Here’s a shot we see on tour and you face in weekend play. A ball lies on an upslope near the green, in fringe grass. In the U.S. Open, it might be out of the deep rough. 

The uphill chip or pitch is an easy shot if you understand what the ball will do—go higher, land shorter and roll less than a flat-lie chip. Club selection depends on the location of the flagstick, the slope and grain of the green and the wind. Getting the ball up is easy because the upslope helps with loft. I’ll use a sand wedge, pitching wedge or a 9-iron. 

To hit this shot, open the blade slightly, and hit the ball hard at the bottom of the swing. The key is not to decelerate. In heavy rough you might have to use up to three times the normal force. Keep your weight on the inside of your right foot, and align your shoulders with the slope—right shoulder lower than left. I play the ball more toward my left foot to swing along the slope. 

More Thoughts From Tom 


On sidehill putts, the center of the cup effectively shifts. The high side is the center, and that’s where you want the ball to enter. 

Don’t DECEL — 

An uphill chip or pitch is not a delicate shot. You have to swing hard and accelerate through the shot.