It doesn’t seem fair. You finally hit a fairway and your ball finds a steep sidehill lie. Don’t sweat it. With a few basic setup adjustments you can knock your approach on the green. Here’s how:
Ball below your feet
Bend a little more than normal from your knees and hips, so your chest points at the ball. The farther the ball is below your feet, the more you need to bring your sternum down toward the ball. This allows you to maintain your posture and make solid contact.
How it should feel: Distribute your weight evenly over the arches of your feet. You want to feel like you’re swinging nearly flat-footed, so your legs don’t move as much. Swing too hard and your weight moves out over your toes, leading to a pull.
Ball above your feet
Stand taller than normal so your chest points at the ball.
Chronic slicer alert!
If a slice is all you know, plan on hitting the ball straight when the ball is above your feet. The right-to-left slope will reduce some of the slice spin. Conversely, if you draw the ball, plan for more right-to-left movement than usual.
LAIRD SMALL is director of instruction at pebble Beach Golf Academy in Pebble Beach, CA.