JohnHayesGolf.com Newsletter Golf Tip – November 2015
For your golf game: Uneven lies (not the kind that men tell when returning from the golf course) are an interesting part of the game and I will address the sidehill lie when the ball is below the level of your feet. You can keep your normal grip and your weight can remain balanced with 50% to the left and 50% to the right, and you can keep the club in the center of you at address. But you have a problem as the club is too short to reach the ball with your normal set up as the ball rests below the level of your feet. You need to get your center, the midpoint between the shoulders, down lower so the club head can reach the ball. You can accomplish this by widening your stance, adding some flex to your knees and you may even need to lean over more. Now you must remain in this changed set up attitude during the swing until the club brushes the grass. This is not to say that your body doesn’t respond to the swinging motion, you should let the body respond but you must avoid raising yourself up to a more comfortable posture during the swing or you will not be able to brush the grass and you will top the shot. I like to remind myself that I have to hang in there almost like I’m leaning over the ledge of a building and trying to brush the grass on a slightly lower level of the building.
The shot will have a tendency to go a little to the right (for a right-hander) because the toe of the club head is slightly below the heel at impact in order to accommodate the side slope and because the swing tends to be more vertical. Therefore you should aim and swing a little left of the target and allow for this curve (for a right-hander). I also think it is a good idea to use one or two clubs longer (a 7 iron for an 8 iron distance shot) so that you can make a little smaller swing from this more challenging set-up position.
On any swing it is ideal to keep the body quiet and let it simply be responsive to the swing but it is especially important on this side hill lie with the ball below the feet. I have found that I tend to swing well on this side hill lie because I am very aware that the body must be quiet and very uninvolved during the swing. I can remember during one round when I was struggling with the swing and did not get solid impact on many shots and then, when faced with a severe side hill lie, ball below the feet, while using a long iron, I suddenly made the best swing of the day. What the heck – I hadn’t made a good swing with any iron so far that round! As with all these special shots, it is good to practice from time to time to see what your tendencies are and so you can bring to mind the proper set up adjustments quickly so you will be successful when the situation arises on the golf course.
Upcoming clinics and events: I will conduct a GET GOLF READY LADIES BOOT CAMP on Thur., December 10th through Sunday, December 13th. There will be 4 hours of golf clinics (Thur. & Fri. from 4:45 p.m. to 5:45 p.m. and on Sat. from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.) and then we will finish on the golf course on Sun. from 2:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. This is perfect for beginners who want to feel comfortable on the golf course in a short time. Total cost is only $99 and includes everything!
My next LADIES-ONLY GOLF CLINIC will be held on 2 consecutive Weekends – November 21, 22, 28 and 29 from Noon to 1:00 p.m. on all four days (Sat., Sun., Sat. & Sun.) Cost is only $40 total for all 4 sessions! It is good for beginners or newly dedicated golfers.
My next specialty clinic will be a SHORT GAME BOOT CAMP for 2 hours held on Saturday, December 19th from Noon to 2:00 p.m. I will cover pitching/chipping, bunker play, putting, and fun games to practice effectively! Men or Ladies welcome. This is NOT for new beginners. There is a limit of only 3 students so call or email to sign up. Total cost is only $55.
As always, please contact me with any questions or comments and I hope to see you soon on the lesson tee at the Chi Chi Golf Range & Family Sports Complex in beautiful Clearwater near Tampa, FL.