When it comes to your lies, I think you’ve either been lied to, or you have told yourself lies about your lies, and now you don’t quite understand how your lies are supposed to work. I’m going to see; (if I can through words), better explain how your lies can help or hurt you. You confused yet?
Clearly I’m talking about the angle formed by your clubshaft / head and the ground. This is your club’s lie angle. If you have no idea how lie angle affects the shot, read no further. This article is for those who understand lie angle, but in my opinion totally misunderstand lie angle. You confused yet?
If you have ever looked at your divot, you have noticed that it is not a perfect shallow dollar size tear of turf. It might be angular, it might have a deep side. These are all signs that MAYBE your lie is wrong. This is where it gets gray. You have probably been taught these are signs of a absolutely WRONG lie angle. I don’t necessarily agree. Here is where your mind might be bent…
Let’s call it “correct” lie angle and “useful” lie angle. There is fitting to the correct lie angle, a lie angle that levels out at the bottom perfectly. This does not mean your path is good or your face is square, but the club goes through the turf correct. Bravo, you have finely tuned clubs and a so-so swing. You look up and the ball often misses the green right, but damn, your divot looks good. Let me look at the scorecard and see where we add up “number of perfect divots per round”.
I like the idea of “useful” lie angle. This is the act of bending your clubs to slightly incorrect lie angle to account for swing attributes. Let me rephrase, “clubs are bent to straighten the ball flight of a not so straight swing”. This is the act of “fitting”. Let’s take Golf Course Owner Guy as example:
I come slightly over the top, with a square or sometimes slightly closed clubface. Great divots, ball has a habit of coming down on left side of pin, and when my hands close a little faster, the ball might move a little farther left. Oh, I hate the shot. By taking my lie angles and bending them a little “too flat”, the exact same swing produces a shot that starts left as it always had, but now tips to the right as it falls out of the air. In my case the toe is entering the ground a little bit more than the heel and it’s slowing down the closing of the clubface.
Wow, look at that! Ball starts left and cuts back slightly. That’s exactly where the pin is. Nice! Maybe not the perfect divot, but balls all over the flag stick. Last time I checked, that’s something we keep score of.
Golfers seem to think there is a lie angle that matches their swing. Unless you have a perfect swing, you might not want the matching lie angle. Think about a fitter using lie angle as a tool to offset a less than perfect swing. That’s why fitters just want you “swinging your swing”. They can adjust the equipment to generate a straighter shot. When people say they are fit, they should really be saying “I’ve been properly compensated for”.
The biggest lie you tell yourself is that you are “not good enough to be compensated for”. Sounds weird doesn’t it. That’s why you can benefit from fitting. That might be why your buddy with the ugly swing plays pretty good. Someone calculated his or her compensations. Hope that helps!