Lie angle on all clubs that will play off the turf, how important is a correct lie angle?

Well, except for the driver which is normally teed up, every other clubs in the bag will be played off the turf, including the putter.

I used to believe the lie angle is one of the more important fitting criteria for golf clubs, especially for the irons.
In recent years, there had been the data driven fitting for the golf clubs, including the putter. Necessary?

I like to learn about what other people, instructors and the teachers will think about this game and the equipment of the game. Refreshing myself on some of the publication from old schools in recent weeks.
In particular, Harvey Penick article regarding the equipment fitting grabbed my attention.
Harvey believed the length and the flex of the golf shafts are more important to the lie angle of the golf clubs. His reasoning was, since we don’t play golf on a perfectly flat surface, and we could not adjust the lie angle for the different lie we’ll be encountering on a golf course, this leaves the lie angle of the golf club secondary to other considerations like the length of the golf club and the flex of the golf shaft.
Same with putter fitting. We will not play on a perfectly level and smooth putting surface, the lie angle of a putter will be secondary to the aim of the putting line.
I tend to agree with his thoughts but, as always, there might be golfers who will vouch for data driven fitting ( and it is a significant segment of the industry in recent years).
Do you agree or disagree? If you had gone through the whole bag fitting process, did the lie angle adjustment benefit your game?


I think lie angle is certainly an element that should be looked at in a comprehensive fitting. I would agree with Penick that other factors are more important. I do think club length, static weight and maybe even MOI will impact a player more than lie angle. Personally I have struggled with a club more when it’s too long and light as opposed to the lie angle being a degree flat vs a degree upright. That said I have horrible tempo so a light club can really throw me off whereas a smooth swinger may not notice.


Yes, I still believe that the lie angle should be an element within the consideration for golf club fitting. however, the rank of importance has slide down the roll call since my earlier years with this game.

You are correct that since Penick’s time, the shaft weight has becoming an important factor. Back in the days there were not a whole lot of choices than what we have today.
In my opinion, the shaft weight is more important than the shaft flex; for feel, control and shot pattern dispersion.
If we just focus on the lie angle of a golf club, then we must also exam the static lie angle to the dynamic lie angle.
In my youth, my first instructor told me that all the adjustment did not mean much to him after decades of playing with the loft and lie machine, simply because of the golf club will change the lie and loft angle during a golf swing and impact with the turf and the golf ball.
Instead, he asked me to exam the divot and the ball flight.
I asked him what about the lie angle looked too up-right for me at address, with the toe of the club pointing 2-3 degrees up?
He then asked me how was the divot looked? and the Ball flight ? I answered, they were fine. He then told me not to worry about the toe of the golf club pointing up slightly.
Of course, he did not explain to me about the dynamic lie angle vs. static. Back then the big words were the “centrifugal force” and some had bought those swing jacket for training aids.
Today, the shared knowledge and the equipment ( software) could explain the golf swing on data much better than the past.
Information is great, but how to utilize the information is totally up to the end user.
I see a lot of the young PGA certified teaching staff on the range with a tablet trying to show the student what a correct golf swing should look like. He had forgotten human are not cookie cutter robots.
Just like many drivers on the roadway 100% depending on the GPS to tell them when to change lane instead of using their eyes and their brain. I’d bet some of them don’t even know how to read a map if you hand them the copy of Rand McNally road atlas.
Teck is great to enhance our performance, but not to a pint that it could take over the common sense at this point.

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Well to be clear, are we talking about ‘static’ or ‘dynamic’ lie angle? Except for maybe the putter, the lie of the club will change during the swing, depending a lot than on force of the swing, flex in the shaft, etc. A good fitting would of course do a dynamic fitting and in my limited experience that can impact especially scoring clubs like wedges, etc.


Not a club fitter, but have been through different fittings, so this is my opinion and experience -

Irons - yes lie angle is very important AS ONE PIECE OF AN OVERALL CORRECT FIT. It’s important to neutralize / zero out as much as possible any swing tendencies that cause a player to deliver the club head to the ball either… 1. too upright, or 2. too flat.

Putter - again, imo, but the putter lie angle should complement the player’s setup to the ball … for example, I’m kinda short and also like to setup fairly close to the ball … therefore my preference, and what I’m more comfortable putting with, is a much more upright lie. I feel this puts me, and my arms and hands, in a better position. BUT TOTALLY PERSONAL PREFERENCE

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Indoor fitting saves time and effort, but it’ll be under a controlled condition with perfect surface.
As we can not adjust the lie angle when we face different condition on the golf course. Dynamic lie angle is superior to the static measured angle but it is still a lab created data.
I like to think from the results backward to the start, instead of trying to fix the numbers at the start to try to adjust for the results.

Looking back on Wishon’s Common Sense Clubfitting book indicates that ‘lie’ is most important with clubs such as wedges, shorter irons. This is one of those things easily illustrated by attaching a magnetized pointer on the face of a wedge. Then tilting the shaft back (to simulate toe up lie) you can readily see how lie changes can impact accuracy for sure. Wishon lists lie as an A factor. He describes A factors as those club specs that will create the most visible and noticeable change in game improvement. When changing an A factor a golfer should experience a change in that game improvement factor. In summary, if the lie is not correct those scoring clubs like wedges, shots will most likely be inaccurate. Correcting that should produce significant improvement.
So my point, with wedges, shorter irons (9, 8) if a dynamic lie is not determined (hitting board) those clubs may be quite inaccurate. If you are adjusting a set of clubs, best to do a dynamic fit and adjustment. Things will never be perfect because we play off of a variable surface.


Of course. BTW, anyone knows where Tom is these days? Hope all is well with him.

I believe he sold Wishon to Diamond and retired although I had heard he still was doing some work for them.

I had known of the transaction with DTG. Perhaps he is using a different user name on the golf forums.
A golf guy like him could not leave the arena completely. It was a right decision for the time just like the Adams Golf. The environment is not the same as 20-30 years ago.


One aspect of my driver fitting was lie… more upright and it has had a tangible benefit.


Yes, the modern drivers seemed to move the sweet spots to the upper toe area. This also made it almost impossible to hit the driver off the deck, unlike the 80’s into the early 90’s when we could deck a driver when needed.
At one time, the guy who did the fitting told me ( maybe a dozen years ago ) that even for the irons, some want to have a slightly up-right lie to promote a draw pattern for the ball flight. Perhaps it worked for some golfers, not me.
I have always hit most of my golf shots either straight or with a 5 yard fade. May lose a little distance from not getting much roll out, but I am not going to use an up-right lie to manufacture a draw ball flight.

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Sure we can. And do. I alter my hips to try and mimic the lie I have on the course. (Trying to get the pelvic axis perpendicular to the lie.) If uphill lie, left hip is a skosh higher; right hip lower. Ball below feet? More knee bend, grip a tad higher, maybe tilt forward. Etc… It’s not perfect, but it does adjust things a tad compared to not doing that, and IME improves impact.

Lie for putters for me is quite important. Which was surprising. I do quite a bit better with 3-4 more upright than standard. The head sits more naturally for me. Then it’s just right arm back, and let it fall.


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There’s an article at WRX by Howard Jones on “DIY Driver Fitting” that’s absolutely amazing on that topic. Basically, find the center of gravity for your head (with some weight for the adapter), then try to hit about a 1/8-1/4 inch above that and towards the toe. The higher impact both increases launch and cuts spin (IIRC, roughly 1 degree and 300-400 RPM per 1/8"). Toe-side gets a teensy boost to velocity, but it’s like smash moving from 1.50 max to 1.52-53. It’s pretty small, but every little bit helps.
Evidently the clubhead speed is not measured at the toe tip, but at an approximation of the center of the head shape. So, the head is moving at 100 MPH, max ball speed ‘should’ be 150. But if you can hit a hair toe wise, that part of the head is moving 101 MPH, max ball speed might be 151.5.

Conversely, hit below that COG, and spin jumps, while launch drops.

Anyway, I found it a neat, very helpful article.


You are adjusting your posture and set up to accommodate the change of lie on the golf course, I was speaking of adjusting the lie angle of the equipment.
Granted, you can make adjustment to fit the condition, the human brain and body could adjust in a lot of ways.
However, it’ll take practice to acquire the confidence in making those on-course adjustment. Not a weekend golfer could accomplish in a short period of time.
I know quite a few golfers who could pick up any set of golf clubs and play a decent game, from XS to L flex from 1" shorter than standard length to over length. May not produce their best score but they could use any golf club.
One time I played with a guy who was on the bet with his buddies that he could shot under 80 with a junior set of golf club. He did.
Lee Buck ( Trevino) rumored to beat one of the club members with a baseball bat, a shovel and a rake.

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I don’t believe you can have a dynamic lie angle, given the definition is ’ *a measurement of the angle formed by the hosel/shaft and the ground when the head is at rest or when the grooves are parallel with the ground’ Loft angle is a different story.

Recent fitting I had the fitter felt that this was only an issue for those outside the norm (i.e very tall or short) and was not something he overly worried about. I had expected a detailed process to determine the best angle for me so was surprised at this. However as most people learn with off the shelf clubs and the majority of golfers play their hole lives with off the shelf options, many doing so reasonably well, it seems that he may have a point.


OEM standard measured golf clubs should fit the majority of the golfers.

Saying that because we have not figured in one element in this formula. Which is the adaptability of human being. We could adapt to a variety of situations when the environment changed. we are very resilient.
With practice, we could overcome minor imperfection. We do that everyday. About our life, about marriage, about jobs, about friendship… Another element no one ever talked about is the human is not a piece of machinery nor a robot. In that, our static measurement changes everyday.
If we changed to different pair pf golf shoes, there could be as much as 1/4" difference in height from the heel to ground measure.
Science study that we’ll be slightly different in height every morning when we rolled off our bed.
So, the human condition changes, the actual lie on the golf courses changes, the golf course condition changes and of course the weather will also change.
Then, how do we play the best golf we could? Your adaptability to the environment and the wonderful navigator between your ears will make the necessary adjustment, as it has always been.

Have you had the case of feeling not totally up-to-par for the first few holes after you teed off? Even when you had a good night sleep and feeling fit and well, warmed up properly on the driving range? The “game” did not return only after a few holes, right? Your mind was lagging behind schedule.

The perfect “fitting” in golf equipment is like chasing a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Which is good. It’ll give us hope, continue the chase for a better game so we can’t wait to get out there again.

The static fitting used by the mass started by Ping, which was the theme for the 80’s and the 90’s , now it’s the launch monitor and automated software to measure and produce data which seemed to make sense to the generations which embraced technology.

Just remember, technology is to assist us in our endeavor, to make our journey easier. It is not meant to be a replacement for who we are.

In Golf, the result on the golf course speaks loudly. One can have a perfectly fitted set of golf club, ending to produce similar outcome.

Golf is a marriage between the golfer and the equipment, together against the golf course and the element. In that, the golfer leads on one side and the element leads on the other.

Off the shelve golf clubs will fit most of the golfers. Personally, I believe the fitting is needed by the low handicap index holders to pursue the quest of lowering they index by a few strokes to refine their game on the last level.

If we give a home maker a full set of professional kitchen utensils, The dinner probably will be very similar to what it used to be.


It is a thing with woods, AIUI, given their greater length there’s a touch of droop at address that isn’t there at full speed and centripetal acceleration being applied by you to the shaft.

But that’s not the problem with improperly fit lie so much. It’s the irons, and the player perhaps digging more toe-first or heel-first. Which is easy to discern in a divot if there’s a problem. Also, the “dry-erase line on the back of a ball” test works a lot better than you might think for determining if the club is coming into impact with either toe-down or toe-up bias.

I deliver standard-lie, black dot Pings with toe-down bias. Face opens a bunch, and I get inconsistent. Dry erase line on the club is tilted far more than the 1-2 degree of lie change to fix it would suggest. Accordingly, I tried green dot, 2 degree upright clubs and no face opening issues, level divots, and a straight up and down dry erase line. More consistent flight.

It sounds like bs, but it works. Shrug.