set your shoulders parallel to the slope, your spine perpendicular, narrow stance, weight slightly left. Make a firm no-wrist stroke. Cocking your wrists can stub the club to steeply behind the ball.

The Rookery At Marco

"The ball goes up easily but won’t travel far. players are invariably short in distance control." Click to Tweet

Uphill chips

Frankly the easiest lie for most players. If you pay attention to a few details. First take several practice swings to determine where your swing bottoms out ( usually further forward in your stance than a level lie) That’s where you play the ball. Second because the ball is further forward the ball will come out higher and softer and tend to pull. The upslope also makes it come out higher. You must either swing harder and carry it closer to the hole or experiment with less lofted clubs.

PGA Golf Professional

"The ball goes up easily but won’t travel far. players are invariably short in distance control." Click to Tweet

Less loft,focus on top of flagstick

Envision the club you would use if the lie were flat. If the uphill is not too extreme take one club stronger than if the lie was level; 2 clubs more if the lie is extreme. Remember to tilt your shoulders at the same angle as the slope and focus on the top of the flagstick. As with any unusual lie take several practice swings; swing path should parallel the slope. Ball will not roll out as much as usual. Also, good luck.

"The ball goes up easily but won’t travel far. players are invariably short in distance control." Click to Tweet

Adjust for the effective loft

The angle of the ground will affect the how the ball will travel in flight. The higher the slope the higher the ball will come off of the club. The adjustment is to use a lower lofted club so it will come out like a lesser lofted club off of normal ground. Your expected height of the shot will match your usual reference and the reaction when hitting the green.

"The ball goes up easily but won’t travel far. players are invariably short in distance control." @pgaBT Click to Tweet

Uphill lie near the green...

Uphill lie near the green can be tricky if you don’t practice this type of shot…Just stay away from your 60-degree wedge…

"The ball goes up easily but won’t travel far. players are invariably short in distance control." Click to Tweet

Up Hill Lies

When hitting from an uphill lie the best thing that golfers can do is pick out a less lofted wedge or club. When hitting from this particular lie the golf ball take off a bit higher. The best way to understand this more practice this way to find out.

Fox Hollow Golf Club

"The ball goes up easily but won’t travel far. players are invariably short in distance control." Click to Tweet

All about loft!!

Greenside shots with an uphill stance can be difficult. Three tips: 1. Swing along the hillside. You do not want to swing your clubhead straight into the hill. 2. Use clubs with less loft to prevent shots from ballooning straight up into the air unless that’s what you want. The slope of the hillside adds loft to clubs. and 3: Practice these so you become more comfortable with them as they are fairly common.

Arsenal Island Golf Course

"The ball goes up easily but won’t travel far. players are invariably short in distance control." Click to Tweet

The Backswing Update

Get On The List