Trackman tells us the truth about uneven lies (Part 1)


I was interested to figure out what specifically changed when the ball was above or below a golfer’s feet. The general rule of thumb is that when the ball is above your feet, it tends to go left for the right-handed golfers, and when below your feet, it will go to the right.

“Is this because of the path or the face, and why?” I wanted to know.

I knew I could use my Trackman to help figure this out. I tested with my 6 iron, a PXG 0311T with a standard lie angle. I put my Tuff Shot at an 8-degree grade, starting with the ball above my feet. Then I hit 20 shots, and repeated the same process with the ball below my feet at the same 8-degree grade.

Based on the Trackman results, the differentiators between the two lies at impact were:

  1. The face angle.
  2. The swing plane.

On average, the shaft plane at impact was 10 degrees flatter when the ball was above my feet compared to when it was below my feet. As a result, the club face, more than the club path, tended to change at impact depending if the ball was above or below my feet.

The flatter the shaft at impact, the more the sweet spot points left. The more upright the shaft at impact the more the sweet spot points right.

I attribute a large portion of this to the shaft plane at impact being flatter or more vertical. This changes the direction that the center of the face is pointing upon impact.

The Data Collected

From 20 shots hit with the ball above the feet at an 8 percent grade.

For someone who hits the ball relatively straight, here is why you need to aim right when the ball is above your feet:

  • The club face is going to be closed to the path at impact when the ball is above your feet. The more above the feet, the more it will be closed. Also, the ball starts closer to where the face is pointed at impact than the path at impact. So when you aim at the target, the ball will start left and go more left, which obviously is not ideal.

If you aim right:

  • Aiming right will get the face open enough — relative to the target line — but will be closed to the path and will allow for the ball to start right and finish at the target.

Here are some general setup tips when the ball is above your feet in an uneven lie:

  • Start by standing closer and taller than you normally would. The greater the slope the more important this is.
  • Choke down on the club to help get the shaft more upright and to avoid fat shots.
  • Aim your entire body to right field so the ball can start right of the target before it curves to the left.
  • Take one more club to compensate for choking down on the shaft.
  • Finally, commit to the swing and trust that the ball will come back to the left.

By Guest Contributor By Devan Bonebrake