Five Easy Steps
By: Ed Mitchell
Modern golf clubs are made up of 3 components; the club head, the shaft and the grip. The performance of each golf club is the result of each individual component being optimized for the individuals swing.
The swing balance of a golf club is derived from the weight of each component, the playing length and the flex of the golf shaft. This fairly simple equation determines whether a golfer can comfortably deliver the club head to the golf ball. In an ideal impact position and whether the golfer can do it repeatedly.
Physics tells us that the collision with the club head and the ball determines ball flight and where the golf ball eventually ends up. The position of the club’s face attitude is very important. It’s one of the most important factors in determining the ball flight direction and curvature.
In simple terms the lie angle of the club positions the club’s face attitude horizontally or tilted up or down, which creates the tilt axis spin of the ball. This produces its flight and curvature.
Because lie angles are so critical to ball flight, it’s vital that irons are adjusted to fit each golfer to their playing characteristics.
The first step to bending irons is to properly register the club head in a horizontal face attitude positon in the bending machine. This is easily done by positioning the score lines parallel to the radius surface between the two Vertical Face Fixture bars used to square the club’s face.
The club head sole sits on the two Irons Sole Clamps. They will rotate when the Top Clamp is engaged, which will capture the club to prevent slipping.
The Toe Stop needs to be adjusted to allow the club’s face to slide in or out of the Face Fixture to find the horizontal position.
Now that the club is secure in the correct register, it’s important to measure what the club’s loft/lie angles are.
Engage the shaft plate against the shaft. Position the lie plate under the shaft to read both loft and lie angles. Record the appropriate numbers for later reference.
After determining what the golfer’s ideal angles are from a lie fitting method, then you must adjust the angles by positioning the adjustable bending bar as low as possible on the iron’s hosel. To bend, use the bending bar to apply pressure against the hosel to remove torque and then bend by making short bumping motions with the bar. You will feel the hosel bend. With experience, you will learn how much each bend feels like in actual degrees.
After bending process described, check new angles to determine if you’ve achieved the ideal angles set for loft and lie. If you have not achieved the desired measurement, repeat the bending process and re-measure. Remove the bending bar and remove the club from the Angle Machine. Record your final measurements.
Witness Ball Flight
To analyze the effect on ball flight from the adjusted angles, it’s recommended to have golfer’s hit balls to witness any change or new patterns. If the resulting ball flight is ideal, then the job is done. If your ideal angles aren’t producing the desired ball flight, start process over make adjustments until desired ball flights achieved. In today’s high tech world, flight monitors are used to evaluate ball flight.
This method is used by tour professionals to optimize their performance. Clearly the adjustment of loft and lie angles works for professional golfers. My guess it will also work for you. Ask your local PGA professional to assist you in the process and go out and enjoy the game of golf.