Is This The Most Under-Practised Shot In Golf? 3 Expert Tips To Flush It When The Ball Is Above Your Feet

Rarely are we blessed with a nice flat lie on the golf course, but that doesn't have to be a big concern thanks to these three expert tips...

Golf Monthly Top 50 Coach Ged Walters demonstrating a shot with the ball above his feet
These 3 expert tips from Golf Monthly Top 50 Coach Ged Walters will help you strike it better when the ball is above your feet...
(Image credit: Kevin Murray)

As amateur golfers, we spend so much time listening to the best tips for things like how far to stand from the golf ball or finding the perfect ball position with every club, but often they relate to a lovely flat lie.

Most battle-hardened veterans of the game will tell you that finding such a fortunate position is rare, even if you do find the fairway, so what do we do if the ball is above our feet?

This under-practised shot can really harm your scorecard if you don't get it right, so we asked Golf Monthly Top 50 Coach Ged Walters to run us through three top tips for striking the ball better when this scenario occurs...

How Do I Play The Golf Ball When It's Above My Feet?

Rather than thinking of this as a totally different swing, instead consider it as making some adjustments. Some of the best golf courses in the world are heavily contoured, like The Masters famous host venue Augusta National, so being comfortable on the slopes is a necessity. I am going to break this down into three areas, which will hopefully help you to stay on the attack next time you find your feet below the level of the ball.

Jordan Spieth hitting a shot at the 8th hole at Augusta National in 2023

Augusta National, host of The Masters, has some huge slopes that can require this kind of shot

(Image credit: Getty Images)

1. Swing Flatter

Your swing needs to be more around you and flatter than usual, so stand a little taller to the ball and maintain your height as you swing. Keep the club moving around you in a semi-circular motion all the way. You’re more likely to hit a draw, so aim a little bit further right, and swing smoothly as balance can be trickier to maintain on sloping lies.

2. The Ball Position

The ball should be as close to its normal position as possible, but perhaps a fraction closer to centre depending on the club. With a mid-iron, for example, it would normally be a little forward, but I’d move it back about a ball’s width so it’s almost dead-centre. This is because the club’s natural arc will impact the ground too soon when the ball is above you.

Bryson DeChambeau hitting a golf shot with the ball above his feet at Valderrama Golf Club

Slightly altering the ball position and using a flatter swing are two ways to improve your strike when the ball is above your feet

(Image credit: Getty Images)

3. Replicate In Practise

Most golfers practise on driving ranges or practice areas with flat surfaces, but many golf courses are far from flat. Sometimes the ball will be well above your feet and successful results from such a lie require the changes to your set-up detailed here. If possible, try and find somewhere where you can also practise from such lies to hone the technique.

Ged Walters
Top 50 Coach

Location: True Fit Golf Centre 


Using different styles, teaching aids, technology and games to measure improvements, Ged is keen to make the learning process educational and fun. He's worked with a number of top local, national and international instructors, including Adrian Fryer and Jeff Ritter, one of the most prominent golf instructors in America. He's based at True Fit Golf Centre in Warrington, where he can be found coaching golfers of all abilities. He's also working hard on his own game with the aim of playing on the senior Tour (when the time comes). 


Students learn best when...

They leave their baggage at the door; this way they will garner a clearer understanding of their issues and how they can 

improve.


Advice for practice:

Don't go rogue! You will never improve if you don't practice how your coach has told you to. 


Most common problem:

Too many golfers judge if they have done what you ask by the outcome, yet that will not always be what they want to see when making changes. Focus on the process and the outcome will take care of itself.