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Mastering Sloping Lies in Golf: Insights from Rick Shiels

Golfers often encounter daunting challenges on the course, and one of the trickiest situations is dealing with sloping lies. Having just moved to British Columbia from the prairies I realize how poor I am handling these types of lies. Downhill lies and having the ball below your feet are, in my humble opinion, the toughest of the uneven lies and the lost strokes are killing me. So I did a little research.

PGA golf instructor Rick Shiels has shared some great insights in his video on "Sloping Lies" to help us navigate these terrains successfully. If you haven't seen any of Rick's videos you are in for a treat. He is a great PGA golf instructor but he is also a character and very entertaining.

See all Rick Shiels videos here:

But check below to see this specific video.

Rick emphasizes understanding the ball's behavior on slopes, as it significantly affects the shot's outcome. To master sloping lies, adapt your setup and swing techniques:

  1. Stance and Alignment: Stand perpendicular to the slope, feet shoulder-width apart, and align your shoulders with the slope's angle to maintain balance.

  2. Ball Position: Adjust the ball position higher or lower depending on upslope or downslope, respectively. Choke down on the club on upslopes to compensate for the reduced height.

  3. Club Selection: Slopes influence club loft, so choose accordingly. Upslopes de-loft the club for lower, longer shots, while downslopes add loft for higher, shorter shots.

  4. Swing Plane: Keep your swing plane as level as possible to hit the ball cleanly. Practice muscle memory for consistent execution.

  5. Visualize the Shot: Anticipate the ball's trajectory considering the slope's influence before taking your swing.

  6. Practice: Familiarize yourself with different sloping lies on the range or course for improved confidence.

  7. Course Management: Sometimes, a conservative play away from hazards might be the best approach.

To sum it all up, mastering sloping lies requires knowledge, practice, and a positive mindset. Rick Shiels' instructional video on the topic offers invaluable insights and techniques to conquer these challenging situations. Embrace the challenge, apply what you've learned, and watch your confidence soar as you execute successful shots on any terrain. Happy golfing!

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