A lesson on the ‘the Loft and the Lie’

We’ve learned how the right grip size will help in swinging the club more naturally. Now let’s discuss something else that is very critical to good club performance: The Loft and Lie of your club heads.

By this I mean the way the face is tilted back away from the ball (loft) and also about the way the club is on the ground (lie) in relationship to parallel to the surface. You’d be surprised at what a difference this makes in the direction of your shots and the distance regardless of the quality of the golf swing.

Just a few short years ago the Tommy Armour Golf Company came out with a set of irons they claimed would go further than most other irons. What they didn’t tell you was that their irons were set 2 degrees stronger (less loft) for each iron in the set. Of course the Tommy Armours would go further! Others soon discovered this and adjusted their standards, also.

That aside, the most critical setting on your set of irons is the Lie angle. When you set the club on a flat surface you may see that the toe of the club appears to be a little up off of the ground. That’s okay, its not like that when you swing the club, because your hands come up higher on the swing path through the ball.

However, if the toe is too far up during the swing it will catch the surface and cause the toe of the club to release quickly through the ball, which usually results in a hook or a pull to the left of the target.

On the other hand, if the toe of the club happens to catch first it results in a fade or slice.

The golfer normally tries to compensate for these undesirable results by changing and altering his swing; his grip; his stance; his golf ball; or whatever professional or unprofessional advice he picks up. But that’s the wrong move.

Get the clubs adjusted!

If they are a model which does allow for a hozel bending? Eliminate those without a neck, or hozel.

A Loft and Lie adjustment can be done in most Golf Shops. The cost is nominal and it could save you from thinking the answer is in a new set of clubs. Errors in ball flight direction are usually the result of clubs that are not set correctly for the golfer. Check it out first. Then go back to work on restoring your good swing, grip, stance, etc.

Another subtle cause of poor direction is the face balance of the clubhead and you can look for that in next weeks column.


Which ball goes the furthest? Take any two balls you are considering, hold one in each hand at about eye level, then drop them simultaneously onto a smooth surface. Which bounces the highest? Multiply that by your swing speed and there’s your answer. Remember, a harder ball sounds like rock and is very difficult to Pitch, Chip and Putt. Fortunately there are few of those left in circulation.

If you have any questions you call write me at: tallstix@aloha.net, or visit me at Codde Golf in the Lihue Town Plaza. Yes, we do have a Loft & Lie machine here.


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