what is a lie angle in golf

What is a Lie Angle in Golf?

Every golfer knows that it takes a good level of consistency to be excellent on the course. You’ll be caught between grooving the right swing and consistently trying to hit the ball in the middle of the face with your iron.

These are tough jobs already, and the last thing you’ll want is to attempt them while your equipment is working against you. But if your irons do not have the right lie angle, it’ll definitely work against you. Are you surprised? Let’s discuss the lie angle and how it can affect your golfing journey.

So, what is a lie angle in golf? Lie angle is the angle between your club’s shaft and the ground when it arrives at impact parallel to the ground. Lie angle is one of the essential aspects to think about when buying a set of golf irons. Bear in mind that different manufacturers have different specs for the lie angle on their clubs, and golfers may have to adjust them depending on the type of swing they target.

Over time, we’ve seen golfers begin using their new sets of irons without thinking about adjustments. While this may seem okay, it usually means that you’ve conditioned yourself to play in a particular manner. Unfortunately, despite the glaring importance of lie angle, many golfers overlook it when purchasing their iron set. They often fail to realize that not adjusting their lie angles properly could cause their shots to travel 8-10 yards offline from their intended target, irrespective of how accurately the player tries to swing.

Different Angles of A Lie Angle

golf lie angle explained

As we’ve explained above, there are different angles of a lie angle, and each brand may adopt its lie angle depending on several other specifications. The lie will be called ‘too uptight’ if the club’s toe is lifted too high above the ground. The position would usually cause the club’s heel to strike the turf first before touching the ball. Hence, shutting the clubface at impact and sending the ball flying to the left.

On the other hand, the club would be referred to as ‘too flat’ if its heel is too high and causes the club’s toe to dig into the ground. This would usually open the clubface at impact and send the ball flying to the right.

Therefore, you can pick a clue on your club’s angle from your divot. Deeper divots in the toe might indicate that your lie angle is too flat. Otherwise, deeper divots on the heel show that your lie angle is upright.

It’s important to understand that the right lie angle would not necessarily be dictated by how the clubhead sits at the address. Instead, it’ll be dictated by the club’s interaction with the ground at impact.

The degree that’ll be referred to as the ‘standard’ lie angle may differ from brand to brand, and that’s why we typically recommend a custom fitting. For example, a Titleist Velocity club would have its lie angle for a seven iron marked at 63°, while a ping iron with the same description would be marked 62°. Most people also realize that they’ll need different irons to carry different angles in their set.

In the end, you want to focus more on getting the lie angle for your irons and wedges more correctly compared to woods. This preference is generally because of the greater lofts that irons and wedges carry. Of course, more wedge means more offline direction. Getting the correct lie angle is vital when fitting your new club. But beyond that, we recommend checking them periodically to prevent the lie angle from getting bent due to overuse.

So, Why Is Lie Angle Important?

Yes, we all know that knowing the lie angle of a golf club is important. After all, it impacts the direction of the clubface at the moment of impact.

This means it’ll be challenging to hit accuracy with a lie angle that’s way off. However, in the rare times that you’ll manage to hit the ball accurately, it’ll mean that you’ve made several adjustments and compensations to achieve that.

How Do You Find The Correct Lie Angle For Your Golf Clubs? (3 Techniques)

Every time we talk about lie angle and its importance in golfing, we often hear golf enthusiasts ask about the possibility of finding the correct lie angle for their clubs. Well, there are a few ways to know what lie angle you should have.

Use a launch monitor

The first and perhaps the most popular method of finding out the correct lie angle for your club is using a launch monitor. Different brands of launch monitors may function differently, and you would need to understand how it works to use it efficiently. Some launch monitors are designed to track a club’s position at impact. Usually, you’ll find this equipment in certified club fitting facilities, so you’ll get all the information you need to know during fitting.

Using a lie board

Another popular way of knowing your lie angle is with lie board equipment. You’ll also need to go to a fitter to access this equipment as with the first option. Here, a ball would be placed on a board and a sticker on your club’s sole. Each shot would cause your club to impact the board, making a mark on the sticker. This mark on the sticker usually indicates to what extent the lie angle should be adjusted.

Self-test

As the name signifies, this method is simple and can be done by any golfer. You just have to use a permanent marker to draw a thick line on your golf ball. Ensure that the line is vertical and facing the target when you place it on the ground. This would cause the ball to leave a stain on your club when the contact is made.

If the line’s stain on your club faces to the left, it means that the lie angle is too flat. If the line’s stain faces to the right, it means that the lie angle is too upright. No doubt, this is the easiest method to check, although it may not be as accurate as the other methods listed here.

You Need a Club Fitter

We can’t overemphasize this point enough.

If you want your club to give precisely what you require of it, you’ll need fitting for it. Of course, you can start playing with your club off the pack and still get some level of success. However, playing at the very top requires every bit of accuracy, and club fitting offers you this.

Nearly all major club manufacturers have a guide or chart attached to their pack to make the whole process of changing the lie angle easier. But you still don’t want the stress of doing it yourself.

Usually, Ping leads the way in club fitting. It is a simple color-coded dot system that lets you determine your lie angle. With it, you can tell whether your lie angle is standard, flat, or upright.

If you take your club for fitting, club fitters would usually begin by taking a hand-to-floor measurement. This measurement helps them determine the distance from the tip of your fingers to the ground when you’re standing upright with your arms beside you. Club fitters usually use the measurement as a baseline to start.

Next, they’ll ask you to hit a few shots while carefully noting your ball flight and the part of your club’s sole that makes contact with the ground. Some fitters would use a lie board or a launch monitor, as explained above. A fitter can adjust your lie angle to suit your swing with the data collected.

Wrapping Things Up About the Golf Lie Angle

That’s it, a detailed review of what a lie angle is, and it’s crucial In golf. To briefly summarize, the lie angle of your irons is very important because it significantly affects the initial direction of your shots.

For starters, you should note that different irons are created differently, and you’ll need to find irons with the right specifications for your swing. Unfortunately, this can be a hard journey, and that’s why most golfers prefer to buy what’s available and fit it to what they need.

Most clubs can be fitted after purchase. However, you’ll need to test the current angle to see what kind of results it offers. If you are not comfortable with the present angle, then why not? You can fit it to suit your playing style.

Remember that having an incorrect angle adjusted can be the difference you need to pursue accuracy.