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Driver Dilema


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#1 Gallery_180*slice_*

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Posted 05 March 2006 - 04:40 PM

Hello All,
I'm new to the forum and need some expert advice.

I have been playing for about 3 seasons. My typical ball flight is fade or weak slice with the driver. I have always played Callaway drivers and most recent is a Bertha 454 9* with an nv65s @ 44.5".

I heard that lie angle affects ball flight in irons (too flat ends in a slice...too upright ends in a hook).

After doing some research on my driver I discovered that it has a lie angle of 56* while most other mfg have their lie angles between 58*-60*.

Does the driver's lie angle matter?
Can this be causing my fade/slice difficulties?
Are there any other equpment factors that influence this ball flight (shaft...grip...)?

I have the same shot shape with my woods (also Cally) but not with my irons.

Thanks in advance,
180*slice


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#2 CRutherford

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Posted 05 March 2006 - 04:46 PM

That does sound a little flat, but I'm far from a Cally expert.

Edited by pshyeah, 05 March 2006 - 04:47 PM.

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#3 tbowles411

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Posted 05 March 2006 - 07:50 PM

I'm not an expert either, but that DOES sound a little flat.  A reshaft can help that.  Reshafting with a shaft that provides a bit more kick should help you get in the air just that much more.
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#4 gjones77

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Posted 05 March 2006 - 10:14 PM

Actually, Frank Thomas addresses this same question about Driver lie angles since they seem to run a bit diagonal to the ball and here was his answer.

He basically stated that a driver/fairway wood actually flattens out at impact due to shaft flex.

So if a manufacturer has a certain lie angle on a driver it's because they tested that to be the best lie angle based on how that head creates flex in various shaft types.

(The last part is just my giess)

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#5 NPVWhiz

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Posted 06 March 2006 - 12:02 PM

View Postgjones77, on Mar 5 2006, 10:14 PM, said:

Actually, Frank Thomas addresses this same question about Driver lie angles since they seem to run a bit diagonal to the ball and here was his answer.

He basically stated that a driver/fairway wood actually flattens out at impact due to shaft flex.

So if a manufacturer has a certain lie angle on a driver it's because they tested that to be the best lie angle based on how that head creates flex in various shaft types.

(The last part is just my giess)

Lie angle is probably least important for the driver among the clubs as long as the spec is within a reasonable range.  Part of it has to do with the loft of the club, and how that loft if affected by the head's horizontal centerline not being perpendicular to the ground at impact.  

The other part is more important, and that's the point mentioned with regard to Frank Thomas.  High speed images of the driver at impact show that the club bows downward (droops in the lingo).  And it can bow down quite a bit.  This effectively flattens the lie angle of the driver back out, since they appear (and are, technically) upright when the club is sitting at address.  

You can see this in a lot of the swing sequences and instructional shots they have in Golf Digest.

The problem that people can run into is that if you're playing a shaft that is way too soft, you could be getting too much droop.  Too stiff and maybe not enough.  

A touring pro will find a shaft that they like the feel and timing of, then if the ball flight is a little bit draw or fade biased, they'll have the driver bent to clean it up. But their swings are repeating enough to do that.  The average player doesn't control the driver well enough to control that droop factor, so usually they're seeing the effects of the swing much more often that the effect of the lie angle of the club.  

When you aren't a pro and don't have access to the equipment to bend modern thin walled titanium heads, you're better off trying to find a shaft that feels like it fits you from a flex perspective...and to fit, it should give you a proper droop amount that puts the lie angle in the right range.  

Honestly, I think a lot of better players have trouble in this respect because, logically, stiffer shafts droop less.  Modern drivers have come way upright (even taking the increased length into account) from the old persimmon headed lie angles, maybe 4 or 5 degrees.

A player that just doesn't like the feel of head droop (e.g. the player that maybe has a swing speed of 105 but perfers the feel of stout X driver shafts) will probably run into problems with a hooking modern driver, because they just aren't generating enough head droop to put the head back on plane at impact.  If that player were a solid enough ball striker, it would make sense to bend the head to get the dynamic lie closer to neutral.

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#6 themouth1

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Posted 06 March 2006 - 01:48 PM

Because a driver is hit from the tee, lie angle does not matter much.  It makes a huge difference in irons and fairway woods because you contact the turf which can open or close the club face if the lie angle is not correct.  Shaft deflexion causes the droop factor and the droop changes the lie angle.  For the average (and most better) players), it makes zero difference in a driver.  The center of the face is the same no matter the lie angle.  That is why there aren't different lie angles offered from the factory.  There is no need.  The trick is to get the shaft to fit you.  You say you tend to hit a fade or weak slice and are playing an NV shaft.  You probably need a change.  This shaft is designed for the stronger player needing a tip stiff shaft.  You would probably be better served with an NVS or Prolaunch.  Good luck.

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