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Golf Types Of Shot Lies

Table of Contents


Golf Types of Shot Lies

Let's talk about terms as they relate to where a player's golf ball may end up on the course.

  • Pin High
  • Plugged Lie
  • Fluffy Lie
  • Fried Egg
  • Flier Lie
  • High Side
  • Low Side
  • Unplayable Lie
  • Free Drop
  • Lift, Clean & Place
  • Play the Ball Down
  • Embedded Ball
  • Lost Ball
  • Cuppy Lie
  • Off the Deck
  • Uphill Lie
  • Downhill Lie
  • Sidehill Lie
  • Lipout
  • Gimme

Pin High

Pin high means that a golfer's approach shot lands level with the hole.


Plugged Lie

A plugged lie occurs when a golf ball lands partially below the ground's surface. Depending on the types of rules by which a golfer is playing, he may place the ball on the ground to improve the lie.


Fluffy Lie

A fluffy lie is defined as a ball sitting in the rough, with long grass surrounding the golf ball. A fluffy like makes it more difficult for the golfer to strike the golf ball cleanly.


Fried Egg

A fried egg lie occurs when a golf ball lands in the bunker and sits down in the sand, making it difficult for a golfer to hit a good bunker shot. The impact from the ball hitting the sand creates an impression around the golf ball and looks like a fried egg.


Flier Lie

A flyer lie is identified as a golf ball sitting up on the grass which can cause the ball to travel a greater distance than normal. This is due to the fact that the ball will fly higher in the air at a faster rate and yield a greater overall carry.


High Side

High side reflects the golf ball's positioning as above the flag stick when lying on the putting green.


Low Side

Low side reflects the golf ball's positioning as below the flag stick when lying on the putting green.


Unplayable Lie

An unplayable lie occurs when a golfer is physically unable to hit the ball due to an object like a tree or bush impeding his swing. When faced with an unplayable lie, a golfer can drop his ball within one club length of its original spot


Free Drop

A free drop takes place when a golfer is allowed to drop his golf ball without incurring a penalty stroke.


Lift, Clean & Place

Lift, Clean, and Place is a rule that allows a golfer to pick up his/ball to remove any dirt or mud and put the ball at its original resting point. This ruling takes effect when the golf course is wet and muddy.


Play the Ball Down

Play the ball down means a golfer must hit the golf shot from its original lie without touching or lifting the ball to clean it or improve the lie.


Embedded Ball

An embedded ball occurs when a golf ball becomes stuck in an object on the course, such as the ground, a tree, or bush. An embedded ball does not incur a penalty stroke, and the golfer must place the ball at the nearest spot of its original resting point.


Lost Ball

A lost ball occurs when a golfer hits a golf ball and is unable to locate that ball to hit on his next shot.


Cuppy Lie

A cuppy lie is when the ball is sitting down slightly, usually in a small depression. This type of lie can make it more difficult for a golfer to make solid contact upon striking the golf ball.


Off the Deck

Hitting a ball off the deck refers to when a golfer hits a driver or fairway wood off the ground without using a tee.


Uphill Lie

An uphill lie is a slope that angles up, which upon impact, tends to make the golf ball fly higher.


Downhill Lie

A downhill lie is a slope that angles down, which upon impact, tends to make the golf ball fly lower.


Sidehill Lie

A sidehill lie is a slope that angles down to the right or left, which upon impact, tends to make the golf ball fly sideways depending on the angle of the slope.



A lipout occurs when a golf ball roles around the side of the hole but does not drop in the cup.



The term gimme is used to express when a golfer does not need to putt the ball in the hole due to its close proximity to the cup, which is usually a matter of inches.