You may have heard golfers talk about how they need to use a flatter club or that they need to change their lie angle. What the heck are they were talking about?
What does 2 degrees flat mean? – A golf club can be bent two degrees flat when the lie angle is lowered and the heel of the club is raised to a position that is higher than the toe of the club. Golfers change the lie angle of a club to better their chances of hitting the center of the clubface.
Changing the lie angle of a club can help golfers more consistently hit shots off of the center of the clubface. There are however a few key points that golfers need to know about changing the lie angle of their club so that they can get the most out of their club.
What is a Flat Lie Angle
A flat lie angle is simply when the heel of the golf club is bent so it is higher than the toe. Club fitters are able to bend clubs to increase or decrease the lie angle using a loft, lie bending machine.(more on this down below)
Here are the different ways fitters change the lie angle of a club:
- Standard lie – Unaltered lie angle
- Upright lie- The toe of the club is bent higher than the heel of the club (lie angle is higher than a standard lie)
- Flat lie – The toe of the club is bent lower than the heel of the club (lie angle is lower than a standard lie)
A club can either be bent to an upright position (toe higher than heel) or flat (toe lower than heel) usually in increments of 1 or 2 degrees. When looking for clubs that fit your game, a professional club fitter will look at these factors down below to determine what their lie angle should be:
- A golfers height
- A golfers grip
- Swing path
- Release timing
- Clubface position at impact
I know this concept can be confusing, especially if you have never been fit for golf clubs before. So if you have the time, watch this cool video that I really like explaining how important lie angle is for your golf game:
Benefits of Having the Correct Lie Angle
Having and knowing the correct lie angle of your clubs will be a game changer, I promise! Golfers who know this information will have a much easier time controlling their ball flight, hitting the center of the clubface more consistently.
Here are common ball flight issues if you are playing the wrong lie angle:
- Perfect Contact: There are no ball flight issues. The sole of the club is parallel to the ground at impact and the ball will start off at the target
- Lie Angle is too high (upright): The toe of the club is high above the heel and cause shots that will start off left of the target (right-handed golfers)
- Lie Angle is too low (flat): The toe of the club is lower than the heel and cause shots that will start off to the right of the target (right-handed golfers)
Unfortunately, club manufacturing companies sometimes use different lie angles for their clubs. Check out the different lie angles of a standard 8 iron from these three companies:
- Titleist 718 – AP2 – Lie angle of 63.5
- Callaway Apex – Lie Angle of 62.5
- Taylormade M5- Lie Angle of 63
I know that the difference between these angles doesn’t seem like much. However, even a degree difference can affect the direction where the ball might start out and can be the difference between you hitting the green, and you landing in a bunker!
Who Should Use a Flatter Lie Angle
Here is a quick list of scenarios that might mean that you need to use a flatter lie angle in your clubs:
- You are using clubs that are too tall for you (easy fix is to change the shaft length)
- You stand far away from the golf ball when making a swing
- You bend the knees a lot when swinging
- Your golf ball starts off towards the left of your target (right for lefties).
- You hit the golf ball off of the heel of the club often causing the golf ball to hook or pull
Who Shouldn’t Use a Flatter Lie Angle
On the flip side, here is a list of situations that might require you to get a more “upright” lie angle:
- You are playing clubs too short for you (again. probably best to just change the shaft length)
- You stand tall over the golf ball when swinging
- You stand very close to the golf ball
- Your golf ball starts towards the right of your target (left for lefties)
- You hit the golf ball off the toe of the cub more often causing the clubface to open up and create push or slice
Where Can You Get Your Lie Angle Adjusted
The best way to get your loft and lie adjusted is by a professional club fitter. I highly recommend that golfers get fitted “before” making a large purchase on golf clubs. To do this, simply Google, “Golf Club Fitters Near Me” and you will get a great list of places that will make sure you are playing the right lie angle for your game.
It is a lot easier to find what lie angle you need in your golf clubs and purchase a set rather than have to individually bend each club. I did this several years ago and it ended up being quite expensive, so don’t be me and order your custom set all at once!
Watch this great video here if you are curious on how to bend the lie angle of a club using a loft/lie machine
What is impact tape? – Impact tape is a tape that a club fitter places on the face of the golf club that creates marks of where the golfer struck the ball on the clubface. The fitter can then analyze a golfer’s swing pattern and adjust the lie angle accordingly.
How does a 1-degree change in lie angle affect ball flight? – A 1 degree lie angle change, either flat or more upright, can cause a 4-yard difference either left or right of a straight target.