Symetra Tour professional (New Britain, Connecticut) returns for Episode 7 of her weekly instructional series, “Staying Sharp with Sheary.” The Wake Forest University alumna and past Symetra Tour champion at the 2016 W.B. Mason Championship gives advice and drills to keep your game sharp—both physically and mentally—while at home and in practice, as courses continue to reopen.
In this week’s episode, Sheary outlines the hanging lie and what to expect when hitting in this position, where the ball rests on a side slope or small decline and sits below the golfer’s feet. Which way will it go and what is the best way to adjust the setup?
“Due to the nature of the lie and the way our swing will modify itself, there is no way around the fact of the ball is going to move from left to right,” Sheary said from the perspective of a right-handed player. “Instead of trying to shape the ball flight, the best thing to do is adjust your alignment. Remind yourself that it is not a poor swing when it goes to the right. By aiming far enough left, the shot will track toward its intended target.”
Perhaps the most important aspect to make clean contact with the ball in this situation is balance. It can be easy to lose posture and hit the ball thin or even top it. Based on the severity of the slope, gravity will place the center of balance in the toes. Therefore, it is key to keep weight centered in the stance and sit back, while bending at the hips.
“When playing the ball below your feet, the slope will push your weight to your toes,” said Sheary. “It is crucial to maintain solid balance throughout the shot. Since you need to swing easy and be in control, an extra club is very important.
“In order to get down to the ball, we must take a wider stance and bend from the hips more than usual. This will help shift the weight back to the heels, also moving your torso and arms toward the ball so you are no longer reaching for it. Although this will make the swing a bit more upright, it provides the best opportunity to make a good strike at the ball.”