Walking up to tee off, having first tee nerves, and then realizing you need to drive to an uphill fairway can create a problematic issue in the minds of many golfers. Often, they take the same alignment they would normally use for a tee shot where the fairway does not go uphill. Doing this, gives the player a feeling of being “jammed” at address and that the ball will not reach a high enough trajectory in its flight. The tendency is for the player to swing up at the ball through impact, moving weight to the back foot, and easily causing the shot to be hit “fat,” or cause it to be hit off-line because of a change in swing-plane.
It’s important to remember to always swing as perfectly level through impact as possible. If you encounter a rising fairway, the solution to being comfortable, is to change your alignment father to the left (right-handed players – opposite for lefties), move the ball back in the stance, and contact the ball with a slightly open clubface. This will cause the trajectory of the shot to go higher, accommodating the rising fairway, and the ball flight will be that of a power-fade. The steeper the rise in the fairway, the farther to the left you will want to aim.
Once you get the feeling of swinging absolutely level through impact, getting a feel for the exact geometry of alignment and ball position at address, becomes very easy. Go out on the golf course, find some uphill tee shots, and give this a try. Watch the video above of Danny doing this and you’ll see that the delivery on the shot is level, and totally comfortable. Also study the lessons on sidehill lies in the Gravity Golf Challenge on our website, and discover that the issues of setup geometry in golf are not as complex as they seem. Once you get this down, your first tee nerves on uphill fairway shots will be a thing of the past.