Sidehill Lies - Ball Below Your Feet

Side hill lies can be challenging for golfers of any level. Learn a couple of quick setup checkpoints that will help you get the ball on the green every single time when the ball is below your feet.

  • Add just a bit of knee flex for stability. 
  • Roll the ankles in slightly
  • Aim a bit left
  • Make sure you release the club. 

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John
Would be great to have RST specialty shot instructions for hitting from rough (full shots/recovery) and fairway bunkers. Thanks!
June 27, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello John. Thanks for the post and suggestion.
June 27, 2019
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William J
It appear from the camera angle that Chris was standing closer to the ball than he usually does. Camera Angle???
March 7, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello William. The increase in knee bend and slight forward hinge make it appear he is closer. But, the arms hanging from the shoulder socket should be the same.
March 7, 2019
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William J
Right. I should have checked that. Thanks
March 7, 2019
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Tyson
Hi, my home course has quite a few steep slopes. I could not really tell but how far below your feet was the ball in the video? Are the adjustments just larger id the ball is more below hour feet, say 6 inches? Thank you
November 19, 2018
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Tyson
If the ball is more below your feet. Sorry for the typo
November 19, 2018
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gordon
I know that my question is not exactly fitting this video, but I could not find the suitable place, please bear with me. It is winter here and the ground has been frozen for the past few weeks. No chance of teeing up, very little grass and rock hard earth. I simply cannot find a reliable way to use my 5 wood. Anything minimally short causes the club to ricochet and hit the ball above its middle, resulting in an ugly top. Sure I could use an iron, or even the special conical winter tees. I would much appreciate knowing what an accomplished RST-trained golfer would do to get the 5W to work in these admittedly extreme conditions. Any guidance you can provide would be much appreciated ( also by my 5 wood!) Gordon.
January 28, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Gordon. From the notes, I'm gathering the club is bouncing off the frozen ground giving you the difficulty of hitting a solid shot. When the ground can accept the blow stay away from it. You need to keep the path and arc much more shallow. If you have the tendency to get steep this is where disaster will strike. I would work on lead arm only swings, but working on a much shallower path down and into the strike. Where you are just skimming the ground and not getting too steep bottoming out early. How to Fix Swing Plane and Path Video. Use weight shift and make a little more of a shallowing out move down.
January 28, 2017
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gordon
Hi Craig, thanks for your tip, I will try to shallow out the swing. I am not sure how to understand your sentence "When the ground can accept the blow stay away from it." When the thaw comes and conditions become normal should a swing with the 5W still just brush the ground, or is a divot then appropriate as with Sergio Garcias 3W? Incidentally this topic has caused some interesting discussion, with widely differing opinions after recent rounds at our course. The speed and quality of your responses to questions remains exemplary, many many thanks. Gordon.
January 28, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Gordon. That must have been auto-correct. Should be when it "can't accept." I apologize for the error. You can take a divot or not. Kind of depends on what you are trying to do with the shot and lie. More of a angle of attack preference. Most tour players have a little down angle at impact. Which would tend to leave a little divot. Thanks for the compliments Gordon.
January 28, 2017
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Steven
Hi Chris. When you roll your ankles in, do your knees get closer to each other?
October 19, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Steven. They might move slightly, but the goal isn't to try to squeeze the knees together.
October 19, 2015
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Steven
Hi. Thanks for your response. I know its a small detail, but I don't seem to be able to just invert my ankles do it without my knees getting closer. Is it more of an adductor contraction?
October 19, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Steven. Yes. Also, you can take a look at Anchor to the Ground as another example of ankle roll in.
October 19, 2015
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Steven
Ah..Ok..Thanks very much!
October 19, 2015
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Michael
Hi Craig. What does "roll the ankle in" mean?
October 15, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Michael. Rolling the ankle (foot) more towards the instep. You can see this in the Anchor to the Ground Video and the Role of the Right Foot.
October 15, 2015
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Andrew
Yay!! Finally. Thank you Chris and RST!
October 14, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Andrew. See. I took care of it . Glad you liked and a double thanks to Chris!
October 14, 2015
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Andrew
Yes!!! Thank you Craig, that was a quick turnaround!!! I think it was less than 24 hours.
October 14, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Members first! Chris came through big for the team.
October 14, 2015
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Andrew
Yes, love RST & Co.!
October 14, 2015
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Mark
Exactly what I was looking for.. Every one of the checkpoints! Thank you.. First practice worked perfectly.
October 14, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Mark. Great. Start getting better strikes off those bad lies.
October 14, 2015

Today, I'm going to teach you guys how to handle a ball below your foot situation on the golf course with ease. Let's go ahead and get started.

                Okay, gang, so here we are today faced with this really tricky ball below our foot situation on the golf course. The objective in today's video is just to give you a very clear understanding and a couple of checkpoints of what you're trying to accomplish here so that you can handle these golf shots with ease. A couple of the checkpoints that I like to use is number one, we got to get our lower body really stable to the ground. The reason being is because when we have or we're making our golf swing here, we're going to have a lot of momentum and inertia trying to pull you over your toes and throw you off balance. That can cause a lot of mishits and make your golf ball go all over the place.

                What we're going to do to counter-balance this slope here or compensate for this slope and also get stability is we're just going to increase our knee flex just a fraction here. Not a ton, I don't want you sitting way down on your knees. That can cause you to fire upwards and then we'll have another mess of problems on our hands, but normally what we're looking for is we want the back of the knee to be right over the center of the ankle. You're going to see I just increase it just a little bit to help compensate for the slope. That's going to help you get stable to the ground here. It's going to help you so you're not feeling like you're falling over your toes as you start your down swing. We're just going to increase the knee flex just a little bit.

                Next thing I'm going to do here is I'm going to roll my ankles in just slightly. Now, rolling the ankles in slightly, what that does is it gets you some contraction here in the upper part of your thighs, which is great for stability. Again, what we're looking for here is just a little bit of increase in knee flex. Roll the ankles in. I'm going to increase my spine angle just a little bit, just to make sure my chest is over the ball here. Our goal is to make sure that our weight stays right underneath our ankle joints throughout this entire golf swing.

                Now, the next thing that you need to be aware of is because we have the ball below our feet, what's going to happen is this ball's going to tend to move out to the right. We have to be able to play for that. I put this alignment stick down here so you could see the direction where I'm trying to hit this shot, but what I'm going to do is I'm actually going to turn my feet just a little bit here. This is one of those things that you're going to have to play with at home to better understand how much your ball is going to curve, but in order for us to really kind of overcome a lot of the curvature there, we're going to focus on our release today. You're going to see here what I'm going to focus on is making sure that my forearms feel like they're almost touching each other as I release the club. You're going to see that as I finish, now this toe of the club is releasing a little bit harder. That's going to help me compensate for the slope as well.

                Again, your checkpoints are increasing knee flex just a little bit. Roll the ankles in. Ball position's going to remain the same. We're going to turn our body just a little bit. Then we're going to focus on making sure that when we release the club that our forearms feel like they're relaxed and rolling over the top of each other. 

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