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Lesson Learned: Stay Low When the Ball is Below Your Feet

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Xander Schauffele of team United States plays his shot on the first hole during Saturday Morning Foursome Matches of the 43rd Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits on September 25, 2021 in Kohler, Wisconsin. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

The competitors in the 43rd Ryder Cup are quickly finding out that Pete Dye’s masterpiece Whistling Straits’ landscape is about as smooth as Lake Michigan on a windy day. In following the action, we have witnessed several players compete against some very uneven lies.
The first priority in all uneven lie situations is to find your balance. Specific to Xander Schauffele's situation, don’t lean forward to reach the ball. Rather lower your center of gravity by bending your knees and dropping your backside.
In this position, your body will find it harder to rotate through the shot. Again balance is a huge key and you’ll need to keep steady. Therefore with a limited turn back and through it’s important to employ a little extra club. If you normally hit a 9-iron, grab and 8. Our body is the engine that creates power in the swing. Hold it still and we definitely need a little extra stick.
The final pre-swing key is to modify your aim. When the ball is below your feet it will travel away from you. Make sure you compensate by aiming toward the uphill side of your target. Swing along that intended start line and just let the landscape move the shot.
All golf courses possess a multitude of uneven lie situations just like Whistling Straits. Finding the ball below your feet is just one of them. For help to figure out the remaining types of uneven situations consult your local PGA Coach.

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