Lie angle can be one of the most important aspects of equipment. Even with the perfect golf swing, if you’re club face is perpendicular to the target but your lie angle is incorrect, your ball will fly off-line. If unaware that the lie angle is the cause of this off-line ball flight, a player may begin to make unnecessary swing adjustments. By getting club fitted for a correct lie angles not only do you eliminate these unnecessary swing adjustments, but you will also hit the ball more solid on a much more consistent basis. Let’s take a more in-depth look at how lie angle has an effect on your game.
Lie angle is the angle formed between the center line of the shaft and the sole of the club head. The goal is to have this lie angle fit the individual player in a manner that allows him/her to return the sole of the club level to the ground at impact. This allows the clubs loft to work towards the target instead of away from it.
To give a visual representation, let’s use a 60* wedge as an example. The loft on this club is is designed to propel the ball upwards. From a square club face and proper lie angle, when the ball is struck it will fly directly towards the target at a trajectory created by the loft. However, if you tilt the club in a manner where the toe of the club is up at impact, the loft will now point to the left even if the leading edge is perpendicular to the target.
If the lie angle of the golf club is too flat for a player, when it returns to impact, the golf club will now be in a toe down position. This will cause the loft to launch the ball off to the right. Conversely, if the lie is too upright, when the hands return to their natural position through impact the toe will be pointing up and directing the ball left of the target. The more loft the club has, the more important lie angle becomes.
The only way to determine if your lie angles are correct is to get your clubs fitted by an experienced club fitter. A lie angle that is off by 4 degrees could have you missing nearly every green. It is also important to consult with a golf professional about the things in your golf swing that may cause you to have the golf club out of position at impact. With one lesson and a club fitting you can shave a significant amount of strokes off your game, hitting twice as many fairways and greens!