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WATCH: How to (and how NOT to) play from an uphill lie

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Top-100 teacher Tom Stickney of Punta Mita Golf Academy in Mexico provides tips for playing the ball from an uphill lie. Hope this helps!

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Tom F. Stickney II is the Director of Instruction and Business Development at Punta Mita, in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico (www.puntamita.com) He is a Golf Magazine Top 100 Teacher, and has been honored as a Golf Digest Best Teacher and a Golf Tips Top-25 Instructor. Tom is also a Trackman University Master/Partner, a distinction held by less than 15 people in the world. Punta Mita is a 1500 acre Golf and Beach Resort located just 45 minuted from Puerto Vallarta on a beautiful peninsula surrounded by the Bay of Banderas on three sides. Amenities include two Nicklaus Signature Golf Courses- with 14 holes directly on the water, a Golf Academy, four private Beach Clubs, a Four Seasons Hotel, a St. Regis Hotel, as well as, multiple private Villas and Homesites available. For more information regarding Punta Mita, golf outings, golf schools and private lessons, please email: tom.stickney@puntamita.com

8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. ButchT

    Sep 25, 2018 at 4:20 pm

    Good advice thank you.

  2. DL

    Sep 25, 2018 at 3:33 pm

    That was barely an uphill lie

  3. halensmith

    Sep 24, 2018 at 3:02 am

    Interesting topic. Thank you for sharing this

  4. geohogan

    Sep 23, 2018 at 12:52 pm

    Simple, to the point… like it.

    • engineer bob

      Sep 23, 2018 at 1:36 pm

      But it contradicts G.Hogan-1992. “In golf, there should be no deliberate relocation of body weight as such.”, and, “If you watch a good golfer closely, you will see that the transfer of “weight” from one foot to another is delayed until the very last moment.” He completely ignores the mechanics of uphill and downhill shots.

  5. larrybud

    Sep 23, 2018 at 10:19 am

    Sometimes “higher” means “longer”, so less club is warranted, not more. For example, if you’re hitting a 7 iron, and aligning to the slope of the ground, it may make it an 8 iron, but with 7 iron shaft length.

    Two, a bit contradictory advice. If you’re NOT going to align to the slope of the ground and instead “lean left” (relative to the ground), the ground effect will be nil, and club adjustment wouldn’t be needed.

    • larrybud

      Sep 23, 2018 at 10:20 am

      Let me also add that if you’re hanging back, that can often lead to a pull, not an open face, because your sternum is farther back than normal at impact. So it all depends on if you hold the face open or release it as normal.

  6. steve

    Sep 22, 2018 at 5:45 pm

    Right on, Tom. It would be interesting to trace the ground reaction forces when hitting on an uphill lie. Put force plates on an inclined and braced 4’x 4′ plywood panel and see what you get. It would scientifically confirm what you are advocating.

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WATCH: How slow-motion training can lead to more power and consistency

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Eddie Fernandes has made big changes to his swing (and his power and consistency have gone up) by mastering the key moves in slow motion before he speeds them up. Everyone should use this kind of slow motion training to make real changes to their swing!

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WATCH: What you really need to know to control the direction of your shots

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In this video, Top-100 Teacher Tom Stickney shows you how to better control the direction of your shots by understanding how both the club face and swing path determine where your ball goes.

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Stickney: There are many ways to pitch the ball that work

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While surfing through some old swings, I found a great photo of two players hitting pitch shots at Augusta. Both are great pitchers of the ball but use differing techniques. It goes to show you that there is more than one way to get the job done and in fact it reiterates that there is really no “law” when it comes to what shot to play under certain circumstances.

Note: I did NOT say that one was better than the other; I said both work, but you must decide which style works better for you in the end.

In the photo on the left, the player in the white sets his wrists fully, but as we look at the player on the right (in the blue) you can see no wrist hinge at all. So, which is more correct? Both are!

The player on the left hits his pitch shots with more of a driving of the leading edge, which relies on a steeper angle of attack. The golfer on the right uses more of the bounce of the club and thus will come into the ball more shallowly. Not setting the wrists as much helps him to do so.

So, remember that you must experiment with both styles to find your best way…but don’t forget it’s nice to understand and learn how to use both!

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