Hitting a Golf Ball to an Elevated Surface

When a golf course is designed, it is created in a way that best challenges the golfers using the terrain available to them in addition to man made obstacles. One of these challenges is uphill lies.

Portions of the course are designed to go uphill as you play, pushing the golfer to hit the ball in a way so that it can land on the higher elevation without rolling back down the hill or overshooting the target. To perfect this kind of shot requires a lot of practice and more than a little know how.

To help you with hitting your golf ball to a higher elevation, we've accumulated these tips and tricks for you to follow, allowing you to surpass this "uphill" battle.
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Tips for Hitting Your Golf Ball to an Elevated Surface

  • Stance and Body Position: The first area to master to perfect hitting a ball to an elevated surface is your body language.

    For your feet, maintain the same stance that you would during your normal golf swing. Footwork is nothing fancy when it comes to this shot, so your normal stance is your best option.

    As for your upper body, position yourself tilted slightly downwards. This will help you to get under the ball better when taking your swing.
  • Know Your Clubs: When hitting a golf ball uphill you will want to use a club that allows you to hit at a higher trajectory. Depending on the elevation, 8 and 9 irons, as well as sand, pitching, and approach wedges all have a loft high enough to help you get under the ball and launch it uphill.

    If you are unsure which club to choose keep this in mind: The closer the back of the club head is to the ground, the higher the angle of trajectory will be.
  • Take Nature Into Consideration: Much like any other shot, the weather will make a difference on your shot, in particular, the rain. Heavy rain coming down will push your ball towards the ground, as well as weigh it down, causing your ball to not fly as high as you may like.

    In a different light, rain can actually help with traction when shooting uphill. Should your ball land on the slope, the rain will give your ball more traction and slow it down, keeping it from sliding down the hill. And speaking of the hill itself...
  • Gravity: The biggest issue that you will encounter when shooting to an elevated surface is the hill itself. You are trying to hit a target on top of the hill, so you obviously want to power your shot enough to make it up the hill. With this in mind, you also don't want to overpower your shot, especially if there is a slope on the opposite side of your target.

    Over or under powering your shot will likely lead to the ball rolling down the hill, causing you to drastically miss the mark and adding strokes to your game. While it may be trial and error, you will need to judge how much power to use for your shot depending situation and elevation of the hill.
  • The Actual Swing: Now to the meat of your uphill shot: the swing itself.

    When you take your swing, the only thing you will actually want to do differently is to direct your shot in a downward motion. This will help you to hit the ball from underneath and send it up the hill.

    While you will want to hit underneath the ball, try not to "scoop" it when following through your shot. Scooping is when, instead of hitting the ball, you basically pick it up and throw it using your club. This type of shot will not only be weaker than your normal shot but it at the same time will be wildly inaccurate.

    Try to keep a high-arc trajectory when taking your shot, as this will likely give you the air you need to get to your target. Don't mistake this for the type of high-flying shot that you may get off of a driver, as this will cause your ball too fly to high and far and miss the mark.

    Finally, don't mistake a downward swing for essentially "hacking" at the ball. This will accomplish nothing except digging up dirt from the ground. Try not to attack the ball too aggressively and instead just let your swing flow naturally, trying not to hit the ground.
  • Apply Spin: If you know how to do it effectively, try to apply spin to your ball. This can both help you gain extra distance from a top spin, or help you hold your ground with a backspin. If you are not sure you can use this technique effectively, however, it is best to abandon it and not try at all.
  • Practice Makes Perfect: When you can, practice your uphill and elevated shots at home. You can easily do this if you have a small hill by your home, but if you don't, making a hill with simulated turf and a few different sized boxes is also an option.
ball to elevated surface


There are many different aspects to the game of golf that one has to master in order to become a better golfer, and shooting to an elevated surface is just one of them. Even so, once you use the tips above and practice your elevated shot endlessly, you will be one step closer to being the top guy on your golf course's leader boards.