One of the most overlooked aspects of clubfitting is lie angle. Simply put, the lie angle of any of your clubs is the angle of the shaft relative to the ground. So, if your club shaft rests more up and down, that’s considered an “upright” angle. If the shaft rests more towards the horizontal, that club is considered a “flat” lie angle.
Okay then, so what? Well first of all, because your clubs in your bag are of different lengths, it’s imperative that you swing the club on the proper plane that matches your club’s lie angle. For example: If I were to ask you to swing a 9-iron and a fairway wood the exact same way, on the same plane, what would happen? Invariably, I’d either be way too flat with my 9-iron or way too upright with my fairway wood. The reason is, longer clubs have flatter lie angles than do the shorter clubs. In fact, the shorter they get, the more upright they are.
The key is to allow your natural swing plane to flex a little as you move from longer to shorter clubs in the bag. I don’t want you to feel as though you need to be in the exact same position at the top of your swing with both long and short clubs. Let the longer clubs swing on a flatter plane, and the shorter clubs on a more upright plane.
Often, I see my students try and force the exact same plane on every club, which as you might guess, leads to some serious consistency issues. Instead, let your swing plane adjust for each club. You’ll see better results in no time.
Oh, and by the way. Sometimes you may be swinging on the right plane for your clubs, but the clubs are setup either too flat or too upright for your swing. To check and see if your clubs are a little off, grab some impact tape or spray and check where you’re making contact with the ball. Better yet, if you have access to a lie board, you can check where you’re making contact with the ground. If you’re catching the ball on the toe and/or hitting the ground with the heel of the sole, the club is probably too upright for you. If you’re finding the heel with the ball and the toe section of the heel is hitting the ground, your clubs might be too flat. Don’t worry though, lie adjustments are easy fixes for any good clubfitter in your area.
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