D Plane for Uphill Lies

February 19th, 2010 by John Graham Leave a reply »

I’ve talked a bunch about how to hit straight iron shots using the D Plane as a guide.  I have assumed in my previous cases that I was dealing with a level lie.  Let’s look at the situation of an uphill lie.  This post will not talk about a ball above your feet as in a sidehill lie.

D Plane for Uphill Lies:  In order to hit these shots well, there are some things we have to do with our setup and swing to account for the slope.  Typically, we are told to aim a little to the right, get the shoulders at the same angle as the slope, move the ball a little forward and try and swing with the slope.  What does this do to the swing?  Because we are swinging with the slope, we end up with positive angle of attack relative to the target line.  The club reaches it’s lowest point before it strikes the ball.  How can the club reach it’s lowest point before the ball if I take a divot after the ball?  It’s possible because of the slope of the ground.  So, if my swing is directly at the target at low point, when the club gets to the ball the club has started to come inward and upward.  The more positive the angle of attack also gives us more time to close the face.  For these two reasons, these shots will tend to go left.  This is the why of aiming a little to the right for a right handed golfer for an uphill lie.

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2 comments

  1. Matt says:

    This is very interesting John. Did you measure this scenario with a trackman? If so how did you set it?

    Great site!

    Matt

  2. John Graham says:

    Matt,

    I haven’t but it would be nice to confirm.

    JG

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