Monday, January 16, 2012

Things to Know About Common Golf Lies

Lies are common in golf, but it is the lie of your clubs, not the lie about the hole in one, that matters. Flat and upright lies deal with overall club fit. As with any club fitting adjustment, finding the club with the right lie for you will help lower scores and improve shot accuracy.
Club Lie
A club's lie refers to the angle between the shaft and the ground when the bottom, or sole, of a golf club is flush with the ground. Most clubs have a lie angle between approximately 50 and 60 degrees. Each type of club, whether it is a driver or a 5-iron, has a different standard lie angle. When the angle is different from the standard, it is termed either more upright or more flat. A more upright angle is a larger angle in which the shaft is more upright. A flat lie club's angle is more acute, with the shaft angled more toward the ground.
To strike the ball accurately, the clubhead must meet the ball square at impact. If a club lie is too upright or too flat, the ball will stray to the left or right. Flat and upright lies cannot be compared to determine which is better. The better lie is the one that suits your swing. For example, a taller golfer might need a more upright lie to avoid striking the ground with the toe of the club first, while a shorter golfer might need a more flat lie to prevent hitting the heel of the club first.
When choosing golf clubs, it is important that you are fitted for the best club length, loft angle and lie. According to Jeff Jackson's book on club fitting, measuring for proper lie angle should involve a combination of both static and dynamic testing. Because each golfer has a different swing style, lie angle is a personal measurement. Most pro shops, large golf stores and golf club makers offer specialized or custom fitting sessions to adjust for lie.
Ground Lie
Lie also can be affected by the ball's placement on the course. If the ball is on a hill sloping up or down, it will affect the angle at which the club meets the ground. Adjusting for such shots will help you maintain your accuracy. The ball will tend to go in the direction of the slope. For example, a ball on a hill that slopes away from you will tend to move out, away from your body, similar to a slice. A ball on a hill that slopes up will tend to move back toward you, similar to a hook. Adjust your aim on sloped shots to account for the varying flight paths.

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