Have you wondered whether club fitting is important? One trend that I have noticed in the last 10-15 years in the golf business is less people buying clubs off the rack and more getting custom fitted.  A misconception that many people have is that it costs more to have “custom” clubs which is not true. I usually insist on a full fitting with all of my students within the first 3 or 4 sessions that they spend with me.

The reason being that poor equipment can really hurt your golf game.

When I do a fitting, I try to think about everything happening with that current student… are they changing their ball flight, swing, body limitations, amount of practice time, skill level etc.

For the purposes of this post I am going to focus on how having the correct lie angle on your irons and wedges can really improve your ball flight. Generally speaking, if an iron is too flat that will

man's hand holding a golf club
Example 1: 7 iron with standard lie freshly hit doing a lie-board test.

cause the toe of the club to dig into the ground more than the heel. This will twist the face making it more open at impact and making the ball go the right for a right-handed player. Vice versa, if an iron is too upright that can create heel dig causing the club face to close at impact making the ball go to the left.

The correct lie angle on your irons

Here is an example. I am 6 foot 5 inches and because of my body and swinging style, I tend to hit down a bit steeper on the ball than shorter, shallower swinging golfers. This creates the need for me to have clubs that are more upright than normal. 

As you can see the markings on the sole of the club favor the toe which as stated earlier will make the face twist open. Now, check out the corresponding ball flight for this shot.

Example 1: Corresponding ball flight


Because the club face was opening at impact the ball ended up 12 yards right of target.

Now check out the markings from my current clubs which are 3 degrees upright.

man's hand holding a golf club
Example 2: Custom fitted club

As you can see the marking on the sole of the club is much closer to the center which means that when the club makes contact with the ground at impact it will be flat on the ground and much less likely to twist promoting a square club face. Now, check out the ball flight from this shot.

Example 2: Corresponding ball flight

Because the club face was more stable through impact hitting the ground nice and flat the club face was not as open and the ball ended up 1.3 yards left of target, a much better proximity to the hole.

I think even I could make that putt!

Now this lie angle example is just one factor that we look at in club fittings, but as you can see a very important one. One of the other nice parts about evaluating for the correct lie angle is here at the Treetops Golf Academy we have a loft lie machine and can measure and, in many instances, bend your current clubs to make the lie angle correct…. A game changer! The moral of the story is don’t buy clubs off of the rack, take your time, do the research and go to a golf professional who can help you understand your golf swing and the correct equipment to play your best golf.

Author: Joe Charles, PGA – Treetops Director of Instruction

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