The truth and lies about proper club angles.

The lie angle of your clubs needs to fit your game. It needs to take into account your body type, and any other factors that contribute to the way you swing. A proper fitting shouldn’t just be done when you buy a new set of clubs.  Numerous other factors can change which will require the golf club to be adjusted. If the lie angle of your clubs isn’t matched to your swing mechanics, you are already making the game harder than it already is!

As we’ve mentioned in a previous post, golfers are realizing how important driver fitting is to maximize proper ball flight. But this same attention needs to be equally addressed with your irons. Using equipment that does not fit the golfer could cause a push or pull; a chunk or skull; or make the golfer compensate their swing.  Shaft flex also needs to be addressed.  I have found that most golfers play a shaft that is too stiff, which also causes misdirection and swing compensations.

The greater the loft of a club, the more effect the lie angle will have on the ball’s direction. Incorrect lie angles will start the  ball more offline in higher lofted clubs, such as wedges, then it will in lower lofted clubs, such as drivers. That is why the proper lie angle with your irons is so important: Once the ball is struck it starts to spin, and any directional problems will be exaggerated due to the ball spinning in the “wrong” direction.

Cause and Effect

For example, when the leading edge of a club’s face angle is pointing to the right of the target line (open for a right-handed golfer) and the club path is parallel to the direction the leading edge is pointing, the ball flight will result in a push and the ball will continue a path to the right of the target. (A great and inexpensive way to help you visualize where the ball will travel based on the position of your clubface is by using the Mitchell Golf Magnetic Lie Angle Pointer).

A push is different than a slice as a slice will curve to the right where a push will stay on a straight path to the right. Fortunately, the lie of an iron can be changed to match the owner’s swing characteristics. It’s one of the first factors to consider when dealing with club
performance and the cost to have a club’s angle changed is well worth the payoff in
directional performance improvement.

— Patrick Gallagher, PGA
Director of Golf Operations

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