Why is your lie angle important and how does it affect your shots are just two questions we tackle to help you get a grip on this crucial subject
Your lie angle is the angle between the center of the shaft and the sole of the club, and it’s important as it can affect how your club enters the turf at impact, and consequently, which direction the ball travels in.
A perfect lie angle, commonly referred to as square, is when the sole of your club is parallel with the turf.
To find out your current lie angle, most professionals and fitters use a couple of methods; a static fitting and a dynamic fitting.
A static fitting relies on data you provide, such as your height, and it helps your fitter assess the suitability of the current lie angle at address.
The dynamic fitting then takes place when you hit a few shots on a lie board, as shown below. As your club hits the board at impact, it will make a mark – either on the sole or on the lie tape stuck on the sole. This mark then highlights your current swing plane.
If you swing too steep, the common fault of players who slice the ball, you will most likely make a mark nearer the toe. The result of this type of action is generally toe heavy divots and more shots struck out the toe of the club.
In this instance, your fitter should try a few upright lie settings until you start consistently making marks on the centre of the tape.
In a similar way, if you swing with a flatter swing plane you are more likely to make contact with the heel first, which can cause hooks. To help cure this a fitter will make your lie angle flatter until you start consistently making marks on the centre of the tape.
Why do they do this? By getting your dynamic lie angle closer to neutral, your face is more like to remain square at impact, so your shots should fly straighter and finish closer to where you want them to.
How length effects your lie angle
More often than not, if you are using the correct length clubs and swinging reasonably well, your lie angle should be a good fit.
However, as you increase and decrease your length to account for your height, you will most likely need to alter your lie angle to help find a better swing plane that results in improved ball striking.
Taller golfers fitted for longer clubs tend to need more upright lie angles, while shorter golfers tend to benefit from flatter lie angles.
Beware though, tall players who hook the ball, and shorter players who slice the ball, may make their problems worse by making a lie angle change, so it’s always worth going through the process with a knowledgeable fitter or professional.
How far should I adjust my lie angle?
Unless you have an unusual body type, such as long or short arms for your height, you should avoid bending your lie beyond 2° as it will only prevent you from making improvements to your swing.
On this note, if you make a lot of swing changes after having a fitting, it is worth re-assessing your lie angle to see if it’s still suitable to your new action, which can be done very easily with any professional.