Does Your Golf Club Lie About Distance? – Checking Loft and Lie Angles

Is your 5 iron really a 5? It amazes me how much golfers disregard the importance of the loft and lie specs of their golf clubs. How often do you check your loft and lie angles? I have a golfing friend that seemed proud of the fact he has never taken his clubs to check his lie and lofts. That’s why it doesn’t surprise me when he flies greens or leaves shots short in greenside bunkers. You are allowed to carry 14 golf clubs during a round of golf, each club has a specific lie and loft that the manufacture has set for the golf club to determine the distance for each golf club. A number is then assigned to each difference golf club to make them distinguishable for golfers to select the proper iron. If you wanted to use a 9 iron, you wouldn’t take out your 7 and swing. Unfortunately for my friend he may be using his 9 not knowing that the loft has changed to a pitching wedge. Consequently, instead of being pin high, he is now forced to get up and down from the greenside bunker.

Since golf clubs are made out of soft metals, the loft and lie angles can be bent, which has both positive and negative affects. In order to use your golf clubs effectively the lie angles must be bent to correspond with your swing. You also have the freedom of making a club stronger or weaker on purpose by changing the effective loft. We get into trouble when the clubs effective lie or loft angles have changed without us knowing.

The Signs Of Needed Club Repair and Adjustments

Have you ever wondered why one club in your bag is not cooperating? No matter how good of a golf swing you put on the ball, that one club or several just don’t seem to work in your favor. Then there are the other clubs in your bag that you feel you cannot  mis-hit. Perhaps you don’t get the distance correctly or it shoots to the right or left. The bottom line is when you first got the golf club it worked, now it doesn’t and you may be quick to blame your swing.

If what I just described sounds familiar to you, hopefully you didn’t buy new club because of it. I’m specifically talking to golfers that use forged golf clubs. This is the type of metal that allows golf clubs to be bent. If you have taken the time to read my article about custom fitting your lie angles, you know the importance of how your clubs lie at impact. Long story short, you can save strokes and become a better player by getting custom fit for lie angles.

Forged vs. Cast Irons

As a side note, I would also strongly recommend switching to a forged iron if you are using cast irons. This will give you the ability to customize your irons loft and lie. The problem with playing a cast iron is they cannot be bent as easily. They also may have some manufacturing inconsistencies due to the type of metal used and the manufacturing process that can cause freak changes in distance with golf clubs. Bottom line is, a forged club will make you a more consistent player. Click Here For A Good List Of Beginners Golf Clubs.

Remember, once you have been fit for lie angle, that doesn’t mean they won’t change. The rate at which they change mostly depends on the type of surfaces you are playing on. Soft conditions will not affect the club as much as hard pan will, but over time can still change the angles of your irons without you realizing it.

If You Care About Your Score, Check Your Golf Clubs Monthly For Loft And Lie Changes.

I usually go to Golf Mart, (you can go to any local golf club repair shop) any place with a club bending machine. Within a month 2 of my irons lofts had changed by 1 and 2 degrees changing the golf clubs and distance. This could be the difference between a green in regulation or landing in the green side bunker trying to save par. Sometimes that mistake alone can be worth 2-3 shots. Some of my lies had changed as well.

Most public golf courses have golfers hitting of hard golf mat surfaces above concrete. Be mindful that practicing off mats has a tendency to bend your clubs much more frequently, and can cause injury. The feedback you get is also different from conditions you will experience on the golf course. Just something to think about as it relates to quality of practice.

Make Best Friends With The Golf Club Repair Shop

If you think your lie or loft may have changed, do not attempt to bend them yourself, there is a specific machine and skill to properly bending your golf clubs. I would suggest having the golf professional on staff assist you, as bending machines can be very expensive. If you are unsure of the manufactures default specs for your irons they can be found on the main website or in the manual of the golf club manufacture.  Golf club manufactures can set whatever loft and lies they desire for their clubs. This means the loft on your friends Titleist 5 iron could be completely different from your Callaway 5 iron.


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