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There are a variety of reasons you can miss shots, but from a directional stand point, lie angles are one of the most critical factors. The vertical line test, is a simple way to quickly and easily figure out if your lie angles are right for you and help you figure out why you are missing your target.

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Ryan Barath is a writer & the Digital Content Creation Lead for GolfWRX. He also hosts the "On Spec" Podcast on GolfWRX Radio discussing everything golf, including gear, technology, fitting, and course architecture. He is a club fitter & master club builder who has more than 16 years experience working with golfers of all skill levels, including PGA Tour professionals. He studied business and marketing at the Mohawk College in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, and is the former Build Shop Manager & Social Media Coordinator for Modern Golf. He now works independently from his home shop in Hamilton and is a member of advisory panels to a select number of golf equipment manufacturers, including True Temper. You can find Ryan on Twitter and Instagram where he's always willing to chat golf, from course architecture to physics, and share his passion for club building, and wedge grinding.

12 Comments

12 Comments

  1. Ben Robertson

    Oct 7, 2018 at 5:25 am

    Anyone use this exercise for determing the right lie angle for their putter?

  2. geohogan

    Oct 4, 2018 at 11:12 pm

    If your shafts have zero kick, zero droop and zero torque at impact then dynamic lie angle will be consistent throughout the iron set.

    If shafts are as Moe Norman labelled them, “Licorice sticks”, then every shaft throughout the iron set, may have unique dynamic lie angles. A very good reason to use a quality shaft.

  3. jesse parkison

    Oct 4, 2018 at 1:21 pm

    I love this trick and use it often when I am having ball flight issues. HERE’S A TIP: when using dry-erase marker the post-impact club mark will not show up if you take a large divot or the ground is wet. Both water and dirt at velocity will remove the dry erase marker. I only perform this trick off a mat/pad, and a dry mat is best. Alternatively you can put tape on your club face to help the ink stick.

  4. Johnny Penso

    Oct 3, 2018 at 10:08 pm

    My fitter did that test with me when he was checking the lie angles of my Dad’s old Wilson Staff blades after I took them in for re-gripping. Worked well for me.

  5. williamhiiWyahoo.com

    Oct 3, 2018 at 8:49 pm

    hers what I know…I go places and they try to tell me that Im 1.5* upright…. I am not! I play my irons 2* FLAT. If i touch a iron iron thats upright it either shanks or hooks lol
    I build and do all my own clubs

  6. Stewart Franks

    Oct 3, 2018 at 4:34 pm

    This method only works if you are hitting shots with a square clubface. So make sure you have something measuring clubface

  7. stevet

    Oct 3, 2018 at 3:51 pm

    There is a “static” lie angle at address and a “dynamic” lie angle at impact.
    At static address the club heel should be touching the ground with the toe off the ground. At impact the shaft tip will “droop” down and the club sole will be parallel to the ground. How do you resolve these different shaft dynamics and clubhead lies in club fitting? Thanks.

  8. Howard Jones

    Oct 3, 2018 at 1:03 pm

    Yes, use a whiteboard pen or dry erase marker on the ball.
    That line will be “printed” on the face, and tell if lie angles are good or not, but its not correct that this lines dont tell us more than if we need to go up or flat, we can judge the need for how much we need to adjust with this labels top make it way easier.

    http://www.golfwrx.com/forums/topic/1355102-open-source-face-labels-for-lie-angle-diy-lie-angle-testing/

    • Ryan B

      Oct 3, 2018 at 8:10 pm

      Hi Howard,

      That’s a great tool! You provide a lot of great input here on GolfWRX. I like to use a sharpie and take the marks off with acetone but 100& dry erase are a great solution too.

      I prefer to use the line test as a starting point and finalize using ball flight and launch monitor.

      Cheers

  9. Paul Portney

    Oct 3, 2018 at 12:25 pm

    This was interesting to watch, so thanks for posting it. Is the idea to see the mark on your clubface left by the line you suggest putting on the ball? That was a little unclear to me.

    • Josh D

      Oct 3, 2018 at 7:32 pm

      yes its so that the line transfers to the club face from the ball like u thought.

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Equipment

WRX Spotted: A pair of custom putters

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This week’s Zurich Classic is all about pairs — that goes for the two-man teams competing for the winner’s check(s), and in the case of notable putters we spotted, a pair of new one-off customs in bags this week: Abraham Ancer’s personal Bettinardi and Danny Lee’s new Scotty Cameron Super Rat.

Let’s start with the Danny Lee’s because there is a LOT going on with that club including first and foremost – it’s one nasty wand:

  • Super Rat head shape with a single sight line
  • The milled (actual) loft appears to be pretty standard for Cameron Putters
  • The hosel has been bent to accommodate Danny’s “armlock” style. This keeps the loft of the head where it should be while forward pressing. This kind of adjustment would need to be made to any standard putter if you were to try the armlock, or else you would deliver negative loft at impact
  • The shaft is LA Golf Shaft OZIK TP — a shaft designed to remove undesirable vibration through the shaft, while also reducing putter head oscillation at impact. Not a surprise considering the number of multi material/graphite putter shafts that are available right now to help improve consistency.
  • Last but not least a SuperStroke Flatso grip installed with the flat part of the grip aligned parallel to the putter face! This isn’t the first time we’ve seen something like this, and it makes sense – Utilizing the orientation of the grip to create greater awareness of the face angle can help players of all skill levels create more consistent results, even tour pros.

Danny has had an interesting golf bag to follow this season with a number of changes coming almost weekly from irons to putters. Maybe this change could help turn his putting around (currently ranked 116th in strokes gained: putting), all while still being inside the top 50 in the FedEx Cup.

Now to Abraham Ancer’s new Custom DASS BBZero Tour Dept. Putter.

  • This putter is based off of the BBZerostyle head with rounded bumpers and a plumbers neck
  • Compared to the BBZero though, the heel is thicker and it could have a slightly shorter blade length (TBD)
  • It has a recessed sight line on the top that runs perpendicular to the sight line in the flange to form a “T.” This is interesting for a couple of reasons including that it looks to be the width of a golf ball, which could help Abraham find the center better. Also as a right-handed golfer, this type of alignment is an indication that he is most likely right-eye dominant and uses the face of the putter to align to the target as much if not more than the flange line.
  • Just like Danny’s above, this putter is also shafted with the LA Golf Shaft OZIK TP — there must be something about that that has more players testing it out.
  • And finally, the grip is the SuperStroke Claw. Judging by the cleanliness of both these grips these are both new to the players and testing will prove what ends up come tournament time.

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Equipment

Forum Thread of the Day: “Iron type for controlling shots into the wind?”

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Today’s Forum Thread of the Day comes from eckmanjp who is on the hunt for irons to help with controlling shots played into the wind. Our members give their opinions on what are the best options for eckmanjp, with plenty of different clubs and shafts recommended.

Here are a few posts from the thread, but make sure to check out the entire discussion and have your say at the link below.

  • driveandputtmachine: “Into the wind, spin is NOT your friend. No matter how low launching it will balloon. I was an extremely high spin player, in my search for something lower spinning my three best were…. TM P 790, Cobra Forged TEC, and Ping i500.The final piece is a shaft that spins high enough to hold greens, but not too high to balloon into the wind.”
  • mogc60: “Sounds like you have good clubs and shaft combo for reducing spin. Shafts do make a difference…but don’t cure the upshoot into the wind. Good advice above about more club and swinging slower…speed equals spin. I find the biggest mistake people make into the wind is playing the ball too far back and hitting down too hard. The key is smooth through impact and finishing low in your follow through…not pounding it down…that creates that upshooting shot that the wind destroys.”
  • dpb5031: “Technique plays the major role here, not equipment. Generally, anywhere from 1 to 3 extra club, grip down on the handle, and use what I call a wide-to-wide swing at 3/4 speed. Think limited arm swing (no longer than left arm parallel with the ground in BS) and then cover the ball, keep body turning through it, and finish wide & low, with handle following your rotating trunk around to the left.”
  • rxk9fan: “I think the head/shaft combo can make a huge difference of course along with how you deliver the clubhead into the ball. Take a look at the Titleist shaft chart and see what they are showing. FWIW though, the OP’s current shaft should not be a high launch/high spin shaft. I found both the 716 AP2 and CB to be tough to control spin with, but as suggested it was 100% my delivery at impact. I found the Srixon Z9xx series to spin less but the best thing I did was get to a quality teacher, and we improved a pretty tiny swing flaw that had a big impact on spin. Good luck. I can say I tried to “new club” my way through the spin problem, but three lessons is what it took to fix it.”

Entire Thread: “Iron type for controlling shots into the wind?”

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Equipment

WRX Spotlight: Dead Zero Putting Disk Pro

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Product: Dead Zero Putting Disk Pro

Pitch: From Dead Zero: “The new Dead Zero Pro model putting disk offers golfers the ability to accurately determine green slope and a true fall line when practicing their “money” putts thanks to a bubble level embedded into the top of the disk. The bubble level accurately measures up to six-degrees of slope and gives a true reading of the fall line on any area of the putting surface. Like the Original model, the Dead Zero Pro helps all golfers build confidence to make more putts inside eight to ten feet.”

Our take on the Dead Zero Putting Disk Pro

The Dead Zero Pro Putting Disk Pro improves upon the original design by incorporating player and instructor feedback to include a level in the top of the disk. It’s a wise addition to a device that already offers players aid in an important practice approach: putting to a target smaller than the 4.25-inch cup. (The disk is roughly half the size)

We tried the Dead Zero Putting Disk Pro in the manner creator Eric Schmitt suggests in the video below.

We found it easier to focus on putting to a smaller target when using the device–the fact that the disk looks like a target certainly doesn’t hurt this! It’s also easier to practice breaking putts with the Dead Zero Putting Disk.

The level function helps quickly get an accurate feel for the putt, and you can set the disk down where the hole effectively “is,” from an aiming standpoint, on, say, an eight-footer that breaks six inches right to left.

It’s also a nice tool to have in your bag any time you need a target in practice, really, and are struggling to visualize a line or landing area. For example, when pitching from around the green.

Ultimately, this is a good practice and practice round tool that nicely functions as a smaller-than-a-golf-hole target for putting, a level, and an easy-to-see target.

A final word: There is something to the fact that golfers, particularly those who struggle with their putting, get hung up on aiming at a portion of the hole, “three balls out,” etc. If the cup has started to look more like foe than friend, shaking things up with a device like the Dead Zero Putting disk is recommended.

  • More photos of/discussion about the Dead Zero Putting Disk Pro in the forums. 
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