We're been getting a lot of email lately asking about lie angle. I thought I'd take bits and pieces of these emails and try to answer some frequently asked questions…
I am a right handed player and tend to put my shots left. My buddy was watching me the other day and said that my club is toe up. He said that this causes the heel to dig into the turf and my ball goes to the left because of it. Is this true?
You're right… a club that is toe up at impact can force the ball left of the target. This has nothing to do with the heel digging though. An improper lie angle actually makes your loft work against you… and this makes the ball go left or right. Have a look at one of your irons and tilt it a bit toward the toe or heel. You'll notice that the loft of the club is only pointing straight when the club is sitting flat. Any alteration in the lie also changes where the loft points. A club that is heel up will force the ball to the right and vice versa (lefties will want to switch that around).
I want to check my lie angles. Can I do it without going to my shop?
Yep. Some shops will sell special impact tape that you can put on the soles of your irons but regular duct tape works too. Take a piece of tape and cover the sole of your 5 iron. Take the club out to the range and hit some balls off of the mat… making sure you hit the mat on the way through. You should start to see some marks on the sole tape. If most of the marks are in the middle of the sole then you're ok. If the majority of them fall on the heel or toe… head to your local shop for some adjustments. You'll probably want to repeat the process with a few other irons too… I'd try a long iron and a short iron as well.
I'm getting my clubs shortened. Will that change my lie?
Yep… it can. You'll want to check your lie angles again. Both lengthening and shortening an iron can alter lie.
I'm considering getting new clubs and have always played clubs that were bent flat. Should I buy a stock set off the wall and then bend them or can I get something done from the factory?
First off.. get them to check your lie angle while hitting a stock set with standard specs. All clubs are made different and some people find that they're flat with one iron and standard with another… depending on company and model. If you find that you'll need an adjustment then see if the company offers different lie angles. Some companies build their heads in standard, upright and flat versions. Otherwise you'll have to get them bent.
I'm having trouble with my driver and am wondering if I can get it bent like my irons?
I'm guessing that lie isn't your problem. Improper lie angles have a greater affect on higher lofted clubs because there is more loft working against you. A lower lofted club like a driver won't be affected as much as a 7 iron. I wouldn't worry about the lie or your driver… focus more on loft, shaft flex and shaft length!
As a reader points out – some people with longer arms may need to look at doing something with their driver lie angle. Shortening the shaft is one option. You may also want to look at looking for a driver with a flatter lie angle.
That's all for tonight. Thanks for all of your email! We'll talk to you tomorrow…